FIN Weekly

FIN Weekly #29 - 2017

There are a few different ways one can navigate between graphics in a FIN Stack project. One of the most common and easiest ways is by using Relative Bubbles, or the Navigation menu.  Another method is to create Hyperlinks that will instantly jump between one graphic to another. Hyperlinks can made using 2 different methods. One method is by using code. The easiest method (which is what we will be discussing in this article) is by utilizing a tool called "Add Hyperlinks"

How it works:

The Add Hyperlinks tool can be found in the Graphics Builder's (right) edit menu. When the tool is first opened, it asks you to choose between a list of different application types & options. In this case you would select "Graphics" since we will be creating a hyperlink to another graphic. 

The next option will allow you to customize and select what type of graphic hyperlink you will be creating. You can name your button and then choose between a button or an icon as the representative for you hyperlink. Next you can choose between making a specific hyperlink (goes to one specific graphic & equipment) or between a relative hyperlink (hyperlink destination is based on the context and its 'refs'). If you made a specific hyperlink, you must then choose and exact graphic & equipment that you want to load. If you chose to make a relative hyperlink, it will then look at the available refs on your context and allow for you to choose between them.

Say for example you are creating a hyperlink button on a VAV graphic that is also relative to multiple equipment across different floors & sites. It wouldn't make sense to hardcode your hyperlink to a certain floor, such as Floor-1, because that wouldn't work for a VAV equipment on Floor-2. So the best solution is to make a 'relative' hyperlink. This way, the hyperlink will look at your context equipment and find it's 'floorRef'. If the floorRef points to a floor with a graphic on it, then it will load that graphic, and since its based on the ref, it will always load the floor that the context equipment is referencing in the database. 

Once you've finished customizing and selecting your hyperlink's type & destination, the tool will generate a button (or an icon) for you to position and use in your graphic and you're done! So in conclusion all you really need to do is select the hyperlink type (button/icon)(specific/relative) and then select from a list of available graphics or refs and you're done! 

Pay off:
  • Quick & Easy to Use: Create multiple hyperlinks all at once. Select from a list of available graphics & equip or a list of available refs. Tool auto-generates a button or icon of your choosing. 

  • Graphical Navigation: Create hyperlinks to jump back-and-forth between your graphics without ever leaving the graphic view. 

  • Relative Navigation Create hyperlinks that will dynamically work on relative graphics by relatively jump to the correct destination based on the context's 'ref' tags.

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FIN Weekly #28 - 2017

FIN Stack 4.0 - Graphic Builder - Animation Editor

FIN Stack 4.0's Graphics Builder comes with a large library of graphical components that are available to be implemented onto your graphics. However, we also offer the ability for you to generate your own custom animation component by way of a tool called the Animation Editor. 

How it works:

The Animation Editor tool can be found in the Graphics Builder edit menu in the 'Advanced' section. The tool offers you three options: New, Edit & Delete. The 'New' option will allow you to begin the process of creating a brand new Animated Component. 

When creating a new Animated Component, the tool allows you to select or create a new "category" section that will determine where the new component will be placed within the Component library.

Once you've select a category, the next step is to choose an Animation Type. The available animation types are as follows: Numeric, Boolean Standard, Boolean Animated, and Enum. Numeric allows you to create an animation that works with numeric points. The Boolean Standard allows you to create an animation that has 2 images total, one for the On state and one for the Off state. Boolean Animated allows for you to upload an image for the Off state, and then upload multiple slices for the On state which will then create an animated loop. Enum allows you to select an image for each available enum state. 

Once you've finished selecting your Animation type and uploading your image slices, the tool will generate a brand new animated component and place it in the  for you to use whenever you need it. 

Pay off:
  • Create your own Custom Animation Components: Allows you to create your own, fully customizable, Animation Components and have them animate the way you need it to. 
  • Special Categories: Not only does the tool create a brand new custom component but it also creates a new special category within the Component library. This is great for storing all of your custom animated components within their own section.
  • Re-usable: Once the component is created it can be re-used as many times as needed since it will be saved in the components library. 

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FIN Weekly #27 - 2017

FIN Stack 4.0 - Graphic Builder - Add Points

As you may already know, FIN 4.0 has introduced several easy-to-use wizards that basically build 90% of your graphics for you automatically based on a few questions. So what happens when you have to go back and add a few points to an equip or a floorplan that already exists? Worry not! We've got you covered. This week's article goes over how to add points into a pre-existing graphic utilizing a very helpful tool called the Add Points tool.

How it works:

The Add Points tool can be found in the Graphics Builder edit menu. Like most things in FIN Stack, it's context sensitive, meaning the type of wizard that appears when you fire up the "Add Points" tool is always going to be determined by your context.

If you're working on an equipment graphic (and your context is an equip) then the add points will bring up the standard wizard asking you how you would like to set up the bindings of each point that gets added. You can choose between Relative by Tags, Relative by navName or Absolute by Point IDs. After selecting your binding method, it allows you to select which points you would like to add to the graphic. Once you select your points, they are automatically be added into your virtual points menu. 

If you're working on a floorplan graphic (and your context is a floor) then the wizard that appears will be the same wizard you get when creating a new floorplan graphic. It will ask you to select a sample equip, and then allow for you to select a main point and a comparison point. Once you select the points, the window will ask you to select which equipment you'd like to bring in to the floorplan. Once your done, the points will automatically be added into the virtual points menu, and your comparison points will automatically grab the delta like the rest of the floorplan. 

Pay off:
  • Easy to Use / Automatic Binding: Adding points into a graphic has never been easier. Not only does it bring in the points you need, but it also automatically sets up the binding to whatever you want it to be (relative or absolute) so it matches the rest of the points in the graphic. 
  • Automatic Floorplan Logic: Floorplan graphics built using the floorplan wizards contain special logic that enable the graphic to automatically grab the delta between your main points & your comparison points which then determines the gradient colors that appear on the floorplan. The Add Points tool automatically adds the necessary tags to the comparison points so that it works seamlessly with the rest of the logic on the floorplan. 

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FIN Weekly #26 - 2017

FIN Stack 4.0 - Graphic Builder - Top Level

This week's article will be dedicated to showing users how to create and setup a 'Top Level' graphic in FIN Stack. A Top Level graphic can be any type of graphic you'd like it to be (ex: a splash page, a dashboard or simply an overview of all of your buildings) and is the default graphic that shows up when a user first logs in.

How it works:

Since everything in FIN Stack is context sensitive, the first thing you'll need to do is make sure you are at the highest level of your navigation so that there is no specific context. Once the graphic builder is launched, a wizard will appear allowing you to name the graphic and select which 'sites' will be automatically included in the graphic. 

After you've completed the wizard a new graphic will be created allowing for you to open and edit the content. As soon as you open your new graphic to begin editing, you will notice that Alarm Status Labels representing each selected 'site' have already been created. All you have to do is bring in your overview image and draw out a poly's to represent each sites and you're done!

If you want this to be your default graphic you can simply go to your graphics app and select your new graphic to be your top level graphic and you're done!

Pay off:

FIN Stack automatically does almost all of the work for you. Below are just a few benefits of creating a site graphic using the Graphics Builder: 

  • Default Login Graphic: Every time a user (without a specific home path) logs in, they will be directed to your Top Level graphic by default. 
  • Completes Graphic Navigation Flow: In an ideal project that has graphics for sites/floors/equip having a top level graphic is the final step in completing your "all graphic" navigation. Users can log in, and click on any site they would like to navigate to from the top level view and then dig down using only graphics via the related bubbles!
  • Related Bubbles (Hyperlinks & More): Clicking on any floor poly brings up related bubbles that allows you to hyperlink from your Site  graphic down to any of the Floorplan graphics or view their data instantly. No extra engineering required, these are completely automatic!

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FIN Weekly #25 - 2017

FIN Stack 4.0 - DB Builder - Clone Equipment Tool

With FIN 4.0 we've added several tools to make tagging your database even easier. One of those tools is the 'Clone Equipment Tool'. By utilizing this tool, users can simply bring in one of their unique equipment & its points, tag them to perfection, then clone those same exact points, tags & settings to every other equipment of the same type.

How it works:

So let's say you have 50 VAVs that are all typical of each other. Start off by bringing 1 of those 50 equipment into the DB Builder. This one will be considered the 'template' equipment that we are going to clone the rest of them off of. Proceed to tagging the VAV and all of its points to perfection. This includes setting up histories, actions, units, and everything along those lines.

Once your done setting up the VAV and all of it's points, the next step is to open the Clone Equipment Tool, drag in the remaining 49 VAVs and hit the 'Okay' button.

As soon as you hit okay, the tool will take your original equipment and clone those same exact points, tags and settings to all of the other selected equipment. Not only will it clone the points, tags & settings over, but it will also retain that equipment's unique connector information so that all of VAVs points end up referencing the correct connector path. 

Pay off:

FIN Stack automatically does almost all of the work for you. Below are just a few benefits of creating a site graphic using the Graphics Builder: 

  • Save Time & Labor: Instead of tagging each and every equipment one by one, you now make one perfected equipment (per unique equipment type) and clone it to the rest of them, saving you a huge amount of time and labor when it comes to tagging. 
  • Relative Equipment: Since all of your unique equipment types now share the same tags, relativizing your equipment will be a piece of cake. This payoff runs deeper than just folio or tag searches...it actually effects nearly everything you do in FIN Stack! (Alarm, Logic, Graphics, Summaries, Schedules, etc.) 

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