Kiosk Software – Under the Hood
InTiles was built using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Microsoft latest technology. WPF is what makes it possible to build a kiosk interface that is both visually stunning and extremely flexible. Looking good is not enough for a kiosk browser, it needs an engine to display the web content. InTiles has two to choose from.
Two programming languages are involved in building InTiles:
- XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) is the language behind the visual presentation or the kiosk user interface, just as HTML is the language behind the visual presentation of a Web page.
- C# (pronounced C-sharp) is an object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft. It is used to program InTiles functionality.
Therefore WPF makes it possible to implement the functionality separately from the user-interface, which makes to code clearer and easier to maintain.
The tool used to write code (c# and XAML) and compile it into an application is Microsoft Visual Studio, an integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft.
InTiles relies on two different browser engine to display the kiosk web content:
- Internet Explorer (IE) through the WPF WebBrowser class, which relies on IE being installed on the kiosk computer. InTiles and IE share the same cache and the same cookies.
- Chrome through the EO.WebBrowser class. Unlike IE, EO.WebBrowser does not rely on Google Chrome being installed.
A third browser engine is used by InTiles, Awesomium, also based on Chrome. This was the main and only browser engine included in InTiles version 1 but was replaced by EO.WebBrowser in version 2 for its more up to date Chrome version. It is still used to display web content in buttons, something it does better than the other two because it is windowless.