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<== Date ==> <== Thread ==>

Subject: EPICS Version 4.5
From: "White, Greg" <greg@slac.stanford.edu>
To: EPICS mailing list <tech-talk@aps.anl.gov>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 17:56:03 +0000
The EPICS Version 4 Working Group is pleased to announce the final release of the latest version of our EPICS v4 software, version 4.5.

v4.5 builds on the enormous performance upgrades of v4.4, with further performance improvements, usability improvements, and bug fixes throughout the system.

New features have also been added.

EPICS v4.5 makes it easier than ever to use the Normative Types - the v4 standard types for scientific data. For C++, new wrappers and builders have been added, and a whole new library to help use the Normative Types has been added for Java.

A new easy-to-use synchronous API for pvAccess (the new protocol of EPICS Version 4), has been added, for both C++ and Java, named pvaClientCPP/Java. Also, the existing Java API, easyPVAJava, gets new features to support PVs whose value is the composite of multiple channels (NTMultiChannel). These will be moved to pvaClientJava in following releases.

pvDatabase is a server-side software framework for writing high-performance network-accessible applications. It implements a memory-resident database of records defined in terms of pvData structures. Like the IOC database of EPICS base, the records of pvDatabase can process on I/O events; unlike the IOC the records may be of any structure the engineer wishes, and may pull in data from any pvAccess-ible data source, plus Channel Access. pvDatabase images may be standalone, or hosted within an IOC, where they might interface directly to base records, asynchronous device driver support (asynDriver), or detector control (areaDetector). 
    pvDatabase, which was introduced in the v4.4 release only in C++ form, is now also available in Java. For v4.5 the C++ pvDatabase has been extended with simplified monitoring. The C++ version of pvDatabase is then useful for complex optimal control tasks, data assembly, and preprocessing. It has already found particular use for preparation of detector image data fanout and processing. The Java version shows promise in such things as monitoring computed accelerator beam optics parameters.

All the command line tools; pvget, pvput, eget and pvinfo now support Channel Access as well as pvAccess.  

The Python support has been extended to support unions, and to use native Python methods for get and set operations.


v4.5 supports all versions of EPICS Base since late 3.14.12 (specifically including all 3.15 releases). The C++ implementations compile under recent versions of Linux, MacOS, VxWorks (6.8 and 6.9) and RTEMS. The Java implementation now requires Java 7 or later.

Downloads of both implementations are available from SourceForge:
    https://sourceforge.net/projects/epics-pvdata/files/4.5.0/

More technical details and documentation can be found through the EPICS Version 4 project website:
    http://epics-pvdata.sourceforge.net

Questions and discussion about EPICS Version 4 should be directed to this EPICS tech-talk mailing list.

Many thanks to everyone who helped develop and test this version of the software.

- Greg White and Andrew Johnson, EPICS v4 Working Group chairs

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