Prior to IVAC2, software for virtual ATC used a single “sector file” for all the sector-specific data to be used and displayed. IVAC2 uses a structured set of files which can be customised to create just about any possible display, with minimal configuration work by the end-user. In order to achieve this, for the last couple of years, teams of people have been hard at work customising the data for use in specific FIRs. Yesterday we launched a new “portal” to make it easier for them to manage their teams and transfer data in to the IVAC2 data repository.
For more than a year, teams of hard-working individuals have been preparing data to be used in IVAC2. Today marks one step closer to them being able to submit their creations to the Terminal2 server. Here is a sneak-peak of the DataPrep Portal that they will use to access the system.
Continuing our inside-story on the tools and techniques we are using inside Terminal2…
Passport = LDAP
More than ever before, in today’s security-conscious environment we want to be very sure we know the identity of everybody that is getting on-board our aircraft. Passports (or other photo-ID for domestic flights) let the passenger prove their identity to the airport/airline staff that are controlling access to the aircraft; without the identity document you won’t be getting on-board even if you bought a ticket to travel. The passport is also providing the various immigration authorities with a trace of our having travelled to that particular country.
This time we’re going to give you the inside-story on some of the tools and techniques we employ in order to do software development within Terminal2. As most of you reading this probably aren’t software engineers or system administrators, we’re going to try to compare some of the techno-babble to analogies from the world of aviation.
Engines = Server
Now we are aware that there are some aircraft that don’t have any engines, but they’re not exactly fast, can’t carry much in the way of passengers or cargo, and they’re somewhat at the mercy of the weather as to when and where they can fly. Similarly it is possible to write software without having your own server, but it sure does make things a lot easier and quicker!
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We often have people asking us why IVAC2 has been taking so long to release. Today we have decided to share some of the things we are currently working on in order to get ready for the imminent beta release… but first a little insight as to why we need to do it.
Instead of “sector files”, IVAC2 uses a structured set of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) files, each of which has a particular type of data in it. XML files are made up of a series of tags (which can be nested as sub-tags inside other tags) and each tag can have a number of fields (each of which has a name and a piece of data).
Terminal2 is a software development group with a special interest in aviation. We are today launching our official blog
Our group includes members with a wide range of backgrounds, nationality, age, and experience. Many of us have professional backgrounds which have been aviation-related, and most are former staff members of the International Virtual Aviation Organisation (IVAO); between us we have more than 100 years of combined IVAO membership.
We are excited to announce the launch of project codenamed “Icarus”, our next-generation suite of software and services for virtual aviation; more details will follow over the coming months, with regular updates here in our team blog. All our resources are currently devoted to the upcoming release of our ATC client with codename Icarus Versatile ATC Client (IVAC); we plan to make it available as a beta release to all IVAO users in the first half of 2017.