The big news, as you might have guessed from the title, is that the release train is taking a trip across the Pacific Ocean. Understandably, this raises a lot of questions, like how does a train get across such a vast body of water? Is the release train waterproof? Can it turn into a submarine? Has it always been able to turn into a submarine? These are all legitimate questions … but there are too many updates to get into all that now.
More to the point, Ignition 8.1.28 is traveling in style, delivering a cross-continental bounty that includes the much-anticipated Mitsubishi driver, an overhauled Vision Touchscreen Keyboard, “OR” support for the Tag Report Tool, and much more. Grab some brochures and let’s make an itinerary.
The first stop on the Ignition 8.1.28 tour is the driver district. To your left, you’ll see a brand-new driver, and to your right, updates for an existing driver. Please keep your hands and feet inside the release train at all times.
The Mitsubishi driver is here! 8.1.28 adds support for MELSEC over TCP with the following hardware series: iQ-R, iQ-F (FX5U), Q, and L. Given the popularity of MELSEC PLCs across the world, it’s an understatement to say that a large portion of the Ignition community will be thrilled to have this compatibility built into the platform. Connecting to Mitsubishi devices is now as simple as heading to the Gateway Config page and selecting Mitsubishi TCP from the Device Connections menu.
Similar to the Modbus and Omron FINS drivers, the Mitsubishi driver provides manual addressing syntax for reaching out to specific Device items on PLCs. There is also an optional address-mapping configuration that supports the import/export of browsable addresses using the CSV format.
This driver has been highly requested for a while now and we’re excited it has made its way into the Ignition platform. But this is just a starting point, so watch this space for future updates.
8.1.28 adds unique DateTime data types in the Allen-Bradley Logix driver, including DT, LDT, TIME32, TIME, and LTIME. This update helps standardize date and time values to increase accuracy and reliability as well as synchronization across systems.
The Vision Translation Station
Traveling is always nicer when you understand the local language but some things can get lost in translation no matter how fluent you are. The same holds true for keyboards.
Ignition 8.1.28 completely overhauls Vision’s Touchscreen Keyboard. The new keyboard supports custom and international formats including French, German, Italian, and Spanish, plus a simplified English layout. It’s worth noting that each international format is also fully configurable.
8.1.28 allows you to create, modify, and import/export custom keyboard layouts across your entire gateway. Similar to the Translation Manager, you can save locale types, updating the keyboard based on your location.
The new keyboard also gives you the option of creating multiple custom layouts that you can swap on the fly. If you need to switch between keyboards at any time, press the button to the left of the spacebar to activate a dropdown and select your desired layout.
It’s easy to get lost in tag town; there are thousands if not millions of tags here. Luckily, Ignition 8.1.28 adds support for “OR” searches in the Tag Report Tool.
To make a long story short, the Tag Report Tool lets you quickly build queries to search for specific tags based on chosen properties like tag path, quality, types, and more. In prior versions, the Tag Report Tool only supported “AND” if you were searching by multiple groups, meaning the results would only show tags that met all criteria. The only method for creating an “OR” search — one that showed tags that met at least one criteria — was through scripting.
Now, 8.1.28 supports “OR” grouping in the Tag Report Tool UI itself, finally bridging the perilous "and/or" divide.
Have Perspective, Will Travel
If there’s any module that’s built for travel, it’s Perspective, because it was designed to be mobile-responsive.
8.1.28 adds the “Request Print” component action and “requestPrint” script-callable component method, both of which allow you to print a page, view, or component. As with most things in Ignition, these print actions can be customized based on when you want the event to occur.
So whether you need to pull an entire view out of the digital realm and into physical space or you simply want to frame a pristine Motor Component to have on your desk next to that family portrait, now you can.
8.1.28 adds a free-form text field for the CSS backgroundSize property in the advanced section of Perspective’s Style Editor. This property customizes how images fit the background of a component or view, whether that means a repeating pattern, a complete cover, or an image contained within a particular boundary.
The final Perspective update gets under the proverbial hood, upgrading JxBrowser framework to Chromium 108.0.5359.215 for the Perspective Designer workspace and the Vision Web Browser Module. This does not apply to Perspective Workstation as of 8.1.28, but that is coming soon.
The release train needs to get back to Folsom soon but we have time for a few more updates.
- Added the Max Concurrent Agents setting to the Send Project EAM and Send Project Resources EAM tasks. Previously, long-running EAM tasks would fail if the task data was in a pending transfer queue for longer than the hard-coded 60 seconds. The Max Concurrent Agents setting lets you divide and conquer, specifying the numbers of agents the controller contacts at once, and transferring data one group at a time.
- Added persistence to your selected launcher view preference. Your last selected preference — card or list — will save to the launcher’s JSON across restarts. Saved you a click!
- Added the system.project.requestScan function and an SDK-accessible method to scan the project directory itself for any manual changes made on the files and folders.
- Added "configureChart" scripting function to a report’s Pie Chart, enabling you to modify the chart prior to rendering.
- Added "Show Chart Shadow" property to a report’s Pie Chart to toggle the background shadow.
When encoding BigDecimal Java types, the function system.util.jsonEncode now returns a floating point value instead of a string to make the value more broadly compatible across other platforms.
Added the new boolean ignition.conf property ignition.smtp.sendpartial to define the behavior when a notification is sent to an invalid email address. Previously, a single invalid address would stop the entire notification process without sending any emails. Now, ignition.smtp.sendpartial is set to true by default, meaning that email notifications will be sent to the valid email addresses, and any exceptions will be logged as failed emails. If set to false, the process will stay consistent with previous Ignition versions.
Cloudy With a Chance of Innovation
8.1.28 isn’t the only Ignition release to come recently. Ignition Cloud Edition — the new edition of Ignition that you purchase directly through the AWS cloud marketplace — is finally here! Visit the AWS store to start enabling your next-level hybrid architectures here.
Learn more about these updates and other improvements in the 8.1.28 release notes and the Ignition user manual. As always, we value your feedback about what types of new features you’d like to see in upcoming releases. In the meantime, stock up on fireworks because Ignition 8.1.29 will light up the sky just in time for the 4th of July.
Tags /Ignition Product Update Perspective Drivers EAM Launchers Reporting Scripting Tags UDTs Vision