Computer aided dispatch question

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Premium Subscriber
Dec 26, 2008
Charlottesville, VA
What kind of programming language is it that allows the 911 dispatcher to right click on a unit (police, fire, end) to change their status? Say click on e1 for engine 1, and right click to change their status.

Is it visual studio or c++ or some other language?

I've always wondered about how that works.

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5B2_BEE00 Czar
Jul 12, 2008
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
It's not a "programming language" function, it is all in how the particular CAD system in use at the agency is configured during the build stages. Some lower volume agencies may prefer object oriented unit boards. Most high volume agencies do not. Too much work when you're working a busy radio channel/talk group. Command line is the only way to fly.

My agency currently uses InterAct, which is pretty old, and most of it is designed for command line use. Our dispatchers are accustomed to this, it's easier to use CLI and enter "243 S/87 I-85S @ S FULTON PKWY" then to right click a mouse or click on a unit number on the unit board module, then open another window to enter the details of the call. The CLI will interpret the unit number, call type (in this case, a traffic stop) and parse the location, verify it against the GIS, and create an activity entry instantly.

We are in the process of rolling out Superion (formerly known as SunGuard/OSSI) and it too uses CLI to drive many modules. Not sure what language either system is written in. At the end of the day, the vendor is responsible for the coding, the agency is responsible for making sure the builds are created to the specification and that it functions how operations needs it to.

Every center is unique and has different needs.Every CAD/RMS product is different in how it behaves.


Active Member
Feb 11, 2009
Last system I installed was a Motorola Vesta Pallas

GUI driven system with proprietary software


Dec 14, 2001
Far NW Valley
Most current CAD systems allow Command Line interfaces along with menu driven commands. The system I built was from New World, and there was always at least 2 ways to do anything.

Command Line is indeed the fastest way to quickly do something. The systems are flexible enough that system admins can set up the commands to fit that agency. We had a shared system with another town and the build team put together a pretty decent list of commands, address shortcuts and other items that worked well with both towns.

Using the CLI is simple. Just type in the command and then press return. Many are pretty easy, like "A 123" (Arrive Unit 123 at his assigned call) or "28 AB1234" (Run and display registration info for that plate). We even had a CLI within the call itself, that would apply the command to the call and record the info within. This was great for things like name or vehicle checks attached to a call, this way the info would be able to be recalled later.

You could also right click a unit and select a status or assign it to a call. Some TC's preferred that method but most used the CLI.

Most CAD systems these days are built on a Windows platform but there are still a few that run on Linux or AS-400. The servers are usually Linux or Windows.
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