Glossary

Term Definition
Block Diagram Editor (BDE) Editor for placing and connecting graphic blocks.
In the BDE, data-flow oriented as well as control-flow oriented diagrams can be created.
CAN (Controller Area Network) A Controller Area Network (CAN bus) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer. It is a message-based protocol, designed originally for multiplex electrical wiring within automobiles, but is also used in many other contexts. [Wikipedia EN: CAN bus]
connection attribute All variables, global parameters and parameters are called connection attributes.
Context menu Context menus are called by clicking the right mouse button on worksheets or the project and library trees. The commands provided refer to the object under the cursor.
Continuous Function Chart (CFC) CFC is a graphical programming language, in which function blocks are connected to each other, instead of typing a sequence of textual commands, like with classic programming languages. The programming language is influenced by signs similar to those in circuit diagrams from hardware development. This kind of visualization of a program agrees with developers of controller software, as their technical background is typically in electronical engineering.
cycle time The cycle time is the time a program takes to process all tasks in the program block, from program start to program end.
Data point administration (DPV) The data point administration (hereinafter abbreviated DPV) allows the definition and/or access to variables for the following areas:
- Application internal variables (GVR – Global Variables&References)
- Variables that can be used to access the IOs of the connected device
- Variables that are used for communication between the real-time application and one or more user application(s).
Data type In computer science and computer programming, a data type or simply type is a classification identifying one of various types of data, such as real, integer or Boolean, that determines the possible values for that type; the operations that can be done on values of that type; the meaning of the data; and the way values of that type can be stored. (from: Wikipedia EN: Data type)
Edit mode Edit mode is the basic state of the system. It is the state in which the work on a project is mainly done.
embedded systems An embedded system is a computer system with a dedicated function within a larger mechanical or electrical system, often with real-time computing constraints. It is embedded as part of a complete device often including hardware and mechanical parts. Embedded systems control many devices in common use today. (from: Wikipedia EN: Embedded system)
Flow Chart The page flow diagram is basically a flow chart for calling/visualizing HMI masks. The main difference is that basic elements of the page flow diagram (as f.e. if calls) cannot be seen on the first levels, but are wrapped in macro blocks.
Function block The function block is the smallest applicable unit of an application program in the PLC-related world. It is the central programming medium in our graphical programming system.
global parameter [yellow] A parameter, which has a yellow background is a global parameter, which is the same in all modes and thus overwrites the parameter when downloading on the controller.
(global) variable [light blue] A variable, which is available for all blocks in the whole program is called global variable.
Global Variable & References (GVR) Global Variable & References are application internal variables, which can be manipulated in any way.
HMI The HMI (Human Machine Interface) is the interface between human and machine. The HMI is f.e. a display, which can be programmed with test.con.
I/O Inputs/Outputs
IoT (Internet of Things) The Internet of Things describes the network and communication of different devices. Therefore, objects are equipped with sensors and chips, which makes them more productive, safer and more comfortable. An example for IoT might be a refrigerator, which orders new foods as soon as the food is finished.
Libraries Function blocks are mainly listed in libraries, which means that one library (also function block library) consists of several function blocks. All blocks, which are not structure blocks and do not come from the library “standard” are listed in function block libraries. Blocks with target functions belong to that category too, like parameter and visualization blocks.
Linked projects Linked projects are projects, which provide macros and programs as finished software modules for other projects. These projects are loaded in other projects as block libraries. Another often used term for these projects is “library projects”.
M-Bus M-Bus, short for Meter-Bus, is a technical norm by which the consumption of power f. e. in electric meters can be transmitted as measurement data. The consumption of gas, heat or water can be measured and transmitted by M-Bus through counters.
Macro block Macro blocks contain sub functions and serve modularization. As the system facilitates multiple calling of structure blocks with different parameter sets, it distinguishes between classes and instances.
Mask designer The mask designer is a graphical tool to design the user interface of the target system.
Modbus The Modbus protocol is a communication protocol, which is based on a master/slave or client/server architecture.
MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) MQTT is an ISO standard publish-subscribe-based "lightweight" messaging protocol for use on top of the TCP/IP protocol. It is designed for connections with remote locations where a "small code footprint" is required or the network bandwidth is limited. [Wikipedia EN: MQTT]
Online mode After successfully downloading a program into the simulation or a selected target system, online visualization starts automatically. During online visualization mode, visualization blocks show the current values of the connected signals.
PAC functionality The PAC functionality opens up the possibility to run any function with various measurement values and I/Os from calculations, connections and time and transfer elements autarchically (PC independent). You can activate or deactivate the general data access (read and write) from the real-time and user-space app on variables of the test controller. The default setting is activated.
parameter [white] Parameters with instance settings can be recognized by looking at the parameter box, it has a white background. Special care has to be taken with those parameters, as they can deviate from each other. 
Program block Programmbausteine are in the configuration level. They consist of function blocks, which are connected to a network. Multiple program blocks may exist in one application.
Run mode During run mode, the program is being generated, downloaded on the controller and it can be watched online. Visualization blocks show the current values of the connected signals.
Signal line Data transfer is done over signal lines between most blocks.
Structure block Macro and program blocks are called structure blocks.
System libraries A system library is a program library. It is only downloaded into the internal memory when needed and connected with the executable program by the so-called loader. That is why a library, which is used by multiple programs is only kept once in the internal memory.
UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is a third generation mobile cellular system for networks based on the GSM standard. Developed and maintained by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), UMTS is a component of the International Telecommunications Union IMT-2000 standard set and compares with the CDMA2000 standard set for networks based on the competing cdmaOne technology. UMTS uses wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) radio access technology to offer greater spectral efficiency and bandwidth to mobile network operators. [Wikipedia EN: UMTS (telecommunication)]
Q.station The Q.station is a Test Controller of the company Gantner Instruments. It is programmed graphically with test.con.
Real-time application Data transfer, data processing, data buffering are executed in the real-time kernel
test.commander The test controller is configured with test.comander. That means, that the standard configuration of the test controller can be read by test.commander and it can be adjusted to your own needs. For example, you can give new descriptions to IO channels.
test.con runtime With test.con runtime the created application can be visualized over the PC. test.con runtime is programmed in test.con, however, it runs independently thereof. test.con runtime is a Windows program, which directly logs on to the test controller and exchanges data and from a logic view it simulates a user task.
User-space application For programming a user-defined graphical interface of the integrated screen or a VNC server on a Q.station

Data types

Type name Size Range of value Description
BYTE 8 bit -128 ... 127 Two's complement value
CHAR 16 bit 0 ... 65.535 (f. e. 'A') Unicode sign (UTF-16)
DATE 16 bit D#1990-1-1 up to D#2168-12-31; f. e. DATE#2006-05-10 IEC date in 1 day steps
DOUBLE 64 bit +/-4,9E-324 ... +/-1,7E+308 64-bit IEEE 754, double precision
DT 64 bit DT#1990-1-1-0:0:0.0 bis DT#2089-12-31-23:59:59.999 (allowed range for entering date and time) DATE_AND_TIME defines a range of 64 bits; (8 bytes) and is saved in a binary coded decimal format
DYNTEXT   4095 characters The data type “dynamic texts” allows a memory-efficient processing of texts up to a maximum length of 4095 characters.
FLOAT 32 bit +/-1,4E-45 ... +/-3,4E+38 32-bit IEEE 754, it is recommended not to use this value for programs which calculate with high accuracy
LONG 64 bit -263 bis 263-1, starting with Java 8 also 0 to 264 -1 Two's complement value
LONGLONG 64 bit -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807  The type declaration character for LONGLONG is the sign caret (^). LONGLONG is only on 64 bit platforms a valid and declared type.
STRING   0 ... 2.147.483.647 characters A STRING is a sequence of characters. The data type STRING has a value range of all character strings. STRINGS are used within quotation marks; f. e. “abba”, “Hello Sir!”, “@%#&$”, “x” as well as “”. The length of a STRING is the number of characters. For example, the STRING “abba” has a length of 4. The empty STRING “” has a length of 0, as it contains 0 characters. The single characters of a STRING with the length n are numbered 0 up to n-1.
TEXT   2^31 - 1 (2.147.483.647) Non uni-code data of variable length in the code page of the server
TIME 32 bit -T#24D_20H_31M_23S_648MS up to T#24D_20H_31M_23S_647MS Duration in IEC format; IEC time in 1 ms steps, signed integer
TOD 32 bit TOD#0:0:0.0 up to TOD#23:59:59.999
f. e. TIME_OF_DAY#23:59:59,9
Time of Day: in 1 ms steps
UCHAR 8 bit 0…255 The difference to data type CHAR is that UCHAR is only used for positive values. The first name of the type UCHAR is the abbreviation of unsigned.
WORD 16 bit Binary numbers from 0 to 1111 1111 1111 1111
Hexadecimal W#16#0 - W#16#FFFF
BCD numbers from 0 to 999
Decimal unsigned B#(0,0) to B#(255,255)
Binary and hexadecimal number with 16 bits.