Ignition 8.1.38: Gateway Network Diagram Updates, Leased License Session Flexibility, Gateway Encryption Keys

Ignition 8.1.38


After traveling many miles through Ignition’s majestic landscape, the release train pulls into the station with a number of exciting new features.

Ignition 8.1.38 delivers helpful new functionality for the Gateway Network Diagram, additional flexibility for leased license users, and greater security with the option to use environment variables to configure Gateway encryption keys.


Gateway Network Diagram

Ignition’s Gateway Network Diagram provides a quick way to see how your Gateway Network is laid out. Previously the only way to share this diagram with someone else was to take a screenshot, which had its limitations (such as blurry visuals when there were more than 30 Gateways).

With 8.1.38, however, users can export the Gateway Network Diagram with a new “Download Live Diagram JSON” button, creating a JSON file that is viewable on Kindling. And since this JSON file isn’t static, the viewer can customize what they see in the diagram by filtering Gateways.

Another handy update is that the Diagnostics Bundle now includes this same Gateway Network Diagram file. So you get easy access to it, along with other useful metrics files that look at the status of the Gateway, all wrapped up in one convenient zipped export.


Gateway Network Diagram


Leased License Sessions

8.1.38 brings leased license users new functionality that paves the way for more advanced deployment strategies. Namely, there’s additional flexibility with the option to terminate leased activation license sessions on shutdown.

If you aren’t familiar with leased licenses, they are an alternative to standard licenses, and most often leveraged in containerized or cloud-based environments. Leased licenses communicate periodically with the activation service to reaffirm the activation state. This allows for more flexibility, especially for elastic deployments.

8.1.38 offers the option to have a leased license session terminated on a normal Gateway shutdown when the new system property ignition.license.leased-activation-terminate-sessions-on-shutdown is set to true. This update helps you avoid license exhaustion in deployments that use elastic autoscaling on a set of frontend Gateways.

And by the way, if you use containers you can easily apply JVM system properties via your container run configuration — check out this section of the Ignition user manual for guidance.


Gateway Encryption Keys

Security just got even stronger in 8.1.38, with the option to leverage environment variables for configuring Gateway encryption keys.

You can now specify the environment variables GATEWAY_ENCODING_KEY or GATEWAY_ENCODING_KEY_FILE to define the key used to encode credentials stored in your Ignition Gateway.

Rather than typing in and hardcoding a password or encrypted key value (that potentially anyone could see if they got ahold of your backup), these environment variables enable Ignition to retrieve an encryption key stored on the machine itself. This enables the value of the environment variable to be merely a path to a file containing the secret, so that your encoding key won’t be in the backup at all.

There are a couple things to note about the Gateway encryption keys. First, we don’t have any rotation mechanisms for this subsystem, so they can only be used on new Gateways. Additionally, please keep in mind that there’s a minimum length of 24 characters, so keys shorter than that will result in errors.

If you thought this update was exciting, just wait until Ignition 8.3, where there will be even greater enhancements to secrets management!


Honorable Mentions

There are two more helpful improvements to highlight in 8.1.38, both stemming from customer feedback.

Perspective Table Component Improvement

A 2023 Ignition Community Conference attendee requested this quality-of-life Perspective update, which enables the Table Component to page and scroll to a selected target when either the selectedRow or selectedColumn properties are changed by an external source (as opposed to through direct user interaction).


Perspective Page and Scroll


User Sources

Per user request, we improved Active Directory log messages for LdapReferralExceptions (the universal Active Directory error codes) to provide more details on how to address errors. The added information will save users the step of having to figure out what kind of error code they’re getting, so they can solve problems faster.


Next Stop: More New Features

Get additional details about all these updates in the 8.1.38 release notes and the Ignition user manual. And don’t forget to send us your feedback if there’s anything you’d like to see in Ignition (your feedback is an essential ingredient of the fuel that keeps the release train running!). The Ignition 8.1.39 release train is slated to pull into the station in early April, with a spring bounty of fresh features.

Jennifer Faylor
Marketing Content Writer / Inductive Automation
Jennifer Faylor is a Marketing Content Writer at Inductive Automation. She has an M.F.A. in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and previously worked as a freelance writer/editor for over a decade. In her free time she enjoys writing poetry and embarking on culinary adventures in the kitchen.