I want to build a visual radio link budget tool.
Ideally you can drag and drop components and then calculate a link budget through the system. I would like to have a database/store of all the components we use regularly that you can just pick from a list/drag from a library.
I have attempted to do this in Excel, which can easily handle the maths, but it is not very flexible or pretty. I have also looked into doing this in Visio (with the database plugin for the store), but the database functionality in Visio 2007 Pro doesn't quite seem to do what I want. It can only read from databases and not write to them (or at least not with as much flexibility as I would like).
I have some experience with webdev, and so was looking into some ajax app where you can drag in components. I tried Symfony, but it seems overly complicated.
I am basically looking for suggestions. Web or desktop based GUI building apps. Ideally open source, but there is a budget if Visual Studio would do the job… It will only be used by people in an office. One reason for a web based app is that it can be put on a server and everyone will have access to the common library. Although there is no reason why a desktop app couldn't access a database. It will only need to support Windows, although personally I think it would be nice if it could run OS independent, this certainly isn't a requirement.
It will not need to visualise the link on a map. Infact it is more important to be schematically clear like this so that you can see what connects to what and how much noise/gain there is in each component. It will be important to model the loss in connectors and cable as well as other passive components as well.
Please ask more questions, this is my first question, so I'm sure I haven't covered everything. Please read down to the answers below as they have made sensible prompts to me. I have commented on them so hopefully that should help before you reply.
If you want it to be web-based, consider using the Yahoo! libraries which have some nice readymade components for drag'n'drop, animations, etc.
In this case, it should not be web-based...
In this case it can be very cool to make it web-based.
Should it look like something like that ?