Frequently, the configurability of the drivers has also been very limited, which is quite appropriate in the consumer market sector where ease of use is of paramount importance. This reflects the demand for "plug and play" devices. In the industrial sector, however, this configurability is of vital importance in order to allow optimal adaptation to difficult conditions to be carried out. In the course of the development partnership between DLoG GmbH and emlix the configurability of the systems was therefore increased to a suitable level using open source software.
In addition, workarounds could be implemented on the basis of the open source code that make optimized functioning with certain access point types possible. The procedure used for detecting new network nodes, the so-called scanning, turned out to be a critical point. While driving through the warehouse(s) at considerable speed, a fork-lift truck repeatedly leaves the range of a particular access point and enters that of another one.
Therefore, it needs to establish quickly varying network connections via different network nodes. This is ensured by scanning the access points at regular intervals and saving them in the system. The continuous availability of a list of access points that is as correct and complete as possible is one of the preconditions for trouble-free functioning of the high speed roaming between the WLAN cells and thus for high availability of the network connection. The intervals for searching the network and building up the connection are shortened, and the reliability of data transfer as well as the ease of use are improved on a sustainable basis.
In addition to these clearly improved functionalities, the Linux-based terminal solutions make a considerably more flexible adaptation to existing IT infrastructures possible. Apart from the open source code, the fact that the WLAN infrastructure within the Linux system is highly modular and thus easily adaptable plays an important role.
Taken together, the described features imply a high level of investment protection and future-proofing both for DLoG GmbH itself and for the end users. And also with regard to the cumulative medium and long-term costs, the open source software is clearly superior to any proprietary alternative.