Tuesday, November 14, 2006

User Extensible Agronomic Models Utilizing Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.

Michael C. Sturgill1, Gail Wilkerson2, and Gregory S. Buol1. (1) North Carolina State Univ, Crop Science Dept, PO Box 7620, Raleigh, NC 27695-7620, (2) PO Box 7620, North Carolina State University, North Carolina State University, Crop Science Department, Raleigh, NC 27695-7620

In the past, the development of an agronomic model required all components for handling water balance, soil properties, photosynthesis, economic computations and data access to be available at the time the model was created. Any change in one of these components necessitated a complete rebuild of the model’s executable file. Model users have long desired a solution where they can change or modify components of a given model without having to reconstruct the entire computer program or have access to all of the source code. Through the use of Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, extensible component model development is now available for Microsoft Windows-based computers across multiple programming languages. The NCSU HADSS (Herbicide Application Decision Support System) uses this extensible component technology to access herbicide efficacy, weed and crop data in XML, Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 databases. In this architecture, the user interface is separate from decision components which are separate from data access components. The technology allows the HADSS decision engine to run on three different computer platforms without any changes to the source code. HADSS runs on Windows desktop computers using Access, XML or SQL Server databases, Pocket PC computers using XML or SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition based data and web servers using Access or SQL Server databases. The use of component architecture allows different user interfaces on different computing platforms. The methods used in HADSS to allow extensible data access and flexible interface design will be demonstrated.