The release train has traveled quite a ways this past year, delivering a total of 10 releases for Ignition 8.1. The Ignition platform received choice updates at each stop, improving performance, stability, and security. In addition, we’ve continued to gift new features to the Perspective Module that push its capabilities to the next level.
As we bid 2021 adieu, Ignition 8.1.13 rounds out the year with improvements to the gateway, alarming, and Perspective, along with other great updates.
Ignition 8.1.13 brings with it a couple of updates that will help you know how well your gateway is running.
Snapshots Can Help You Get Out of a Bind
In the last release, Ignition 8.1.12, a new feature allowed you to get a thread snapshot from the diagnostic window. The thread snapshot gives you a file that you can provide to IA Support, helping to troubleshoot issues when the designer or Vision client has locked up.
In 8.1.13, that feature is coming to the gateway level. In the Gateway Settings section, you'll find a new category called Automatic Thread Dump Settings. With these settings, you can set parameters that enable the gateway to automatically take a thread snapshot when a gateway experiences an unusual CPU load due to blocked threads. You can share the file with IA Support to help troubleshoot your system’s issue.
The Gateway to More Metrics
To clarify the phrase above, we’re actually giving you more metrics for your gateway. To give you a better idea of how your gateway is performing, in 8.1.13 we added a Metrics Dashboard to the Gateway Settings Section. Here you can just drag and drop from a selection of pre-defined metrics to build out a custom dashboard. Now you and IA Support can check the status of your gateway at a glance.
An Alarming Update
User schedules are used in alarm notification pipelines so that certain contacts get notified about alarms based on their work schedules. However, there are some instances where notifications need to be sent to contacts regardless of whether or not they are currently on the schedule.
To address this, 8.1.13 adds a “Ignore User Schedules” setting to the Contacts tab on the Notifications Blocks. When checked, the notification block will ignore the associated user schedule and notify all listed users when an alarm event happens.
New Perspective Features
Perspective continues to get new features with pipelines, numerical locale support, and URL query parameters.
There are instances where you may have a screen with a myriad of pipes and, depending on the screen you are building, you may want to hide some segments of pipe.
Ignition 8.1.13 adds a new “visible” property to pipes, giving you the ability to show or hide specific sections of pipe. In addition, since you can bind to the property, you can add logic to the property to operate based on interactions. For example, if you have multiple pipe configurations for one screen, by clicking on a button to change a configuration, you can make certain pipes visible or not visible.
Perspective pipes are also getting more interactive in this release. The new onPipeClicked component event lets you determine what happens if a user clicks on a pipe, which allows a greater level of interactivity.
Let's Get Numerical
This update is minor, but helpful nonetheless. In 8.1.13, numerical locale support has been added to the Time Series Chart, Power Chart, and Chart Range Selector components. Now you can choose the format of your numbers based on the locale the session will be used in.
URL Never be the Same
That’s the truth. Really, you won’t be the same after this feature update. Some websites leverage the URL to perform functions on a website, whether it be dynamic content based on location, personal preferences based on email address, or other parameters that are defined. These are referred to as URL query parameters, which can be found in the URL right after a question mark. For example, the URL works with our Integrator Search. The URL inductiveautomation(dot)com/integrators/?mc=4 has a query parameter of ?mc=4. When you visit the Integrator Search page, the query parameter will set the Minimum Integrator Level to Premier.
To take advantage of this capability, 8.1.13 adds support for URL query parameters in Perspective Sessions. You can now reference a URL parameter with the new "urlParams" property.
More Updates I’d Like to Mention
Ignition 8.1.13 includes a few other updates worth highlighting:
- Minor UI improvements to the Local Devices page under the BACnet configuration category.
- Java Runtime Environment version 11.0.13 is now bundled with Ignition.
- Tag History Bindings now allow users to specify a historical path, instead of just a real-time path.
- Added two new built-in UDT properties:
- ParentInstanceName - Returns the instance name of the parent UDT
- RootInstanceName - Always returns the topmost UDT Instance name
- Removed the “Windowed Button” and “Full-Screen Button” settings from Project Properties. Their functionality was migrated over to the Vision Client Launcher.
As always, we encourage your feedback about what you’d like to see in upcoming releases. The release train will continue its journey with Ignition 8.1.14, so keep your eyes peeled for its first stop in 2022!