This document contains an overview of AVS/Express, a development tool that is used to create data visualization applications. This document provides a brief description of the AVS/Express interface, procedures for starting and exiting from AVS/Express, and tutorials that both introduce you to and teach you how to use some of the AVS/Express features.
A brief description of each chapter in this manual is provided below.
Chapter 1, Welcome to AVS/Express.
Chapter 2, Using AVS/Express Demos and Examples.
Chapter 3, Creating an Application Using the Wizards.
Chapter 4, Assembling a Data Visualization Application
Chapter 5, Modifying the Data Visualization Application
Chapter 6, Assembling a Data Visualization Application 2
Chapter 7, Creating a New Component
Chapter 8, Creating a Group Data Parameter
The tutorials in this document build upon one another. In other words each tutorial uses information from previous tutorials, and although it is not a requirement, you should complete the tutorials in the order in which they are presented. You should be able to complete each tutorial in approximately 30 minutes.
After reading this manual and completing tutorial, you should feel comfortable using AVS/Express to create simple applications. If you choose not to complete the tutorials, you may find the information useful as an extension of the Using AVS/Express manual.
AVS/Express is both a development environment and a data visualization tool that can be used by a wide range of users. You should be familiar with the concepts listed below in order to make the most effective and efficient use of the AVS/Express functionality.
- You should know how to use a Motif- or Windows-style point-and-click interface.
- You should be comfortable working on the platform on which AVS/Express is installed. It is also useful if you are familiar with the basic operating system commands for that platform.
- You should have a basic understanding of graphics concepts and data visualization techniques and principles.
- Since AVS/Express can be used as a development tool, it is helpful if you have an understanding of programming techniques; an understanding of object-oriented terminology is also useful.
The following conventions are used in this guide and in all documents produced by AVS.
File naming conventions differ between UNIX and Microsoft Windows (NT and 95) environments.
- UNIX file names are case-sensitive and path names use the forward (/) slash.
- Microsoft Windows file names are not case-sensitive and the path names use the back (\) slash.
This document uses UNIX conventions except where specifically referring to Windows syntax.
AVS/Express is shipped with a Winhelp-based online documentation, a context-sensitive online help system. The contents of the documentation and the online help are explained below.
The following section lists the printed documents provided with AVS/Express.
Except for the Release Notes and Installing AVS/Express, the manual is updated with each major release of the product. However, for the intermediate, "point" releases, the most recent updates are available in the online documentation and on the Customer Support Web site.
- The information in the Release Notes describes the new functionality and any known limitations with the product.
- The Release Notes are updated with each release of the product.
- The Installing AVS/Express section contains the hardware and software prerequisites, and detailed installation and licensing instructions.
- The Installing AVS/Express section is updated with each release of the product; it is not available in an online format.
- This section provides a product overview and a series of tutorials that guide you through the basic AVS/Express capabilities.
- The Using AVS/Express section explains how to use AVS/Express. This section contains descriptions of AVS/Express' features, commonly used procedures, and information associated with developing runtime applications.
- This section describes how to use AVS/Express to process data so it can be rendered and viewed. The section starts with a brief introduction to visualization techniques. Later chapters in the section provide greater detail as they explain how to import and manipulate data, how to apply visualization functions to render the data and to produce useful images.
- This section describes how to use some of the specialized AVS/Express objects. The procedures and techniques that are introduced in this section explain how to use AVS/Express with databases, how to create a user interface for your application, and how to use the specialized graphing and annotating objects.
The AVS/Express online help system is a context-sensitive, Winhelp-based help system that provides context-sensitive information for all of the AVS/Express objects. Online help is convenient and easy to use; you can point at an objects to access information specific to your selection, or you can use the index to quickly find information on a particular topic.
Do not hesitate to contact Advanced Visual Systems if you need any assistance while using AVS/Express.
To contact Customer Support, refer to the Customer Support Web site to find the phone number and email address for your country: http://help.avs.com
If you do not have Web access or are uncertain about which country's office to contact, you can send email to the central support office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-428-7001.