Ways to Access Custom Applications
MATLAB users have several different options for achieving streamlined access to their custom applications. The following section gives an overview of these approaches and their advantages and disadvantages.
Approach 1: Add Custom Buttons to the Launcher (Preferred)
The SoniVue Application Launcher enables Verasonics users to access custom applications by extending the list of user-defined Application Buttons. This is the preferred and easiest way for generating GUI-based access to custom applications. The advantage of the Launcher is that it ensures that the Vantage software is correctly activated once the Launcher is being displayed. This will guarantee that subsequent calls to the Vantage software (e.g., VSX, various scripts) will execute properly.
The Launcher stores the application information in two local databases (i.e., app-info database): one for the predefined applications and one for the user-defined applications. The user can add and remove custom application definitions to and from the custom app-info database by using a few simple commands. Detailed instructions are included in the SoniVue-Application-Launcher App Notes. No knowledge of GUI programming is required for adding or removing custom applications. Figure 3 shows an example of a user-defined application added to the Launcher.
Figure 3: Launcher interface with a custom application added to the User Application section.
Approach 2: MATLAB App section (User-defined MATLAB Apps)
Adding a new icon to the MATLAB App section (i.e., like the SoniVue Launcher icon in Figure 1) that uses Vantage software is not as straightforward and may impose complexity. However, MATLAB does allow its customers to add custom, standalone applications to the MATLAB App toolbar as an alternative.
Additionally, adding an application that uses Vantage software by only using the MATLAB approach may not work properly or may lead to misleading results. The reason for this is how MATLAB makes the app available. That internal process conflicts with the activate strategy of Verasonics’ Vantage software.
Conflicts may occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- The user already activated a Verasonics version
- The user calls activate in its startup function
- The user did not activate the current version
- The version that is currently activated does not match the version that is installed
- If the platform (e.g., MacOS, Windows) of the installer and the current running system do not match
- Because of the usage of MATLAB’s evalin function and other reasons, the dependency analysis may not capture all functions that are necessary to execute the software
- And other reasons
Approach 3: Compiled MATLAB Applications
In addition to the first approach, the MATLAB Compiler provides two benefits that may be of interest to Verasonics customers.
The Compiler allows an application to be distributed as a standalone software application to any number of computers, without the need for a MATLAB installation and the resulting license fee for each computer. Note, however, that all the Vantage systems must be licensed for use with the Vantage software.
The compiler securely encrypts all the code in an executable, preventing the code from being modified or inspected in the deployed application. This can be useful when the user has written an application and needs to protect the application code.
For more details, please refer to the application notes.