The latest version 3.6.0 of our professional, but yet easy-to-use digital signage software “FrontFace for Public Displays“ is now available and comes with a great new feature: Event-controlled scheduling of playlists! This new feature is perfectly suited to implement applications such as digital welcome boards.
Event-controlled Scheduling of Playlists:
Apart from the common, timer-based scheduling feature of FrontFace for Public Displays, a new way of controlling playlists has been added with this release: Event-controlled playlists. Anything that is able to raise events (e.g. sensors or external systems like an Exchange calendar*) can be used to start playlists for a specified timespan. The event-based scheduling works hand-in-hand with the traditional, timer-based scheduling of playlists so that when a playlist is started by an event for a given timespan, the player application can later on “fall back” to the previously running playlist that has been started by a timer-based schedule. This makes event-based scheduling a perfect choice for implementing digital signage applications like short news breaks, notices, call-ups or ad hoc information inserts.
“Calendar” Event Source Plugin for Appointment-controlled Playlists with Placeholder Support:
By using so called “Event Source Plugins”, external systems that raise events can be easily integrated into the FrontFace software. By default we include the new “Calendar” event source plugin which adds a calendar to the Display Assistant that you can use to manage appointments. These appointments can then trigger a playlist of your choice once they become due. It is also possible to set the value of placeholder texts used in your playlists by an appointment in the calendar. So you can really easily implement e.g. a digital welcome board that welcomes visitors at your company’s site with a personalized welcome message! While the normal, timer-based scheduling is used to show playlists with general information during the time when no visitors are expected, the event-based scheduling pops up the personalized welcome message every time an appointment of the internal calendar is due. Further event source plugins will be released shortly on our Website for facilitating many other interesting use cases!
Plugin SDK is now available Free of Charge:
The FrontFace Plugin SDK allows developers to implement their own, custom functionality which can then be hosted in FrontFace for Public Displays or FrontFace for Touch Kiosks. By using the Microsoft .NET 4 Framework and the WPF technology, plugins can be developed in programming languages such as C# or VB.NET. Apart from normal plugins that can be used to integrate external data sources or systems into playlists or kiosk applications, the SDK now also provides the necessary interfaces to implement custom event source plugins so that you can also control playlist scheduling from external systems. The FrontFace Plugin SDK is now available free of charge and can be used both this trial version and the full version of any FrontFace product.
Other new Features and Enhancements in this Release:
- Page shortcuts are now being checked for duplicates in the Display Assistant. A page shortcut allows calling up a certain page (also if marked as hidden) of a playlist when a specific key on the keyboard is pressed.
- The overall usability of the scheduling in the Display Assistant has been improved.
- Interacting with the Web browser engine of FrontFace by mouse, keyboard or touch now works in all cases as expected.
- The overall compatibility of the built-in PDF viewer has been improved further.
- Placeholders (for text elements) can now be used in playlists that are either scheduled by a timer or by an event.
- The user manual of FrontFace for Public Displays has been reworked and now also includes a section that explains how to implement a “digital welcome board”.
- The logging and tracing functionality of the FrontFace Player Application has been enhanced to simplify debugging in case of a technical problem.
*) An event source plugin that allows the integration of Microsoft Exchange calendars will be available shortly as a separate download on our Website. It is not included in the default setup package of FrontFace.
A fully-functional, free demo version of FrontFace for Public Displays is available for download on our Website. The update to this new version is free of charge for all customers that have a valid updates & support period for their licens!. The update can also be downloaded on the product Website.