The big moment has arrived: after years of planning, development, and testing, we’re extremely excited to formally announce that, yes, Ignition 8 is here. With it comes a new world of possibilities for creating industrial applications.
The Road to 8: A Customer-Oriented Approach
Throughout the process of building Ignition 8, it’s been very important to us that the final product address our customers’ real-world needs. In fact, every feature and update in Ignition 8 is directly related to feedback we received from our audience. Since we released the first version of Ignition in 2010, we’ve had a huge response from the industry, and even seen a real community grow within our user base.
We’ve always emphasized the significance of the Ignition community, and it’s from that group of professionals that we draw insights into how we can enhance and improve our platform. They are also our number-one source for understanding the demands of the industry, what trends actually matter to users, and what upgrades and updates will truly support the work that they do.
As we built updates and added tools, we focused on finding a sweet spot between creating a product that had all the bells and whistles of a truly modern control system platform, while still keeping it intuitive and familiar for our users. We also followed our company motto as we developed this new version:
“Our mission is to create industrial software that empowers our customers to swiftly turn great ideas into reality by removing all technological and economic obstacles.”
Below, you’ll find a list of some highlights of Ignition 8, including features that will be especially relevant for our key audiences. In particular, we wanted to ease the challenges of enterprise Ignition users and our core integrators, designers, and developers. And of course, you’ll learn about the exciting new mobile tools within the Ignition Perspective Module. We’re thrilled to share this with you today; thanks for coming along for the ride.
Enterprise solutions in Ignition 8
Updates Fit for an Enterprise
More and more, we’re seeing large enterprises use Ignition to accomplish incredible things. With Ignition 8, we wanted to help larger teams to work together more efficiently. Now, companies have tools that are created specifically to improve operational efficiency across the whole enterprise.
This is a classic example of how our customers’ needs drive development. While our unlimited tag model has enabled users to build out absolutely massive systems, we’ve often received feedback that the memory required for each tag was slowing down systems with over a half million tags. In Ignition 8, tags have been overhauled to perform at new, faster rates. We’ve improved the tag data model so you can easily add custom properties and setpoints to any tag and subscribe directly to any tag attribute without scripting. With greater customization options and seemingly instantaneous tag editing, moving, browsing, and importing, you can now handle huge amounts of data more nimbly than ever before.
New Project Inheritance Model
In Ignition 8, we’ve streamlined inheritance to give you more flexibility for managing projects. Now, users are able to define overarching corporate project resources that can be shared and reused on a local level, even while making local changes to those resources. This allows for individual sites to customize projects to their exact needs, while still having access to resources that were built out for their larger organization.
Simple, Fast Deployment
Deployment is easier and quicker than ever in Ignition 8. Visualization clients in the new Ignition Perspective Module are lightweight and lightning-fast so operators and supervisors can deploy as many clients as they need and see changes instantly. With the new poll-free architecture of Ignition 8, tag updates and changes take effect instantly. This means changes in Ignition clients are faster and use less CPU power than ever before. Plus, you can launch up to 200 concurrent clients with ease.
Design and Development Improvement
At the core of Ignition 8, there are huge improvements for designers, developers, and the teams building projects in Ignition. We focused on making changes that would speed up development time, and make projects more powerful on multiple levels. Now, Ignition is easier than ever to work with and incorporates real solutions that companies need to design efficiently.
Source control in Ignition 8
One of the most common requests we’ve gotten over the last few years has been to make Ignition compatible with external source control tools. With Ignition 8, we’ve redesigned the way our projects are stored to deliver this functionality. Now, teams can restore old versions of their projects, resolve issues with conflicting code, track changes in their codebase, and more using Git or another source code management system. This is especially advantageous for large and growing teams looking to expand their systems.
Concurrent Design Without Lockouts
The concurrent design functionality available in Ignition 8 helps you get work done faster, whether you’re working on a team of two or larger. Multiple designers can now work together on projects without experiencing lockouts as your screens update. Now you can do more with your most valuable resources: your team and your time.
Easy-to-Deploy Vision Clients
We’ve also made some big improvements to the Ignition Vision Module in 8. Vision clients are now easier to launch: Instead of deploying through Java Web Start, they’re now deployed through new native client launchers for Windows, Mac, and Linux. We’ve embedded Java into Ignition so that you won’t need to install, perform maintenance, or update Java on your system again.
See all Ignition Perspective has to offer.
A Fresh Perspective on Mobile Applications
Perhaps the most obvious change in the industry, and really the world, that has taken place since we first released Ignition is the proliferation of mobile devices. For the last three years, we’ve been working on building a module that would be a true industrial application platform built from the ground up to leverage modern web technology. The result: The Ignition Perspective Module. With HTML5 and CSS3 rendering, and running natively on any web browser, on any device, with any major OS, the Ignition Perspective Module is truly a pure-web, first-class solution for building industrial applications.
Perspective's mobile application
Native Mobile Application
Ignition Perspective comes with a native mobile application that’s easy to access and makes mobile interaction more powerful than ever before. Using the Ignition Perspective App, anyone can utilize major mobile-device functions within their automation systems. Camera access allows for operators to take pictures and log them in their system, as well as scanning barcodes or QR codes. Extend your applications into the field with location sensors; you can even take readings or photos in the field and tag them with GPS and other sensor data. Plus, everything in the Perspective App is fully touch-enabled, so you can interact with your system like you would with any other mobile application.
Easy, Flexible Design for Mobile
Designing a mobile-first application presents a unique challenge: the screens must automatically shift to fit different screen sizes such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones, and also need to be able to gracefully transition from portrait to landscape mode depending on the orientation of a device. For example, tables that are easy to read on a desktop PC are very challenging to work with on a mobile phone because the screens are totally different sizes and the user interacts with the devices in different ways. This is where the new Ignition Perspective Module comes into play.
Ignition Perspective brings users many new, exciting possibilities for designing mobile-first screens and HMIs. It uses flexible container types that adjust for small, medium, or large devices, which make it easy to interact with the HMI whether you’re on a laptop with a mouse or trackpad, or using a touchscreen. Therefore, a feature that’s displayed as a table on a laptop can easily shift into a set of data “cards” that are easier to read on a mobile phone screen. Ignition Perspective lets users interact with their applications on their mobile device just as smoothly as they can on their desktop.
Security in the Perspective Module
Strengthened with Modern Security Features
Security is vital to any control system, and we’ve enhanced security in Perspective with modern features designed for today's landscape of cyber security threats. In particular, we’ve added several key identity management tools to ensure that only the right people have access to your software. With single sign-on (SSO), you can grant employees access through their existing corporate credentials, even working with federated identity technologies such as SAML and OpenID Connect. Further, Perspective is compatible with two-factor authentication (2FA) to corroborate users’ credentials using a second source of identification.
New and Improved, Built for You
As you can see, it’s hard to pinpoint the one “best” thing about Ignition 8. We know it will be different for each of our customers, but one thing that we know every user will appreciate is that Ignition 8 is built on our same, trusted platform that thousands of busy industrial operations have relied on for nearly a decade. Ignition is easy enough to start up in minutes, but powerful enough to create a complete enterprise solution in one place. It’s possible to use Ignition for a single system, like alarms or reporting, or use it for an entire production line. You can even connect it with enterprise tools to make it part of your larger system’s connected organization.
Finally, we’re excited to share Ignition 8 with you today because we’ve built this platform for you, our users. Every challenge we took on in building this version was motivated by what you told us you wanted from your control systems. From small additions, like new fonts and better high-resolution display support, to big changes like the ones you can see above, all of the updates were based on real requests from real users. As a company, we believe in staying focused on what our community members actually want and need, not what is trendy or easy to build.
Experience the Ignition Perspective Demo
Experience Perspective yourself with the full, interactive online demo. You can view the demo right now at: demo.ia.io
The demo is built entirely in Perspective and has fully functional, mobile-responsive screens for real-time status, alarming, HMI, and more.
If you want to see how quick and easy it is to put a project together in Perspective, check out Travis Cox's Ignition 8 demo video. In the video, Travis goes from installation to building a project in under 20 minutes as he walks through the steps of how to build the screens in the Ignition Perspective demo project.
Try Ignition 8 for Yourself, Download it Now!
Now that we’ve introduced you to the new version, don’t wait any longer: Download your free unlimited trial of Ignition 8 today and start building! One of the most surprising and rewarding parts of our job is to see the incredible things that the community build with Ignition. Your ingenuity and creativity with the platform never cease to amaze us, and with all the tools we’ve packed into this release of Ignition we really can’t wait to see what you’re going to make next!
As always, we love to hear what you’re up to. Connect with our account representatives, check in on our forums, keep up with us on social media, or share your comments below.