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Introduction to Beacon

Beacon is the server process, the corner stone of BLISS, since it provides services, upon which essential features of BLISS are built:

  • configuration database
    • text files in YAML format
    • complete description of an entire beamline experimental setup at a centralized place: devices, sessions, etc.
  • configuration editor web application
  • settings, i.e. runtime configuration properties
  • channels, to exchange data between different BLISS objects instantiated in different processes
  • distributed lock management, to be able to lock and release resources for a particular Beacon client
  • publishing of data produced during scans, for online data analysis or visualisation

Beacon relies on Redis for most of those services. Redis is an open source, in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache and message broker.

In addition, Beacon can be used as a TANGO database-compatible server, storing TANGO configuration information in Beacon YAML files.

Beacon services overview

Beacon services overview


Many BLISS features depend on Beacon. In practice it is not possible to use BLISS without a Beacon server.