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Guest rbumm

Some details on SimConnect and the FSX Beta

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Hi, for those who did not install the FSX beta yet here are some details: http://scinet.blogspot.com/2006/09/amazing.htmlI downloaded it from fileplanet primarily because of the SDK. In short, you will need a one month subscription ($7) from fileplanet to download the beta from http://www.fileplanet.com/166945/160000/fi...r-X-Beta-ClientAs long as you do not have a beta product registration, you are kicked out of FSX after 30 minutes, but you can restart. The beta key link at fileplanet does not work - 'invalid email adress'. I am amazed with the product - and in particular, the SDK's. FSX Deluxe will come with SimConnectCamera ConfigurationMission creationAutogen SDKBGL CompilerSpecial Effects SDKTerrain SDKTraffic ToolboxAs mostly interested in interaction with FSX parameters, SimConnect was tested with good success. Writing the first interface from scratch took less than 90 min. I was able to compile a console application as well as a WIN32 module using Visual C++. Microsoft delivers a professional, HTML-based documentation together with the product. Generally, SimConnect will be installed in every FSX installation.It is a DLL included in the installation. You can install SimConnect (with a special installer) on remote machines which interact with a FSX installation. E.g., placing a laptop (without FSX) next to your flighsim PC for the display of some gauges, flight tracking, autopilot is possible. FSX will no longer load DLL's during startup, unless you tell the program to do this. Two XML documents (exe.xml and dll.xml) are to be used to instruct loading of DLL's and EXE files. Microsoft recommends to design addons as EXE files rather than DLL's, so that problems in your addon do not interfere with the FSX engine. This is great also because you do not have to stop / restart the flightsim during the development / debugging processes. Just compile your new EXE version of the addon with FSX running in the background, connect, and test immediately.Within Visual C++, using Simconnect is as easy as adding a header (simconnect.h) and adding a library file in project options (simconnect.lib). DLL projects now need a definition file with undecoration of DLLStart and DLLStop, but that should be it. If you compile an EXE and start this within or without the FSX home directory, you receive an error message - a complain that your EXE cannot find SimConnect.dll. Hidden in the directories of the installation is the solution: Every instance of your EXE should have an additional (manifest) module in the same directory - place a copy of this in the same directory as a SimConnect client .exe and change that copy's name to the same name as the client .exe with ".manifest" appended to it - that's it. youraddon.exe PLUSyouraddon.exe.manifestThe documentation says that there will be new versions of the SDK out from time to time, but there is backward compatibility. Adding menu entries to FSX via SimConnect is included.Window management within FSX is not included - at least I did not find it yet. So opening 'your own window' or displaying 'your own dialog box' is not (yet) possible. In conclusion, I like the product very much. The SDK's really seem to be what we have waited for so long !! rudolfBTW: Hardware requirements for FSX are obviously much less than stated previously. I was able to run the Beta nicely ('medium high') even from a USB-connected external hard drive on a 2 Ghz Pentium 4 with a cheap Radeon graphic card and 1 Gb RAM. Please dont buy new hardware unless you have tested FSX on your old systems.

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Thanks for the infos rudolf!Definitively convinced that simConnect is new step in add-on developping (and I hope, freeware addons).I will take some time for studying all of this at the time of the final release (don't want to pay an unknown company just for a beta)Did you see any signs of the Panels & gauges SDK ? As for FS8 & 9 it was IMHO the most complete SDK for programming inside FS. The panel system had a lot of change with new XML keywords and views. I hope ACES will publish SDK on their website (and quickly :)), like they did for previous versions. -- -lc

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Hi lc, Yes, there is the panels and gauges SDK. I have never used the current one before, so I cannot really comment on the changes. The tutorial says: "XML gauges are described in full, along with a tutorial that shows the creation of a simple fuel pressure gauge, and a slightly more complex stopwatch gauge. The Panel folder contains the panel background image files (.bmps) and the panel configuration file (Panel.cfg). When Flight Simulator loads an aircraft, it also loads the appropriate panel configuration file."Quite obviously there are a lot of examples and samples implemented. Simconnect has a total of 27 samples ranging from AI Traffic, camera, joystick input, opening and closing connections, sending and receiving data. These are all c++ samples for simple console applications (command line, no graphical user interface) and Visual C++ project files. Forgot in the previous post: The documemtation says that "SimConnect does not support FS9 or earlier FS versions". regardsrudolf

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