For most people, December is a time to slow down, reflect on the past year, and plan the next 12 months. Luckily, our Dev Team doesn’t think like most people and they’ve stocked this release train with enough updates to distract you through any New Year’s countdown.
Ignition 8.1.23 includes a tool for quickly viewing UDT inheritance, a trio of properties to assist with automated system cleanup, enhancements for internal and external IdPs, and more. Put on your tuxedo and matching hardhat, because it’s time to get this party started!
The UDT Hierarchy Tool is the newest overview-focused addition to the Ignition family tree. Like its recent ancestors, the Tag Report Tool and the Configuration Explorer, the UDT Hierarchy Tool provides a fast way to see how the pieces of an Ignition system fit together.
To use this tool, simply right-click on a UDT and choose “View UDT Hierarchy.” This will open a window listing the Type Hierarchy and Tag Members. The UDT Hierarchy Tool displays the entire lineage, listing both UDTs inheriting the chosen UDT as well as what types the chosen UDT is inheriting from. Overridden properties associated with each tag member can also be viewed by clicking on the individual tag.
In addition to providing at-a-glance knowledge, this tool will make troubleshooting highly complex UDT structures much easier. Now, if something goes wrong, the UDT inheritance can be immediately parsed instead of playing guess-and-check with each modification in a UDT until the cause can be identified.
Spring Cleaning Comes in December
Ignition 8.1.23 includes three system properties that automatically clean the internal database and reclaim unused disk space. The first property concerns all systems, while the second and third initiate one-time clean-ups for the purpose of making the transition from Ignition 7.9 easier. The latter two properties are especially useful for enterprise upgrades that require converting large amounts of tags and project files into newer definitions. All three aim to preemptively resolve performance issues caused by unused files occupying too much space on the internal database.
In 8.1.23, when the gateway starts up, a VACUUM operation will be performed against the internal database. This operation will delete any inactive caches while leaving important internal files untouched. If, for whatever reason, you do not want the cache automatically deleted, you can set the new system property ignition.skipConfigDbVacuum to true and perform any requisite clean-up manually.
Projects & Tags
It’s an understatement to say that a lot changed from Ignition 7.9 to 8.0 (much less 8.1). With the 8 versions, project structure changed significantly and certain aspects of the Ignition system were redefined or moved to different locations.
As of 8.1.23, the gateway startup initiates an automated one-time cleanup of old 7.x project tables in the internal database. Project tables in Ignition 8 are defined in a completely different way that no longer uses the internal database, so any remaining project files simply take up space. However, a new system property ignition.projects.skipProjectRecordTableCleanup can be set to true to omit this cleanup operation.
Similarly, SQLTAG tables were redefined in Ignition 8, designating them as a legacy definition that is no longer used. One-time cleanup of old 7.x SQLTAG tables in the internal database can now be conducted on gateway startup with the new system property ignition.tags.cleanupLegacyTagTables=true.
IdPs Under Lock and Key
Identity providers (IdPs) provide a secure way to login to Ignition using SSL and two-factor authentication (2FA), and Ignition 8.1.23 includes two IdP updates.
Be the Change You Want to See in Your Password
There’s a reason we always ask for feedback at the bottom of each update blog: you’ve got some great ideas! 8.1.23 features a highly requested update to internal identity providers, which allows users to reset an expired password through the internal IdP directly from the login screen. No more going back to the gateway!
“Of course I updated my password … just give me one sec …”
Skip the Ctrl + C
For those who prefer a third-party IdP, 8.1.23 adds a "Copy to Clipboard" button next to Redirect URI / ACS URI in the IdP settings page. This quality-of-life update provides an easier way to copy a url during external IdP configuration. No more highlighting struggles!
A Relatively Weighty Perspective Update
While Perspective may not be the ringleader like it was in Ignition 8.1.22, this latest release does come with two quality-of-life improvements worthy of the big tent.
I’ll Be Back (to Work on This Later)
More practical than a time-traveling cyborg, Ignition 8.1.23 adds the ability to terminate Perspective Sessions from the Perspective Session status page. This feature, which used to only be available in Vision and the designer, provides more control in Perspective directly from the gateway.
Weight vs. Mass
Whether you’re a painter, filmmaker, or developer, when you’re trying to communicate information visually, size matters. For the compositionally minded, 8.1.23 adds the new "relative weight" property. Located under plot configuration, relativeWeight modifies the amount of relative space that each plot occupies in a Time Series Chart to better emphasize one part of the chart over the other.
Sometimes great updates don’t need much context or explanation. Ignition 8.1.23 includes straightforward improvements to Ignition’s Docker image, Exchange resource importing, and Store and Forward.
- Igniton’s Docker image now supports a DISABLE_QUICKSTART environment variable that, when set to true, will bypass the QuickStart functionality on first launch. Previously, there was no method for preventing the QuickStart prompt from launching automatically.
- The below error message now appears when Ignition Exchange resources are improperly imported as project files in the designer and gateway. A detailed walkthrough for importing Exchange resources can be found here.
Store and Forward
- Store-and-forward functionality now includes remote alarm journals and audit profiles, both of which utilize external database connections.
The Release Train Will Return in 2023!
Learn more about these updates and other improvements in the 8.1.23 release notes and the Ignition user manual. As always, we value your feedback about what new features and functionality you’d like to see in upcoming releases. Ignition 8.1.24 will be here before you’ve cleaned up the last of the confetti.
Tags /Ignition Product Update Perspective UDTs Tags Identity Providers Security Databases Docker Ignition Exchange Store-and-Forward