Last month, during the ICC 2023 Technical Keynote, Carl Gould and Colby Clegg teased some upcoming Ignition 8.1 features, but they didn’t say how long we’d have to wait. Well, it turns out the answer is “not long at all,” because about 40% of them are ready to start improving your Ignition system right now.
Ignition 8.1.33 delivers a Google Map Component, improvements to EAM Upgrade tasks, updated Java, and more.
Google Map Component
Ignition 8.1.33 adds a brand-new, brand-name Google Map Component to Perspective. This first-party component offers some additional features compared to the existing Map Component. It possesses a more sophisticated — and scriptable — interaction event model as well as allowing you to create layers of Markers, OverlayViews, Ground Overlays, KML (Keyhole Markup Language), Traffic, Transit, Bicycle, and Polygons (Circles, Rectangles, Polylines, and Polygons).
Basic Map Interaction:
Adding/Editing a Circle Layer:
Basic Script Example:
EAM Remote Upgrade
A relatively simple but immensely impactful update, Ignition 8.1.33 includes some critical improvements for the Enterprise Administration Module (EAM). One of EAM’s best features is its ability to administer remote upgrades to multiple agents. However, the installer file needed for upgrades is fairly large. As a result, it was sometimes difficult for customers with edge nodes on unreliable networks to perform a reliable upgrade due to frequent connection interruptions. 8.1.33 gives you not one, but three ways to improve EAM task execution from controller to agent.
First, the EAM Remote Upgrade prep task can now specify a URL that points to an Ignition upgrade zip file, which will be downloaded directly by agents as opposed to passing through the gateway network.
Second, one-shot EAM tasks can now be retried after task failure. Better yet, the task will only be retried for agents that fail.
Finally, the EAM Remote Upgrade task can now resume an interrupted upgrade zip file transfer and pick up exactly where it left off, as long as the agent gateway also supports file resume.
These three improvements may each seem almost deceptively small on their own, but cumulatively they will have an outsized effect, dramatically improving the resiliency and consistency of any system that uses EAM.
To ensure continued long-term support of Azul’s Java package, Ignition 8.1.33 updates its embedded Java from 11 to 17.0.8. There will be no noticeable changes for most Ignition users. However, this upgrade may impact third-party modules, mainly due to JDK internals becoming strongly encapsulated by default. For a more detailed explanation of how to identify and mitigate issues, module authors should refer to this Forum post.
As always, there are a few more new features and improvements worth your time.
A periodic background task for the BACnet Driver will now attempt to recreate previously failed COV subscriptions. The task rate can be adjusted via the newly added COV Subscription Retry Interval setting.
The designer’s Script Console banner now displays additional useful information. The Interactive Interpreter will remind you that you're running code in the local designer's scope, and will therefore not have access to gateway methods. It will also prompt you with an autocomplete hint popup (Ctrl + Space) that is always available, as these can be inscrutable for users who are not used to IDEs.
Tags & UDTs
You can now use JSON array coercion for array types and leverage methods such as
jsonGet in array-typed derived tags to fetch nested elements of JSON documents in dependent tags.
Where’s the Other 60%?
As promised, there are still plenty more amazing features coming soon to Ignition 8.1, like new Allen-Bradley Micro800 and DNP3 (gen2) drivers, a large-scale object input security improvement, and the one that at least 322 of you have been waiting for … the Tag Reference Tracker. They’re coming sooner than you think.
Learn more about these updates and other improvements in the 8.1.33 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. Ignition 8.1.34 will arrive in November with even more exciting updates and features.