Ignition 8.1.19: Designer Documentation Update, Launchers Update, New Tag Search Tool, and Other Improvements

Ignition 8.1.19: Designer Documentation Update, Launchers Update, New Tag Search Tool, and Other Improvements

 

The release train has been traveling steadily, bringing choice updates to all of our Ignition users. Between Ignition 8.1.17 and 8.1.18 we’ve seen major updates to security, the Tag Editor, scripting, and a host of other improvements that boost the user experience.

Building upon our last two releases, Ignition 8.1.19 brings more quality-of-life improvements with updates to the designer, tags, launchers, EAM, and much more!

 

Designers, Take Note

When working with a large development team, you will have many collaborators involved with a project. Being able to document the development process helps the team to know what work has been done and how parts of the project have been implemented.

In Ignition 8.1.19, we expanded the concept of “resource documentation” and applied it to all resources in the designer. To access Documentation, right-click on any resource in the file tree. Once selected, a Documentation Main Window will appear, allowing you to add any notes to that resource.

 

Tags for Everyone

Over the years, we received varying requests for a method to get a report of all the tags in the system that meet specific criteria. Many Ignition systems can reach well over 100k tags and finding specific tags can take the better part of the day. Having a tool to easily identify tags would definitely be welcomed.

With Ignition 8.1.19, we are happy to announce the addition of the Tag Report Tool. When you open the Tag Report Tool from the Tag Browser, a new UI will appear. Here you will be able to quickly build queries that can search for specific tags based on its Tag Path, Quality, Types, Traits, Ancestor, and other properties. Once you have defined the parameters for a specific tag search, you are then able to save that query for later use as well as generate a CSV export of the search results.

 

Editing, Saving, and Loading Tag Report Tool queries

This gif demonstrates the Editing, Saving, and Loading Tag Report Tool queries.

 

Saving Tag Report Tool search results into a CSV file

This gif demonstrates saving Tag Report Tool search results into a CSV file.

 

You can also perform the tag search via a scripting function system.tag.query(). The results from this scripting function will be the same as the Tag Report Tool, but in the form of a list of dictionaries that define each tag result. Additionally, all tag queries can be copied from the Tag Report Tool UI and translated into Python syntax for quicker script use.

 

Converting a search query from the Tag Report Tool into a runnable Python script

This gif demonstrates converting a search query from the Tag Report Tool into a runnable Python script.

 

The Tag Reporting Tool and the new scripting function will definitely save you time when you need to search for certain tags within a large Ignition implementation.

 

Launchers

Our Ignition launchers for Vision, Perspective, and the designer use an embedded Java trust store that contains certificates that validate encrypted SSL connections. In some cases, users may want to use self-signed certificates or certificates from untrusted certificate authorities. To use these certificates, we allow users to import them manually into the trust store embedded within the launchers.

While it is possible to manually manage certificates, there are several challenges. Changes to a certificate require a re-import of the changed certificate pre-emptively or during launch. This can interrupt launches from shortcuts or auto-launch configured apps and require a user action to proceed. Secondly, allowing random certificate imports by users is not preferred in most enterprise environments. Ideally, certificates which aren’t well known and trusted should be managed by an IT department or similar personnel to ensure that the correct and expected chain-of-trust exists for target gateways. There previously was no truly IT-first way to manage these additional certificates. Seeing as how the launchers, designers, and Vision clients rely on an “ephemeral” instance of the JVM, there is no way to tie directly into their trust store to ensure that certificates are valid. IT departments must place trusted certificates within the launchers certificate directory in a manual way.

To help overcome these challenges, in Ignition 8.1.19, we have included support for OS Trust Stores. Most operating systems provide their own implementation of a trust store and most applications use this built-in trust store by default. An OS Trust Store typically has well-known management techniques that tie into Enterprise/Domain level management tooling to ensure that certificates can be pushed to devices from a centralized location and even support revocation, removal of well-known root Certificate Authority Certificates which need to be blocked, etc.

The new trust.store property now exists in the launcher’s config JSON. You can configure the launcher to depend on either the embedded Java trust store or the OS trust store. Consult our user manual for more information.

 

More Exciting Updates

We are excited about the quality-of-life updates to the designer, tags, and launcher. We are also excited about the additional updates in Ignition 8.1.19.

Perspective

  • New scripting method system.perspective.alterDock and complementary Alter Dock action event, which allow users to alter the configuration of a dock on the fly by supplying the dock's ID and the desired configuration.
  • Added the textAlign prop for Dropdown Components, which allows users to align the value(s) and/or placeholder text displayed within the dropdown. Valid values are 'left,' 'center,' and 'right.'

Vision

  • Added two new properties to the tree view component: selectionFillColor, to change the full width selection highlight color, and fullWidthSelection, a boolean allowing you to disable the full width selection highlight entirely.

Enterprise Administration Module

  • EAM Controller now implements an optional maximum retention policy for agent gateway backups. Older gateway backups will be automatically deleted when the max retention age is exceeded. A maximum number of retained gateway backups can also be specified.

Gateway Configuration

  • Security level permissions text inputs are now resizable text areas under the Gateway Configuration.
  • Changing the gateway name now displays a warning modal, which requires confirmation before the change can be made.

Reporting

  • Added the URL property to Reporting components. This allows you to add clickable hyperlinks within the report preview, Vision report viewer, and PDF output reports.

Scripting

  • Added autocompletion hints for project library scripts. This includes the ability to select a scope for autocomplete hints when authoring project scripts.

 

Don’t Miss the Next Train …

You can learn more about these updates and other improvements in our release notes and user manual. As always, we invite your feedback about what you’d like to see in upcoming releases. Ignition 8.1.20 is on its way to the station. Make sure to catch it to see what improvements and updates are in store!

P.S. Our recent webinar featured the Ignition 8.1.19 Tag Report Tool and expanded resource documentation, as well as several other features from other 8.1 release trains. You can watch it here.


AUTHOR
Arnell Ignacio
Marketing Technology Specialist / Inductive Automation
Arnell is the IA Blog Postmaster General and a Marketing Technology Specialist for Inductive Automation. He has over 14 years of experience in digital, content, and strategic marketing. Arnell’s experience spans across B2B organizations that specialize in M2M solutions, embedded hardware, industrial wireless technologies, and industrial controls software as well as the nonprofit sector. In his spare time, Arnell loves spending time with his family, enjoys being a musician, and is passionate about live sound amplification and woodworking.

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