Our ICC 2021 virtual conference recently concluded on an incredible high note. Packed with amazing content, inspiring words from our executive team, the return of our acclaimed Build-a-Thon, and the outstanding Discovery Gallery projects, ICC definitely delivered this year.
Our Development Team equally delivered with their laser focus and commitment to making Ignition even better. As Carl and Colby expressed in the Developer Panel, our team is working hard to improve Ignition’s stability, capability, and performance via the release train.
With Ignition 8.1.11 pulling into the station, Perspective continues to get new features, Identity Providers get redundancy support, tags receive diagnostic updates, and so much more.
Perspective Charts, Tables, and Labels, Oh My!
Perspective got another round of updates, so let's dive in and see what’s new.
Table Style Properties
There are times when you just need to approach things with style. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. With Ignition 8.1.11, we added new style properties to the Table component in Perspective. Before, styling in Table Components had to be adjusted via a master styling property, which proved to have its limitations.
The new styling properties allow you to apply custom styles to header and footer groups, the selection overlay, and other elements. Here is a list of new properties:
- columns[x].style (applies to header, cells, and footer of an entire column)
Above, we see the column[x].style property in action
Charting the Y-Axis
Displaying data effectively helps users get the most out of their dashboards and HMIs to make informed decisions. One pain point our users have found is that the y-axis has a set number of ticks and a set data format.
In 8.1.11, the Power Chart, Time Series Chart, and Chart Range Selector now have settings to make finer adjustments to the y-axis. There are two ways to make these adjustments. The first way is from the client. Click on the settings gear, then navigate to the Axes tab and click on the edit pencil icon for Default. Scroll down until you reach the end. There, under Ticks, you will find two new properties: Tick Count and Tick Label Format. By default, the tick count is set to Auto, but now you can specify the amount of ticks. Once applied, the ticks will distribute evenly on your chart with the appropriate data.
Some of the suggested formats included with the charts
The second way to set the tick count is through the designer. Navigate to the tick property under Axes in the property editor. There you will find the count property where you can specify the desired amount of ticks.
In the designer, under the tick count, is the label property. When you click the dropdown, you can choose from a selection of simple data formats to apply to the y-axis units or enter your own custom d3-formats. That can also be accomplished on the client side by clicking on the dropdown and selecting a simple format or specifying your own custom d3-format.
Power Chart and the Temple of Zoom
Ignition 8.1.11 is literally topping the charts in this release. The Power Chart gets a minor but useful update with two new read-only properties that let you view a user’s current zoom level for charts and range brushes.
The two new properties are interaction.chartZoomLevel and interaction.rangeZoomLevel. These properties allow you to trigger additional logic based on if a user zoomed into a chart or range.
Identity Providers, We Got Backup
We can’t repeat this enough, but sometimes being redundant is a good thing. In 8.1.11, Identity Providers are getting redundancy support, alleviating pain points for those who have implemented authentication.
Identity Providers now have backup configuration support that will automatically load when a backup gateway takes over for the primary gateway. Before this update, when a primary gateway experienced a failure or a connection, the backup gateway would take over, keeping things running with little to no downtime. Unfortunately, IdP configuration was not inherited and so authentication access to the client or gateway could not happen until the primary gateway was restored. Security remained intact while user authentication was the only thing impacted.
In the gateway management area for Identity Providers, we added new configurations that allow you to define an IdP configuration explicitly for the backup gateway in a redundant architecture. During a failover, authentication remains intact and users and developers can continue to access clients, designers and the gateways.
Tag Editor Gets More Metrics
More data is always a good thing and we’re giving the Tag Editor several new diagnostics metrics in 8.1.11. These values can be found in the Diagnostics tab. These new metrics report details about the tag’s deadband settings, historic compression mechanisms, and sampling age settings.
For example, System Time of Last Storage can validate when a tag value was last stored by the Tag Historian system. This can be useful when troubleshooting storage problems.
A full listing of new metrics can be found in the user manual.
Other Honorable Mentions
Ignition 8.1.11 includes other updates that I’d like to mention. These updates include:
- The system.eam functions now throw exceptions if called from an Agent and the EAM function bindings only appear in projects hosted on the controller.
- The AlarmQueryResult object returned by system.alarm.query.Journal and system.alarm.queryStatus now contain instances of PyAlarm Event. This more closely aligns the system functions with the various alarm status and alarm journal table components.
- The added textStyle property in Perspective, which allows you to apply formatting to the text in the label component. The addition of this property also lets you append ellipses to the end of truncated text.
As always, we encourage you to offer feedback and let us know what you’d like to see in upcoming releases. The release train is chugging along, bringing more updates and improvements in Ignition 8.1.12, coming soon to a station near you!