TopView vs Competition
*(For best results, change quality to 1080P and then click  in the lower right corner to watch full screen)
Tags and alarms can be imported and exported by csv. Contacts, schedules, and escalations can also be imported and exported by csv.
Tags can be imported from the HMI, but cannot be edited by csv afterward. This is very difficult for changes if you need to change only one item in each alarm, such as "clear on ack". Contacts must also be set up manually, which can be very slow for users with a large number of users on rotation.
Most changes can be applied without a restart. If a restart is required, then the user is prompted.
The Scan & Alarm program must be manually restarted if there are any changes in the Configurator. There is no warning or status to notify the user to do this. It is very common for operators to make changes to the callout list and forget to restart. Therefore, new changes don't get implemented.
Voice and text can be staggered per user by using Escalation. Each user can be placed on their own escalation and the escalations can be staggered without overlapping text and voice.
Voice and text process their call lists independently but simultaneously. Users must "guess" how long it will take to respond to a voice call and try to stagger the voice and SMS. However, this cannot work consistently because voice calls and retries cannot be predicted easily.
Voice notification continues in Windows 10 by using VOIP. VOIP is also available in previous versions of Windows.
TAPI modem support will no longer be provided for Windows 10 installations, so voice calls will no longer work. Many municipalities rely on voice calls for backup when they do not hear the notification or buzz from a text message.
Users can disable alarms individually.
Users cannot disable alarms individually. The delay must exist in the HMI, which is not practical since the user may want to be notified on the HMI, but not called after hours. A "workaround" is to create a separate callout group that does nothing, but this can be confusing to operators when making changes.
Individual alarm delays are available for notification, as well as individual schedules and priorities.
There are no individual alarm delays for notification. The entire group can be delayed, but not individual alarms with different times.
Changing on-call contacts and schedules is very easy and intuitive and does not require digging deep into the menus. A separate program is also available that makes for easy access to call-out groups, contacts, and schedules, so operators do not have access to the more sensitive programming changes.
Changing contacts that are on-call inside of a group is very unintuitive for operators. The user must dig deep to find the call-out operators and order of call out.
Schedules can be set without restrictions.
Does not allow a schedule to cross midnight. Therefore, you must place an operator that wants to be called from 5pm to 8am into two separate callouts (5pm-11:59pm, 12:00am-8am)
Alarm acknowledges can be made by email, so no cell modem or monthly service is required to send and acknowledge text messages by using email.
Alarms cannot be acknowledged by email. The user must call in to acknowledge or pay for a cellular modem and monthly SMS service in order to acknowledge by text. Acknowledges by SMS are confusing and require typing in a code.
Mobile Web App included for free. It is hosted locally, so it will work on a user's phone or tablet after they VPN into the network. It does not require any external web server or access to the internet outside of the local network.
Mobile App requires a web server to feed data externally over the internet outside of the local network. Most IT departments do not allow this.
Alarm viewer is visually nice and provides a large degree of status information.
Alarm viewer looks dated and cannot be made full screen or run in the system tray without constantly being visible on the taskbar.
Intuitive interface. TopView uses text-based menus that require very little help to understand.
Confusing interface. Icons are used for selections and require hover-over tool tips in order to see the text for what the icon represents. Icons look like Windows 3.1 (if anyone still remembers that).
Admin Tools application provides a large amount of status information. Dozens of status tags are available to the HMI.
Closest equivalent to Admin Tools is the ability to log history for different modules. However, the log history is blended in with the alarm history making it difficult to find information. Status tags must be created manually and are limited.
Alarm history provides detailed information and quick retrieval. It also includes diagnsotics reports that most major HMIs don't include. Optional SQL server storage.
Alarm history is text file based and very limited. Status information is blended in with alarm history creating clutter. Very primitive interface.
Reports by email or text are formatted nicely and feature rich. Report requests are intuitive.
Reports are text-based and limited. Requesting a report requires a numeric code that the user must memorize.
Premium voices made by CereVoice cost $100 through Benchmark for Windows 7 or Windows Server. Click samples below. Windows 10 users can use Microsoft Zira with similar results to premium voices.
Premium voice costs $400 for a predefined 3-pack. Premium voice is a requirement for either software in Win7 because the standard Microsoft Voices are very hard to understand and do not have speed adjustments.
Redundancy does not depend on external sources. Failover (Primary HMI Server to Seconday HMI Server) is added by merely adding a ":" in the server name. Hot Backup is accomplished by the Backup engine monitoring the Primary engine for failures.
Hot Backup relies on external applications to place the Primary into standby and the Backup active. System Platform cannot accomplish this without an Intouch client. Failover does not exist.
Benchmark Software has extensive experience with the competing software used for comparisons. Comparisons above are based on the Professional version of the competing software. The Enterprise version does share additional features with TopView, but also adds components that confuse users such as "tactics & strategies". However, the Enterprise version is still missing key features and connectivity, and many end users will not use it due to instability issues. Since it has not been adopted universally, Benchmark will not be providing a comparison with that version of the product.
Win-911 and the Win-911 Logo are registered trademarks of WIN-911 Software, Inc.
All statements above are based on the detailed experience that Benchmark has with both products and were not provided by EXELE Information Systems, Inc.