RTI’s Manager of Product Management, Lee Johnson announces the release of Connext 6, the latest version of the industry-leading Connext DDS software that has been in development for the last two years. Learn how Connext 6 and its new features address the needs of cutting-edge IIoT systems.

In Episode 35 of The Connext Podcast:

  • [0:49] What are the highlights of Connext 6?
  • [2:07] What new features will RTI customers be most interested in?
  • [4:29] How do customers access Connext 6?
  • [5:04] What are the key Connext 6 resources?
  • [6:04] What’s your advice for first-time users to get started with Connext 6?

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Podcast Transcription 

Steven Onzo:   Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of The Connext Podcast. Today I'm joined by a familiar voice. You may have heard him in previous episodes talking about emerging IIoT technology with RTI Labs or even as the host of a three-part series we did on Connext Tools for IIoT system development. I'd like to welcome back Manager of Product Management, Lee Johnson. Lee, thanks for joining us.

Lee Johnson: Thanks for having me.

Steven Onzo: Of course. We're here today to talk about some big news. And that is that RTI has a released Connext 6, the latest version of the industry leading Connext DDS software that has been in development for the last two years. And what I want to touch on today are some of the highlights for our customers. So once again, thanks for joining us. I know it's been a busy time as you get Connext 6 out the door.

Lee Johnson: It is indeed a busy time.

[0:49] What are the highlights of Connext 6?

Steven Onzo: So we've covered some of the highlights in earlier podcasts such as how Connext 6 addresses autonomous systems and connected healthcare. But what I'd like to know is what gets you most excited about Connext 6 as a whole?

Lee Johnson: Sure. Well, first and foremost, I want to acknowledge our customers, and their openness, and their willingness to collaborate with us throughout the Connext 6 development process. This is really essential as we built the understanding of their challenges, and needs, and use cases that ultimately drove the content of the Connext 6 release. And that level of partnership has truly been phenomenal. And it's humbling to know that while we're focused on making them successful, we have a lot of customers that are just as committed to our success. So, one of the things that gets me really excited about this release beyond the extensive collection, and new features, and functionality is how we've continued to evolve the Connext suite as a platform for distributed system connectivity. We had a big focus on enhancing interoperability among the Connext products that are part of our suite as well as extending support for things like security and other productivity features to the rest of the product line.

[2:07] What new features will RTI customers be most interested in?

Steven Onzo: Great. You mentioned customer collaboration as part of the Connext 6 development and beta testing. What were some of the features that customers were most interested in?

Lee Johnson: Those features tended to be the more prominent ones that represented bigger projects as part of Connext 6. Things like the next generation of our routing service. The next generation of our recording service come to mind immediately. Generally there's been a lot of interest in performance improvements that Connext 6 brings to bear, specifically in cases of handling large data samples. It's also a very common interest among our customers with respect to interoperability among products and releases as well as procedures for migrating and upgrading systems from previous releases of Connext.

Steven Onzo: Right. I just want to go back. You made a point about handling large data as a motivator for Connext 6. Features like Flat Data and Zero Copy over shared memory. Can you elaborate on this a little bit?

Lee Johnson: Yeah, sure thing. And we did discuss these in a lot more detail in some previous podcasts. So I'll spare you the gory details. But these features, our Flat Data API, our Zero Copy of our shared memory transport were really motivated by use cases that specifically deal with massive data flows. For example, the data flows in autonomous vehicle applications where you have information image data coming from high definition cameras or from lidar sensors. And being transported into fusion applications. Or also in healthcare in medical imaging applications. And specifically, the new Flat Data and Zero Copy features were developed to reduce CPU overhead and the latencies incurred when dealing with large data samples in the system. And these performance hits specifically occur when you're deserializing and serializing those samples as well as copying them as part of your application.

[4:29] How do customers access Connext 6?

Steven Onzo: Excellent. Well, thanks for touching on that. In the beginning of our conversation, I mentioned that RTI has released Connext 6. Now how does the customer go about accessing it?

Lee Johnson: Yeah. Well, customers could download Connext 6 immediately through the RTI Support Portal. There they'll find updates to all of the products, our target libraries, add-on components, as well as documentation. Additionally, I mentioned that our current customers can access Connext 6 at no charge and their current licenses, their Connext Version 5 licenses will work to run Connext 6.

[5:04] What are the key Connext 6 resources?

Steven Onzo: Okay. So say you've downloaded Connext 6 and your system is up and running. From here, what key Connext 6 resources would you highlight? In other words, where can customers go to better understand Connext as a user?

Lee Johnson: Yeah, we've got a lot of great technical resources and developer pages on the RTI website, which I'd recommend they check out. But in addition, we also have a fantastic body of content on the RTI community website at community.rti.com. This starts with a knowledge base of things like best practices, and how to's, examples, solutions, and more to use as resources and during development and deployment of applications as well as providing access to all of the Connext product documentation and a form to interact with the Connext user community and RTI experts.

[6:04] What’s your advice for first-time users to get started with Connext 6?

Steven Onzo: Fantastic. Finally, what's your advice for folks who aren't customers? What's the best way for them to get started?

Lee Johnson: Yeah, so if you're interested in trying Connext 6, I recommend you go to our website and download our 30-day free trial. This will give you access to the suite of Connext products, our run-time services, our developer tools, and give you a chance to really test drive it. And from there, we provide a set of getting started resources on the RTI website and the community pages. Things like videos, demos, application examples, and more to get users started.

Something new that we're rolling out with this release is an online Connext 6 migration guide. This is a living document that intends to capture the considerations, procedures, and guidance for customers to upgrade their systems from the Connext 5.3 release to the Connext 6 release.

Steven Onzo: Well, Lee, I want to thank you, again, for taking the time to join us on the podcast. That was short and sweet. And we'll look forward to more episodes on features in the future. I think this is something that our customers and even folks who are just interested in the product will find very helpful.

Lee Johnson: Thanks, Steven. It's been my pleasure.

Steven Onzo: And to all the listeners, thanks for tuning in and listening to The Connext Podcast. We'll see you next time.

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