Altia's graphics software now supports Java. The new Java API (Application Program Interface) connects programs written in Java to graphics created in Altia Design or FacePlate. Because of this connection, Altia users can enjoy the many benefits of the Java language, such as its machine independence and increased security for Web-based applications. Furthermore, Java programmers, who have traditionally struggled with slow graphics, now have a high-performance, high-fidelity alternative to Java graphics toolkits, such as Swing and the Abstract Windows Toolkit (AWT).

Altia provides custom graphics for new product simulations and virtual prototypes.

With the growth of the Internet, more and more engineers turn to the Web as a means of distributing and viewing these simulations and prototypes. For example, an automobile manufacturer, who wants to demonstrate new products or concepts, could post a working virtual prototype on a Web page and then allow customers, suppliers, team members, or management to view it and interact with it. The benefit of using Java in this application is clear. If the engineer wrote the simulation behavior code in C and then created an executable for it, the required running of that executable might deter security-conscious viewers. However, virtual prototypes created in Java and shared over the Web will have a much larger potential viewer base.

Engineers also use Altia's high performance graphics to create monitoring and control screens. They then use the Internet to remotely monitor instrumentation and control devices across multiple locations. For example, an aerospace company in California may use a combination of Altia's graphics and the Internet to monitor the launch status of a rocket in Florida.

For such applications, engineers now prefer to use Java over other programming languages. Not only is Java machine independent and able to run on any platform, it is also much more secure for use in an Internet environment. Java programs, when opened through a Web page, run only in a limited, controlled space, greatly reducing the risk of damage to the client computer.

Java programmers, who simply need to create graphics for various applications, will also benefit from Altia's connection to Java. Altia provides a welcome alternative to the lengthy process of writing code for graphics in Java, and Altia's runtime is much faster than the typically slow Java graphics.

Altia's two programs, Altia Design and FacePlate, enable developers to create interactive animated graphics without programming. They reduce the time required to bring products to market by enhancing communication among design team members, senior managers, and customers working on the same project. They also assist with debugging, optimizing and regression testing. The software seamlessly connects to all leading system simulation tools and programming languages. The Java API is priced at $995 for a single node locked license. Altia Design and Altia FacePlate cost $6,900 and $995, respectively, for a single license.

About Altia

Four Hewlett Packard embedded systems developers discovered a customer need for host-based graphics tools to prototype instrumentation front panels. These engineers founded the privately held Altia, Inc. in 1991.

Altia's primary mission is to enhance the value of system simulation tools by expanding markets for these products through development of simulation graphics software. More than 1,500 licenses of the company's flagship product, Altia Design, have been sold worldwide, while the need for graphics software in embedded systems development continues to expand rapidly.