Our Perspective on the Vision Module

At ICC 2018, we announced that Ignition 8 will be released in February 2019. A major part of Ignition 8 is the all-new Ignition Perspective Module, which will offer Ignition users a mobile-first, browser-based design environment for the first time. Perspective is the kind of solution we’ve been wanting to build for years and our excitement about it must’ve been contagious because we’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about Perspective and its relationship to the Vision Module. Some of you have even asked if Perspective is replacing the Vision Module in the near future. Our short answer is no, the Vision Module isn’t going anywhere; in fact, Ignition 8 will include major improvements to Vision. We’re excited to release Perspective and we know that Vision will continue to be a valuable, highly effective module.

 

Carl and Colby Developer Panel ICC 2018

 

Vision and Perspective Can Work Together

You don’t have to choose between one module or the other; in fact, we think that you should use both. Perspective is for mobile-first projects and applications, optimized for web browsers. Vision, on the other hand, is a tried and tested solution for designing traditional plant-floor displays, HMIs, and desktop screens. We will continue to recommend Vision for any projects that don’t require browser/mobile-first functionality. Rather than competing, Vision and Perspective complement one another’s functionality, and when used together will form the most powerful visualization system built specifically for the industrial space.

One of the beautiful things about Ignition’s modular architecture is how it allows our legacy solutions and new solutions to evolve gracefully and live together symbiotically. You’ll be able to keep building products with an extremely stable module (Vision), and experiment with a new design environment with different priorities (Perspective).  

 

How We’re Improving Vision

We’ve given the Vision Module a big update in 8 and we’re confident it will make your experience using Vision better than it’s ever been. For starters, the updated Vision will look sharper than ever. We’ve given the designer and clients a cleaner, more modern look and feel, added more font choices with better rendering, and improved support for high-resolution displays.

The new Vision Module has a poll-free data protocol that updates tag data instantly, which will do wonders for speed and scalability. It’s faster and more efficient than ever before, with two-way communication that pushes event-driven updates, is more lightweight than poll-response protocols, and makes system expansion virtually effortless, all while using up a lot less CPU power.

We’ve made a lot of improvements to the tag system in Ignition 8 which will benefit both Vision and Perspective. UDT-based design is now much more efficient, all tag changes are handled on a fine-grained property level, and the speeds for importing, browsing, and moving tags have all increased significantly.

We know many of you will be excited to hear that Java hassles are coming to an end in Ignition 8! From any major operating system, you’ll be able to launch Vision without the need to install or update Java for Ignition ever again. Yes, it’s that simple.

 

Long-Term Outlook for Vision and Perspective

As we said, Vision will still be your go-to module for building traditional industrial applications for the plant floor, and it benefits from 15 years of continuous development. We will continue to add new features to Vision; for example, we’re planning to incorporate a more sophisticated security model and multi-factor authentication into Vision in Ignition 8.1. We’re also committed to providing long-term support for Vision for at least the next five years to keep it stable and secure.

By comparison, Perspective clients will only run inside of a web browser or the mobile app in the initial release. We plan to build up and refine Perspective’s features over time in the same way as we’ve done for Vision. Perspective will eventually be as stable, tested, and mature as Vision is now, but we know that it’s going to take time, feedback, and development.

 

You Don’t Need to Wait for 8

What does all this mean for you as an Ignition user? It means that there is no need to wait for Ignition 8 to build new projects. You can keep building traditional projects in Vision as you’ve always done. If you’re interested in developing mobile-first applications you can start hatching some new ideas for when Perspective comes out, while knowing that you’ll be able to use all the scripts, tags, queries, and other elements you’ve already created. We have no doubt that you’ll soon find many brilliant ways to use these two great modules together.

For more information about Ignition 8, visit our What's New in Ignition page. Also, feel free to share your comments or questions about Ignition 8 in our ideas portal or in the comment section below.


AUTHOR
Carl Gould and Colby Clegg
Carl Gould
Carl is co-director of software engineering at Inductive Automation. Carl has been with the company from the ground up and was part of the original team that developed Ignition. His work has been instrumental to the company's rapid growth ever since. Today, he continues to lead the development of Ignition, innovating new ways to elevate both the software and the manufacturing automation industry as a whole.

Colby Clegg
Colby has been with Inductive Automation since the company’s formation, and is one of the original designers of the Ignition software. His day-to-day goal is to make Ignition do more things in more places, focusing on data management, performance, and distributed computing. Outside of work, you'll probably find him exploring the incredible countryside surrounding Folsom and beyond on his bike.

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