What our customers have to say…

Thank you so much for all your time. Cogent has always been so responsive and forthright. How refreshing.

We were able to make the connection this morning as you described. The problem was with our new router that does not offer fixed IP addresses, and the service provider did not respond well to our requests for assistance. Your advice was most helpful, and we are now up and running.

We have a small operation for trading and the Cogent DataHub helps us delegate information to monitor positions. It has allowed us to be extremely efficient and profitable.

Once again, thank you very much.

Will Hartnett

Aspire Technology provides support and consulting services to small enterprises in Sydney, Australia. Dealing primarily in the financial services market, our clients deal with real time pricing information which is critical to their businesses. One of our largest clients, a boutique energy broking firm, required development of a spreadsheet which could store bid/offer pricing information for a number of different energy products. Additional to this, the spreadsheet needed to be distributed to each of the brokers over two offices 1000Km apart with the most recent prices changes replicated in real time.

Initially we looked at developing a client/server application, but the cost of the project was to range from $20,000 – $60,000. It was at this time, that I came across Cogent through a web search. After downloading the demonstration version and some contact with Cogent support staff, we got a simple spreadsheet running between 5 users across three offices in two cities in two different states. Initially we struggled with the amount of calculation being done to replicate the data. With over 1500 data points in the spreadsheet, we needed the most efficient way of handling this. With no programming skill sets in house, we approached Cogent to assist. They were more than willing to do what they could to make it work, providing some customized VBA coding to make it sing.

All up, the project cost under $10,000 in software licenses and programming and we now have a spreadsheet which show’s live prices, and changes cell colours for a short period when a cell value changes. We have since extended the spreadsheet to allow text notes to be entered for each client so that the brokers have a communications log and an understanding of each client’s requirements, even if they don’t talk with that client directly. It has revolutionized the amount of communication between the brokers and optimized the service provided to the clients.

We were delighted with the level of service Cogent provided throughout the project. With extreme timezone differences, Cogent’s support staff made themselves available well into the night to allow phone and email contact to work through any problems we experienced. All of our questions were answered promptly and in great detail to ensure we understood exactly what was going on. It has been a pleasure dealing with them, and I look forward to recommending their products in future situations.


Paul Findlay

Until recently our company sustained continual difficulties transferring data in real-time from open Excel workbooks on our server to a number of workstations each using open Excel workbooks. Workbooks running on workstations were required to update workbooks on the server simultaneously.

Workbooks used are large, contain many thousands of links and utilize numerous macros to function. We ran into many difficulties using Excel as a ‘Real-Time Data Server’ as well as suffering from the limitations of ‘File Sharing’ etc.

Requirements were to transfer live market data linked via DDE in an open Excel workbook on a server as fast as possible to open Excel workbooks on a number of workstations and to retrieve processed data in return.

Our company operates a local network utilizing a server running Windows 2003 x64 with 5 workstations running Windows XP professional. All were running office 2003.

Software purchased from Cogent namely the Cascade DataHub and the Cascade Connect programs were very easy to install and operate.

Most importantly Cascade DataHub and Cascade Connect operate independently from Excel and with the ability to act both as a DDE client and a DDE server simultaneously the functionality of Excel itself is not inhibited in any way.

We recommend anyone to use this software to efficiently transfer data from any Excel file to any other Excel file via a local network.

Yours faithfully

Allan Barrow
Managing Director

As the head of research of The Risk Management Group I wish to compliment you on your product and your support. You have shown remarkable and unusual responsiveness to our needs. Our infrastructure needs are fast evolving and sometimes complex as we are fast adapting to client needs. We broadcast significant amounts of data internally across quite an heterogeneous environment (hardware-wise, we use Xeon, Pentium, Opteron and Pentium-M machines, among others, using both 100Mb and 1Gig Ethernet) for a number of downstream analytical applications. Those applications are financial, high-value-added, mission-critical applications, relying on timely delivery of data.

You have succeeded in providing us with both the solution we required, and perhaps most importantly to us, the willingness in alleviating all issues we have unearthed, whether stemming from user error, or from enhancements we requested from your very fine product. We fully expect to continue to use your product – and you as a firm – in the future as an integral part of the value we are and will continue to provide to our clients.

Thanks very much,
Patrick Amon
Head of Research
The Risk Management Group (Suisse) SA

For several years, I have had the opportunity to invest a considerable amount of capital in our chocolate making facility. A good part of that money has been invested in automation control systems. My original objective was to take the full operation away from manual systems and create the roots of automation. The challenges that we faced were many, starting with old habits, old basic machines and not enough funds to start from scratch.

To minimize the possibility of failure and to maximize our value for money, the right people had to be found and trusted with this task.

We are overwhelmingly pleased that the choice to use your company (Cogent) has proven many times over to have been the right one. As you know, the systems that your company has worked on are model systems within the Cadbury World Family.

I am personally impressed and thankful with the limited amount of direct instructions that I was required to give Cogent on each project. However, the results have always been beyond expectations. The operator involvement style that we experimented with on these projects has become a standard in Cadbury.

On behalf of the operators, supervisors and managers at Cadbury, I thank you for all your good work and we look forward to our next project.

It was a pleasure working with you on the process control project. Your willingness and adaptability to our schedule was greatly appreciated.

On review of the document you sent, I was very impressed with the detail and knowledge of our process. You have captured all the necessary information. In addition, you have done an excellent job of explaining the benefits of process control and how your ideas fit into the current process and with future projects here at Dell.

We appreciate the time you spent with us. We look forward to pursuing this project with you in the coming months.

The Maser-8 sounding rocket mission funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and launched in May -99, contained four experiments. For one of these experiments, the Automation and Robotics Section of ESA was asked to develop the ground data distribution network to deliver telemetry data to monitor stations both locally at the launch site and also remotely to the Institute of the Principal Investigator (PI) in Brussels, Belgium. The PI team wanted to develop their own scientific MMI applications running under Windows. The data rate from the rocket is too high to transfer all data across an ISDN network, so it was necessary to introduce a filtering system between the telemetry distribution and the scientific MMI. This was solved by introducing a QNX computer running the Cascade DataHub. A small application extracted the data needed by the MMI and put them into the Cascade DataHub. From there on it was automatically distributed via a TCP/IP network to the MMI computers both locally and remotely. The PI also used the database as a very simple mechanism to send data from one MMI to another by writing commands into the database. This allowed them to completely concentrate on the development of their MMI without having to spend time on writing any software for network communication.

A small Gamma application, based on one of the examples provided by Cogent, was developed to work as a Telemetry simulator. This application was feeding the database with random data, which was very useful for the PI team during development of their MMI.

The system worked very well, and all parties involved were very pleased with the functionality provided by the Cascade DataHub. There were some initial problems of using Cascade Connect together with LabView, but this was easily solved with the excellent help from technical staff at Cogent.

Since the Cascade DataHub is completely configurable (even at run-time), the developed system can be reused for future missions without any modifications of the QNX system.

For any application which needs to do real-time data collection and distribution, the DataHub is the obvious choice.

It is my pleasure to report the results of some contract development work that Cogent performed for us. The prior contract work involved developing some I/O drivers for use with our OMNX Direct Control Software. Their work provided us with a reliable high performance I/O driver that was suitable for use in our Mission Critical applications. Cogent has demonstrated superior quality while delivering on time.

This letter is to confirm that Cogent has been involved with our company for a number of years. This relationship has taken a variety of forms: initially, Cogent was our customer; now they are both a customer and an active member of our Third Party Partners Program. Most recently, we hired them as consultants for their expertise in QNX, Photon, and in object-oriented programming. We value the relationship, whatever the form.

Cogent, as a company, may be considered relatively young. However, most of their employees had been active QNX developers prior to the formation of Cogent. Therefore, the technical expertise of the company goes well beyond that of a young company. In fact, Cogent generally participates in all of our beta test programs and can be relied on to give accurate and useful information pertaining to the development of our products.

Cogent has an excellent reputation as active members of the QNX community. My personal experience with them has been very positive; they’re not only a pleasure to work with, but true professionals as well.

Two things I appreciate about Cogent are your forthrightness with issues, and your quick replies to technical questions. You can quote us on that, if you want ;-)


Our company has developed an automation system for Engine Gas Compressors in 1998. Development started in February and lasted till September. In September our control system has passed first real tests.

Almost all of programming was done by two programmers – Vadim B. and me. Vadim wrote VME bus manager and all of low-level I/O tasks. I did control applications and GUI. I believe I couldn’t do so much if I was writing only in C. Cogent software let me do it. We have used Cascade DataHub (real-time database) and Gamma programming language. It was our first experience with Cascade DataHub and Gamma, and very successful one. I had lots of questions about Gamma, and Cogent support people provided very prompt response. They have answered my questions, shared some ideas with me (it’s great!), and gave me newest versions of their software.

I can’t help saying a few words about Gamma. It is really great idea to attach C-like syntax parser to LISP machine. When I saw Gamma first time, I was really amazed by samples provided (now I know they show just a little part of good features). The one thing that means everything is that now I believe that almost any program written in Gamma is 3-5 times shorter then the same written in C. It goes for small and big programs. I’m sure that the shorter is the program the easier it is for writing, debugging and understanding. That’s why I recommend using Gamma – it lets you save your time.

I want to express my appreciation of your product Cascade Connect. We have used it in a development project in-house during the past year and have found it to be a reliable link between our QNX-based industrial controller and our InTouch operator interface.

What is often just as important, in an integration or development project, is the level of technical support provided by a software vendor. The support provided by your company has been excellent; when there have been questions, you have patiently gone through the problem, step-by-step, until all issues have been resolved.

Project Overview
The project’s goal was to create a multi-axis machine controller for tube bending equipment. The control included a real-time control component, and a user interface. To accomplish this, two computers were used. One running QNX 4.2 for the real-time control, the other running NT 4.0 Workstation for the user interface and external connections.

Cogent Products
We use Cogent’s Cascade Connect for the NT/QNX communications. It saved us considerable time during development. It also removed one source of potential problems. The performance is good and the product is relatively easy to use. It is certainly a much better solution that developing the connection software from scratch.

In the control, each physical subsystem is controlled by a QNX task. Functionality such as administration, sequencing, interference, and safety is provided by other QNX tasks. To accomplish communications between the tasks, Cogent’s Cascade DataHub, was used. The data base supplied a central point for task communications. Tasks can easily send and receive messages via the database without having to make major changes. The real benefits are the following.

The communications between tasks can be monitored using the DataHub. Often adding a new task that is co-ordinated with other tasks, will not require the changing of the other tasks. This is possible since the new task can be triggered from existing database points. The DataHub allows the development and testing of co-ordinated tasks without all the tasks being written. The communication is simulated by setting and reading database points. The digital IO control component uses Cogent’s driver for the Hilscher Interbus card. This combination was selected due to high speed IO requirements and easy integration to the Cascade DataHub. Using the data base for the IO allows any task to monitor the status of the physical equipment.

Cogent People
For most of the people on our team, this was their first QNX project. One of our team members was supplied by Cogent. He became an integral part of the team, providing the expertise we needed for QNX. Questions/issues with the Cogent products were directed through him back to the Cogent technical group for resolution.

I am a scientist in an experimental lab that studies brain mechanisms of visual perception. Basically, we run experiments by showing different things on video displays and having humans or animals respond in some way to what they see. During the course of the experiment, we measure behavior and brain activity. We use QNX to control the experiments.

I became interested in Gamma when I found out that there was integrated support for the PhAB widgets. Already we had a number of programs in the lab using Photon for displaying data, eye position of our subjects, the status of the experiment, etc. However, because multiple investigators are running a variety of experiments, there are project specific things that need to be monitored for different experiments. For offline analysis we have been using Tcl/Tk + some internal data analysis extensions. This has worked very well, but under QNX, running Tk for graphical apps is not ideal. However, we still have Tcl (8.0) running, along with our in-house extensions. My idea was to connect Tcl to Gamma, and use PhAB to build the display widgets. We then integrated a Qnx Send command into our Tcl shell, which sends messages to a Gamma shell that has loaded the PhAB widget. With just a couple of Tcl <-> Gamma commands, our users can access the Photon widget from Tcl, without even knowing that Gamma (or the underlying lisp interpreter) is doing the work…

So, to make a long story short, we use Gamma as very powerful glue to tie one scripting language that is common throughout the lab (Tcl) into Photon. Because y’all have done such a marvelous job with Gamma, we can access all this very easily. Changes are effortless, and require no compilation, and we retain the power of PhAB. Not a bad combination!