KDXplore - KDSmart Data Exchange

Note

This is a common help topic for both KDXplore and KDSmart.

Introduction

There are several methods of moving data into and out of KDSmart which can be found on the Data - Import, Export, Backup page. This topic focuses on using KDXplore with KDSmart, which provides more time saving and productivity benefits for the user. Previously, inbuilt software called KDXchange was used to exchange data between KDXplore and KDSmart. Both applications have recently been updated to include integration with Google Drive which requires much less effort in setup. Whilst an internet connection is required, both devices do not need to be on the same WiFi network. Google Drive is now the recommended method, however there may still be a need to use KDXchange so both methods are outlined here.
The following sections outline the steps required for exchanging data between KDSmart and KDXplore:

  • Setup - Connecting KDXplore to KDSmart Devices; and
  • Transfer - Moving data (Trials, Traits and Tags) between KDSmart and KDXplore.

Beforehand, a little background information is useful in understanding some of the technicalities before launching into the task.


What is KDSmart and KDXplore?

KDSmart and KDXplore are two flexible applications in the KDDart platform:

KDSmart is used on Android tablets or phones to collect phenotypic data in the field for Trials or Nurseries; and

KDXplore is a multiplatform desktop/laptop application which fulfils several roles including managing data on one or more KDSmart devices.

The following illustration depicts a simple trial data workflow for KDDart, however look to the centre to see KDSmart and KDXplore’s role in the workflow:

Example of the Trial Data Workflow (select to zoom)


Why Use KDXplore?

Whilst KDSmart can be used on its own using CSV files for data transfer there may be a need to upscale to multiple KDSmart devices and larger trials. Using KDXplore benefits the user by improving data management and handling.

Some of these benefits are:

  • Work more efficiently and productively with Trial and Nursery data offline (away from office networks or Internet) using laptop or workstation, not just small screens of tablets or phones;
  • Provides visualisation tools to assist with data exploration and review;
  • Provides broader toolset coverage of the breeding cycle;
  • Enables easier management and data exchange with multiple KDSmart devices;
  • Retains data from each individual KDSmart device “download” with TableName/Operator/When details;
  • Facilitates uploading data to a KDDart database when possible (i.e. when a connection to the office network/Internet is available);
  • Barcode production for printing to use with KDSmart barcode scoring;
  • Facilitates improved consistency amongst multiple KDSmart devices with Trait and Tag editing and distribution;
  • Viewing Traits used in different Trials; and
  • The ability to exchange data whilst on site so that data can be curated as efficiently as possible.

A few setup steps are required, however this has been made as easy as possible. The communication software between KDSmart and KDXplore is referred to as KDXchange.


Data Exchange - Google Drive Method

Google Drive is a quick and easy way of exchanging data between devices and requires little set up time. The example provided will take you from exporting a Scoring Set from KDXplore to Google Drive, importing it into KDSmart, exporting the Scored Data file to Google Drive, and then importing that file into KDXplore for curation.

The process of exchanging data will be described in the following steps:

  1. Connect to the Internet
  2. Google Drive Setup
  3. Transferring Files from KDXplore to Google Drive
  4. Transferring Files into KDSmart from Google Drive
  5. Transferring Files from KDSmart to Google Drive
  6. Transferring Files into KDXplore from Google Drive


Step 1 - Connect to the Internet

Google Drive transfers will only work when devices are connected to the internet but they do not have to be connected at the same time. For example, a user on KDXplore may export a Scoring Set to Google Drive which is uploaded to their personal folder, turn off their computer, and then go out into the field and import that Scoring Set into to KDSmart. For users who do not have mobile data on their KDSmart device or are in an area that does not have signal, it will still be necessary to connect to WiFi.

For further information on setting up WiFi please see the Step 1 - Using WiFi section below.


Step 2 - Google Drive Setup

As well as having an internet connection, you will need to have a Google account which gives you access to Google Drive. A free account will provide 15gb of space which is more than enough for using with KDXplore and KDSmart. To sign up or access Google Drive see Google Drive.

This link will be usable on KDXplore, Android devices should have a Google Drive application that would usually be already installed by default but can also be found in the Google Play Store.


Step 3 - Transferring Files from KDXplore to Google Drive

Once a Trial, Trait or Tag has been created, it needs to be transferred to a KDSmart device for use in the field. The following instructions demonstrate how to transfer Trials (or other data) from KDXplore to Google Drive so that they can be used in KDSmart.


Exporting a Scoring Set
Exporting a Scoring Set(select to zoom)


Transferring a Trial from KDX to Google Drive
Step Action
1. Ensure that Google Drive is opened in an internet browser and have KDXplore open to prepare for the transfer.
2. Choose a Scoring Set such as the one at "1" and then select the Export button at "2".
3. The Export window displays (as at "3") which provides export options. Select the Browse button to choose a location on the computer to save the Scoring Set to. Ensure that the radio button for KDX file is selected so that it is ready to be used in KDSmart.
4. Select either the Export or the Export & Close options within the Export window and the KDX file will be exported to your chosen location. A dialogue opens and asks whether you want to open the containing directory - do this if you want to transfer the file to Google Drive immediately.
5.

Click+drag the file into the web browser with Google Drive opened and drop it to complete the upload. The file should now appear in Google Drive and there is a message which confirms that the upload has been completed.

Uploading Files to Google Drive
Uploading Files to Google Drive (select to zoom)


Step 4 - Transferring Files into KDSmart from Google Drive

Files that are uploaded to Google Drive from KDXplore need to be imported into KDSmart. The following steps will demonstrate how to open Google Drive on your device and choose files to be imported into KDSmart.


Importing a Trial 1/3


Importing a Trial
Step Action
1. Navigate to the Trials screen and select the Import button at "1".
2. Select an import option - for this tutorial choose the File KDX option at "2". This opens Google Drive.
3.

Select the KDX file to be imported such as the one at "2" in the below image. Then select the Open button at "2" and the import will begin.

Importing a Trial 2/3

4.

A successful import results in the following screen. The attachment message indicates that there are no attachments to the Trial.

Importing a Trial 3/3


Step 5 - Transferring Files from KDSmart to Google Drive

Once data is collected by scoring with KDSmart, the data needs to be transferred to KDXplore for curation. Step 5 will demonstrate how to transfer scored data for KDXplore using Google Drive.


Transferring a Trial 1/5


Transferring a Trial
Step Action
1. On the Trials screen in the above image, ensure that the Scored Trial that you want to transfer is selected and then choose the Options button at "1" and then the Share option at "2".
2.

The Choose Export Option window is then displayed as seen in the image below. Select the Full Data for KDXplore option at "1".

Transferring a Trial 2/5

3.

You will be presented with options for sharing the KDX file. Select the Save to Drive option at "1" in the below image.

Transferring a Trial 3/5

4.

Choose the Save to Drive to display options for saving the file as seen in the below image. Select the Save option at "1" when you are ready to save the file to Google Drive.

Transferring a Trial 4/5

5.

Once the file has been saved, confirmation notifications are displayed on the device as seen in the below image. This indicates that the Scored Trials are now stored in Google Drive.

Transferring a Trial 5/5


Step 6 - Transferring Files into KDXplore from Google Drive

The final step is to load the Scored Trial from Google Drive into KDXplore. This allows the user to curate and analysing the scored data.


Downloading a Trial from Google Drive
Downloading a Trial from Google Drive(select to zoom)


Loading a Trial from Google Drive
Step Action
1. Ensure that Google Drive is opened. If it is not, then there is a Google Drive button in KDXplore which opens it in a browser. This button is located at "1" in the above image.
2. Choose any file such as the one located at "2". Right-click this file and then choose the Download option. This downloads the file to the default location for your browser (e.g. The Downloads folder).
3.

Click+drag the downloaded file (such as the one "1" in the below image) to the Trials panel in KDXplore. This displays the Load Trial Data window at "3". The Download button can also be selected to display the Load Trial Data window.

Loading Trial Data
Loading Trial Data (select to zoom)

4. Select/highlight the file you want to import, select a Source device, and then enter the Name of the Device User.
5.

Select the Import button at "4" to complete the import.

Import Trial Data
Import Trial Data (select to zoom)


Data Exchange - KDXchange Method

Whilst the Google Drive method is now the recommended method for exchanging data between KDXplore and KDSmart, KDXchange is still provided as a backup method for exchanging data.


Setup - Connecting KDXplore to KDSmart Devices

Connecting Devices has three steps.


Step 1 - Using WiFi

KDXplore and KDSmart devices connect and synchronise data using a WiFi network.

The KDSmart device(s) and the KDXplore laptop/PC must be connected and visible to each other on the same network (i.e. same wifi connection). This is a networking requirement and not a limitation of KDSmart/KDXchange.

Note

Depending on the network configuration, there may be times when your PC/Laptop is connected to a wired network (not on WiFi) yet will be able to connect to KDSmart devices on WiFi.

Tip

Many organisational IT policies lock computer settings preventing the set up or activation of your own WiFi Hotspot without needing Administrator user access on the computer.
Before traveling to ‘the field’ we suggest you prepare, test and become familiarised with this means of connecting devices. Seek support in your organisation if needed.

KDSmart - WiFi Connection Warning Example

If the message above is displayed try the Connect Anyway button, however this may result in mixed success. Only a couple of tries is needed!


In the Field - Your Own WiFi Hotspot

When a WiFi network is unavailable at your location, a portable WiFi hotspot can be created on your Laptop (if it has that capability). The connection can then be shared with your other KDSmart devices using KDXchange (see the above tip).


The KDXchange Window

The KDXchange window can be found by opening KDXplore on a PC and then opening the Trial Manager module by selecting the trial_manager_btn icon. Once the module is open, select the KDXchange Server picture3 icon.

The following image displays a section of the KDXchange screen highlighted to show the following areas:

  • "1" Connection panel is where the options to connect devices are located. This includes the IP Address where the KDXchange server will be created.
  • "2" KDXplore panel links KDXplore from the user’s computer. This means that the list of Trials, Traits, and Tags that are on the user’s version of KDXplore are displayed. The user will need to choose between either the Trials, Traits or Tags to be selected.
  • "3" KDSmart Devices is a list of all the KDSmart devices that are connected to KDXchange or are available for connection. The image demonstrates that a device named ‘Galaxy S8+’ from the user named ‘Tester’ is currently connected.
  • "4" Device is a panel which displays data from the currently connected KDSmart device.

KDXchange Main Window (select to zoom)

Note

KDXchange server software in KDXplore and KDSmart enables them to communicate and needs to be kept running on the pc/laptop until any synchronisation tasks between the devices has completed. Also, the devices should be kept in close proximity whilst connected. Once tasks have completed the KDXchange server can be stopped.


Step 2 - Prepare KDXplore/KDXchange

Step 2 involves preparing KDXplore on the laptop/pc to communicate with KDSmart devices. The following steps must be performed on the laptop/pc:

Confirm Network/IP Address and Port number

Step 2 - Starting the KDXchange server in KDXplore
Step Action
2.1 (KDX) On the Laptop/PC start KDXplore and select the Trial Manager trial_manager_btn icon.
2.2 (KDX) Select the KDXchange Server picture3 icon at top of the Trial Manager window to open KDXchange.
2.3 (KDX) Select the Start button ( or Shift Start to enter address and/or port number) which is located at "1" on the above image.
2.4 (KDX) The Network/IP Address and the Port number need to be confirmed.
The selected Network/IP Address in this example is different to that of another computer. The IP address of the computer running KDXplore (suggested by default), is usually fine but can changed if required.
Select the OK button in the window at "2" to confirm this IP Address.
The Port Number usually should be left at the default setting, however if it is changed, both KDSmart and KDXplore must have the same port number. Once OK has been selected, the window will disappear and the program will start listening for devices which means that it is scanning for available devices on the Wi-Fi network.
2.5 (KDX)

Once KDXplore is listening for devices, there will be a message displaying the IP address and port number at "1" in the following image. By selecting the Stop button at "2", the user can stop KDXplore listening for devices.

KDXchange connection to KDSmart devices (select to zoom)


Step 3 - Preparing KDSmart Devices For Upload/Download

Step 3 involves connecting one or more KDSmart devices via WiFi with KDXplore on the laptop/pc. These ‘connection’ steps are common to both Upload to KDXplore or Download from KDXplore and for Trials, Traits or Tags.

Step 3 - Connecting KDSmart devices to KDXplore’s KDXchange server
Step Action
3.1 (KDX) Ensure that the KDXchange server is listening for any KDSmart device(s) from the previous Part 2 steps (as demonstrated above).
3.2 (KDS)

From the home screen on each KDSmart device, select the appropriate Trials, Traits or Tags panel then select the Connect button as seen in "1" then choose the KDXplore icon at "2".

Starting a Connection (select to zoom)

3.3 (KDS)

A dialogue box asking whether to continue will appear. Choose the tick at "1" to continue.

Accept a Connection (select to zoom)

3.4 (KDX)

Return to KDXplore on the PC/Laptop and at "1", the KDSmart device should appear as Pending which means it is ready to connect. To connect the device, select the Allow button shown at "2".

Allowing KDSmart devices (select to zoom)

3.5 (KDX)

A dialogue box then opens which asks for information about the device as seen in the following image:

Allowing KDSmart devices (select to zoom)

3.6 (KDX)

Once user information has been entered, the device connection is complete. KDXplore should look like the following image:

Allowing KDSmart devices (select to zoom)

The Device panel displays the device as Accepted and the data from both the connected computer and KDSmart device will appear in panels "2" and "3".


Transfer - Moving data (Trials, Traits and Tags) between KDSmart and KDXplore

Transferring KDSmart data to/from KDXplore requires KDXplore and the KDSmart device(s) to be connected and waiting to transfer files.

The steps in the previous section, Setup - Connecting KDXplore to KDSmart Devices must be performed first before proceeding here.

Battery - Power Saving

When a WiFi connection between KDSmart device(s) and KDXplore is established the power saving options on the device(s) may be overridden and the devices could remain on.
If needing to conserve battery power on the phone/tablet/laptop, it may be advisable to stop the connection once data transfers have been completed.


From KDXplore to KDSmart

The following image and table show the steps required to perform a KDXplore to KDSmart File transfer.

Transfer Steps - KDXplore to KDSmart (Select to zoom)

Transferring data from KDXplore to KDSmart
Step Action
1. Select an item e.g. the Trial named ‘wheat-with-data’ that is shown at "1" in the above image.
2. Once the item is highlighted, select the KDXchange Server picture3 icon at "2" to start the transfer of data. Another method of choosing files to transfer is to click+drag an item such as a Trial to the KDSmart device. This method of transfer can work for single files, or for bundles of Trials, Traits, or Tags.
3. The Dataset Upload window opens and files that have been selected will appear in it. The purpose of this window is to confirm the upload of datasets. Select the checkbox as seen at "3" and then select the OK button at "4" to finalise the upload.


From KDSmart to KDXplore

The steps outlined in the following image and table describe how to transfer Trials, Traits, or Tags from KDSmart to KDXplore when they are connected using KDXchange.

Transfer Steps - KDSmart to KDXplore (Select to zoom)

Transferring data from KDSmart to KDXplore
Step Action
1. Select an item e.g. the Trial named ‘wheat-with-data’ that is shown at "1" in the above image.
2. Once the item is highlighted, select the KDXchange Server picture3 icon at "2" to start the transfer of data. As with the KDXplore to KDSmart transfer, files can be transferred by click+drag.
3. A Confirmation window should appear. Select the Collect button at "3" which will confirm the transfer and the Trial is then be copied into KDXplore.


Finished - Disconnecting Devices

When a KDSmart device is connected any touches to the KDSmart window, accidental or otherwise, may cause the following warning to display:


Disconnection Warning (Select to zoom)


If disconnection is unintended, select the X button to dismiss the message and continue, otherwise select the tick to confirm.

Disconnection can also be achieved using the Stop button adjacent to the Run button in the below image. Either method will return KDSmart to normal operation and close the connection.


Disconnection Warning (Select to zoom)


Tip

After disconnection of KDSmart device(s) the KDXchange server will still be running on the PC/Laptop. Whilst this is still running reconnection of a device can be quickly achieved.

The KDXchange server can be stopped when data transfers is finished.