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Ignition 8.0.10 (and Ignition Edge new editions)

Ignition Community Live

54 min video  /  1 minute read
 

Welcome to Ignition Community Live! We're starting a series of weekly chats to help stay connected to the community during this time. These chats will include folks from Inductive Automation as well as community guests. We'll be kicking off this first online event with Travis and Kevin, Inductive Automation's Co-Directors of Sales Engineering, talking through some of the new features in Ignition 8.0.10. This will include a focus on the new editions of Ignition Edge, including IIoT, Panel with Perspective, and the brand new Edge Compute. Looking forward to seeing you there!


Video Transcript:

Kevin: Hello, folks. This is Kevin McClusky, Don Pearson, and Travis Cox from Inductive Automation. We're here for the first Ignition Community Live.

Don: I just wanna welcome everyone to Ignition Community Live. We're very glad that you've joined us here today, and my name is Don Pearson, I'll introduce you today to our host and launch our first Ignition Community Live. I just wanted to really talk about Ignition Community Live just for a second, and why we are doing this.

Basically, when you think about what's going on in the environment and everything, we really know that these are challenging times. Most of us at Inductive Automation are working remotely, we're away from the office now because we haven't got a chance to have in-person meetings, they've had to be canceled, and live events. But I think you and this community know that it's very important that we still stay connected to all of you and we wanna help you stay connected with other members of the community because this community is absolutely key to our collective success and, of course, to the success of our customers.

We have monthly webinars but we started this special weekly series of live chats, and these chats will include people from the Inductive Automation team, sometimes we'll have guests from the Ignition community, as well as people from the Inductive team. We can talk about releases as you'll hear more today, projects, ideas, questions, best practices and use cases, a little more open to you to have the questions, the answers, the discussions and our use of webinars. We really hope that you'll participate in these chats, some of you will actually be guests and speaking as we go forward, and also give us some good interaction, and provide feedback also on subjects which you'd like to hear about, things you'd like us to cover.

The hosts for today's chat are Kevin McClusky and Travis Cox, who are Co-Directors of Sales Engineering. Travis joined the team in 2003 and was previously Director of Training and Director of Support. And as many of you know, he's overseeing a lot of projects inside the organization and basically is here today to talk a little bit about ... Basically, he's covered successful launches, HMIs, data projects, a lot of industries, and he's gonna talk about some of the background today and his exemplary work with Ignition, as a trainer, a sales engineer, all the various aspects of things he's done around here.

Kevin McClusky was previously Director of Design Services, he joined the team in 2011, bringing years of expert experience in the field of industrial automation to the organization and he's done projects certainly in installations deployed in a variety of industries all around the world. So I don't think we could have any better hosts, if you will, for our first launch. So, with that introduction, Travis and Kevin, over to you guys.

Kevin: Alright. Well, thanks a lot, Don. It's very good to be here, as I said. Hey Travis, how's it going?

Travis: Doing good, how are you doing, Kevin?

Kevin: Good, good, good. So we are ... Just like the rest of the world, we are working from home, so we're not in the same office right now. We're locked down but we're still here with you, and we're very happy to be here with you. I'm pretty excited about these series of chats because that's really how I see them, it's chats, it's with the community, it's us talking to each other and talking to you guys. And I think this is gonna be a really great series going forward.

Travis: I agree, and it gives us an avenue to be able to not only talk about new things and talk about the advances of Ignition, but it gives us an avenue to talk about other ideas and to have the community really engage with us and asking questions and working ... Another way we can share some of our best practices and technical wisdom, if you will, with the world. So I think it's a great avenue and hopefully, Kevin, you and I get to be on here quite often. They're gonna be fun.

Kevin: Yeah, yeah, I'm looking ... And I'm hoping that's the case and I know that we have a pretty great lineup coming up. We've got the first four topics already set, and we already know who's gonna be here more or less, and got a couple of community members that are set up for that. Great, yeah. So today we're gonna be talking about 8.0.10. It's a very timely topic. We just released 8.0.10, and inside 8.0.10, we have a whole slew of new features and as part of those new features, we have Ignition Edge changes with a whole variety of Ignition Edge additions. So we thought that it would be great to talk about this to show you guys a little bit about it, tell you a little bit about what went into it, and since it's just a conversation, maybe even talk a little bit about the behind-the-scenes, how these things come into being, what our processes are. We'll just see where the conversation goes. It's an open conversation.

Travis: Yeah, one of the first things real quick before we get into 8.0.10 is, you might also be wondering, "Where's 8.0.9?" in terms of a blog. We do blog posts on every version of Ignition now, so you can see what features are in there, kind of get a sense of what that version is gonna bring to the table because we are putting a lot of advancements into this line of ... Into Ignition 8. And 8.0.9 was a release that we put out that had a small little issue in it, an issue that we brought into the style system. We're gonna talk more about the style editor here today as well. But we ought to do a quick release to fix those issues, get that out the door. And so now, really the next big advancement really in the 8 line was 8.0.10. So it's not that we skipped anything, it would just ... Here's the next great thing that we'll get to go through and talk more about.

Kevin: So the next ... So, if we actually enumerate some of the things inside 8.0.10, we've got the new features, new Edge additions that I was talking about, and I thought that maybe we'd go through the new features, some of the highlights, one by one. We probably had 40 or 50 or 60 or 100 different improvements that we've made from 8.0.9 to 8.0.10 or 8.0.8 to 8.0.10, really. But these are the few that we just picked out to share with you guys in the community.

So if we go through, we can just hit some of these highlights. Concurrent Design is one of them. And I'm a big proponent of showing things off when we can show things off and we thought that this would be something that would be fun to show off. So, Concurrent Design basically, this is something that we add in Ignition 7.9, where basically there were Concurrent Design lock-outs. And when you went into Design, and someone else had something open, you wouldn't be able to open that at all. With Ignition 8, we wanted to relax that a bit so you didn't have these same types of lock-outs. But we also wanted to give you some informative messages that let you know when other people are doing other things, give you plenty of warning, and a message that pops up and some indicators of what's happening inside the system. So those things didn't make it into the 8.0.0 release, those made it into the 8.0.10 release. So we just released those features. You've had concurrent editing ever since 8.0 dropped, but you now can see some of this concurrent designing. So, Travis has, you've got your system set up, right? Your Ignition Gateway. I have a Designer launcher here and we should both be able to pull up a Designer and show off that a little bit here.

Travis: Now, while Kevin's pulling up the Designer here, I have the Designer open on my side with a couple of Perspective views that are already open. And I logged in as Travis, he'll log in as Kevin, so you can see some of these features in action. But, in the very beginning with 8, of course, the concurrent design's been very important as Kevin was saying. And we have the ability to do conflict resolution, right? So, anybody can open up any resource, whereas previously, in 7.9, we locked out resources. It prevented quite a lot. So, in 8 we said not to do that, where you can open up the resources and then if you made a change, somebody else changed as well, we had a conflict resolution screen where you can resolve this. Now, in addition to that, we get a lot more information that Kevin's about to show here.

Kevin: Yeah, and it's pretty great. So, in 7.9, yeah, you're just straight-up locked out. You couldn't do anything when somebody else was logged in, but if you take a look right here, you can see as I expand this out now, I have alarms, I have home sitting right here and I have this little icon next to it which says that someone's editing it. If I mouse over it, it actually tells me who that is. So, I can come in and it says, "Travis is editing this resource." If I come to open it, it gives me a warning. It says, "Do I wanna confirm this concurrent editing?" Alright, so Travis is using it right now. It's being used by another user which we can see who it is when we hover over it. If you both save changes, you'll need to resolve conflicts. So, that's one of the other great things that we added in Ignition 8 is that conflict resolution. That's part of every screen here. So, if I tell that I wanna open it anyway, I hit "Okay," right there, and open that up.

I can come down to the bottom. We can see the open resources, we can see which views are open. We can see which ones have a couple of different folks who are using them at the same time. So, in this case, Travis has this open. I have it open as well, this home screen, and then there's an alarm screen and what I'm going to do ... And I can hit refresh. It'll tell us when they're overlapping, right? And then this gives us that information, every time that this refreshes I can refresh it here. And I'm gonna come in and I'm going to add something to this. I'm gonna say I want a simple view. I don't know if we have any tags. We don't right now, but there may or may not be ... I'm just gonna create a new tag, just to have an expression tag here. I'll just call this guy value, hit okay, give this guy, I don't know, 10, and then drag it out to the screen here. Oh, it doesn't like that right now. That's okay.

Oh it's because I made an expression tag. I made a memory tag.

Travis: What are you doing?

Kevin: Yeah, yeah. Thanks for giving me a hard time about that, Travis.

Travis: And he beat me in the build-a-thon. How'd that happen?

Kevin: Alright, alright. So I got a tank there and I'm going to come in and I like that tank position, let's say, and I'm going to hit save right here, and that saves it. And now I have saved the latest version of this. Now, Travis, since he already has this open, he could add something up to a different spot, so he could have something that's added right up above this. And in fact, I'm guessing, as we're talking right now, he's adding something right there. And then he's going to hit save, and he'll see something that is conflict resolution. So, only if he reverts and then he saves ... Actually, do you wanna show that conflict resolution? Is that easy enough for you to show right now? Or we could show without the ... You could save something else, and then I can make another change and I could do the conflict resolution.

Travis: We'll show it on your side here, Kevin. So I'm gonna save the change. In fact, now you can update it and you can do the conflict resolution that's there.

Kevin: Alright, so I'm going to come in ... And well, he did conflict resolution, so, thank you, Travis. I appreciate that. Alright, so I'm gonna add something and he's going to add something at the same time. So I'll add something right below here. I'll just duplicate this guy and leave that there and I'll come in and I'll return the favor because I think Travis is pretty great. So, and then Travis allowed something else on the right-hand side here. Travis is gonna hit save first and then I'm going to hit save, and that'll give me a dialogue here where I can try to resolve these conflicts. So you can see ... Okay, so Travis added this over here and I added this over here, and we have these two different items. I can pick between these guys right here. I can see what the actual changes are inside the text. So it's pretty nice that it'll actually highlight what's been added here and what's been changed.

And so, I think Travis is awesome. It's better than this LED display. So I'm gonna say use what's inside this Designer. I could also pull in what he has, or I can copy these out and then add those, and then at some point in the future, we're actually going to have a little Merge Changes button as well, which will add these together. So we don't have that today, but that's a future feature that we are looking at adding too, so that's pretty exciting as well. I'm going to save this off, update the resources. You can see we don't have any conflicts, and we can see we just have one overlapping that we both have them.

Travis: Awesome. Yeah. And I can't wait for that emerging tech to be in there. It's gonna make all of these features so much more powerful.

Kevin: Yeah. Yeah. It's gonna be great. And then, yeah. First-class version control integration as well as something that's one of those future features that's coming, which is also something that I'm really excited about where you can go in, you can hit file, and connect to Git, and then, have some of the emerging things inside Ignition directly. At least, that's the idea on paper, right?

Travis: You can do a little call out too next week. So, stay tuned, 'cause next week, we're gonna be coming back to Community Live, and talking a little bit more about deployments for Ignition, and development testing, and production environments, along with source control. So, we're gonna talk a bit more about that coming up.

Kevin: Alright. So, I'm gonna ... Maybe, you wanna talk about the Report Viewer, I talk about the concurrent designer more. So.

Travis: With 8.0.10, we brought a new component in Perspective, called Report Viewer. So, this was something we had in the Vision Module, and now, we have in Perspective. So, people who are trying to put a report, a PDF report, onto a Perspective screen, is, kind of, difficult before. We had to use a web dev, but now, it's a native component, very easy to work with, has pagination, has build a download, make a cool screen, all that's there, and we've already updated our demo projects on our website, as well as, we're updating the Ignition Exchange resource. You, kinda, see all this stuff in action, but it's now being able to directly get these PDF reports right there in a Perspective screen. So, pretty simple, and easy to work with.

Kevin: Yep. And if you're not familiar with this demo project, you should be. So, this is sitting at demo.ia.io. You can come here at any point. You can take a look at all the features that we're highlighting, and really, all the latest features that we have inside Ignition, and we try to keep this updated on a regular basis as we have new features, new components, new additions that come out, we add them inside here. In fact, this is ... Travis mentioned the build-a-thon, which I won at the last Ignition Community Conference. Part of the reason I won is I created this playback controller, which has historical playback, and we just added that into here, as well.

So, if we go into historical values, and say, "Let's go over the past day," and we go back in time, and we playback from a certain point, you can see all of these are now updating just based on that point in time if I move around here. In fact, we actually have the graphs that are updating as these time points as well. And so, you can see as I scrub, as I move back and forth, this is history, and we're now sitting at 10 o'clock last night. So, yeah. We try to keep this updated with all these different features, and different things, that you have available. I think this is ... It's worth, quickly, talking about where to find this if you wanted to find it. That historical playback controller is on the Ignition Exchange, which is sitting just at our website. So, Inductive Automation ... I should go to inductiveautomation.com and show you.

So, in the upper right, here, in our website, we have the Ignition Exchange. You go there, and this has all these different resources that have been made by the community, and by Inductive Automation by our group that does a whole variety of different things with customers, and then, we wanted to put some of these things out that are examples. That historical playback is just one of the things that are sitting inside here. Ad-hoc trends is another great example where it allows for more, or less, pulling the points that you want, putting them on the graph, putting them in place, modifying these on-the-fly for colors, and paths, and things like that. This is definitely not the subject that we were talking about right now, but I thought that was worth mentioning. So, I'm gonna minimize this, and we're gonna come back over here, so we can keep moving.

Next feature, native client launchers. These launchers have been updated, and the nice thing about this ... I'm not gonna go through and show you the new launcher. The nice thing about this is that it has the ability to do a system-wide install. These launchers, the Designer launcher, the Vision client launcher, in Ignition 8.0 before would just install under the user directory. So, it'd install as a local install for that user, but there wasn't any option for a system-wide install where we'd go under ... On Windows C: /Program Files, and then, whatever else. So, having a system-wide install makes it a lot easier for enterprises who are looking for deployments, and we still have the options for the silent install behind the scenes. There's extra flags that you can add to these things. And so, that is going to make enterprise deployments a lot easier.

Travis: Alright. So, device system tags. Well, it's kind of long overdue for this one, but as you guys may know, we have system tags in the Designer. So, we're gonna let you give information, your tags, about the system. So, you can see CPU of the server, memory, you could see all the database comment connections, and your Gateway network information, other metrics that are there, you get in the systems tags. For all of the devices that we connect to an Ignition, for our PLCs that we ... And our drivers, all of the diagnostics have been OPC tags.

So, you create those tags yourself, but now, with 8.0.10, we, actually, have a set of system tags that give you that diagnostics right there without having to go and create those as OPC tags. Of course, those still exist, but now, you can easily get it as a system tag. So, more information that we expose there, it means the easier that we can just automatically build dashboards, and screens off of that. And again, there was an example of a dashboard screen we have in the Exchange that we can easily expand to show this information as well.

Kevin: Alright. Next thing is Perspective full screen. This is, kind of, a minor thing, but this is something that is a precursor to the Perspective panel that we have coming up, but, basically, this is an action that you have, inside Perspective, that will allow you behind a button to have someone press the button, and it will make it go full screen. So, just like a browser's regular full screen. If you hit F11, that'll make any browser go full screen. It's the same functionality there. And the idea is, of course, if you want Perspective sessions to be full screen right now, you now have a way to do it. The upcoming new version of Perspective we currently have ... Perspective's the full module, and then, we have a couple of different ways to view it.

We have the Perspective inside mobile devices, we have Perspective inside browsers, and then we're going to have a Perspective native Windows desktop application that is also going to be available inside Perspective and that's gonna be nice for things like panel, and if you need a native application that's installed, so that's also going to have its own set of features, but the full screen is obviously something that's important there, as well.

Travis: Yeah, so that's gonna give us, as actual HMI replacement, that will give us what we really want in terms of that. So that's up and coming, but at least until then, we have this function that we can use to help with that right now to make it easier to go full screen.

Kevin: And then we have a new style editor, yeah, so this is exciting.

Travis: Yeah, so the style editor, this is what ... In the Designer you can create, for Perspective, you can create styles as well as you can create views, and styles are basically colors and fonts and various style attributes that you can save, it's like a CSS class that you can then apply to many components. And the editor for this that we had for a while was good, but you had to type a lot of things in and it was ... We certainly could have made it a lot better with that. And so that's what we've got here with the 8.0.9 or 8.0.10, is we have this new style editor that makes it much easier in creating these styles. So if you go up there, Kevin, and go in and edit that, edit one of those styles, you can show how nice it is here today.

Kevin: Yeah. And so if you take a look at all of this, the base styles and then this looks a little bit different than it did before, so you can see the applied styles on the left. So this is everything that has been applied on the right, away from default. And if I take a look at that, so that background has just been set for this background color, I've got bad background image or position I can put it in there, but for things like colors, we now have some selection, so you can do it with the standard color palette that pops up right here so that in addition to typing in the actual CSS values, we've got a selector.

You have, you had some drop-downs before, but now it's a bit more intentional in terms of exactly what it's got for here. One of my favorite things that's inside here is the margins and padding, it actually shows you more or less how margins and padding work, so you can see that the padding is inside the component and the margins are outside of the component, and in addition to applying standard margins for everything, you can apply them individually outside here or standard padding for everything, you can apply them on the inside right here.

So as a quick side note, if you had 8.0.8, you probably only saw it was only padding or margin that was an oversight on our part and we added back in the one that was missing there. So 8.0.10, yeah, you have this really nice editor that lets you set up each one of those left, right and if I come in and they say I want a 10-pixel margin-top or just 10, that'll show up right there. You can see, as I type this in, my padding-left is maybe 10 pixels as well, not 01 and then you can see it show up over here too. I want to come in and get rid of one of these, I just hit the X, it pulls it out and then, yeah, we have a bunch of other things as well.

So it gives you little previews for some of this stuff. It's going to ... Yeah, border style's right here, you can see what that's going to look like, if I come down to your outline style, the same type of thing, and then under shape down here, you've got your fill, you've got your stroke and then whatever the stroke width is for the shape objects. And then, of course, there's the miscellaneous opacity, which is pretty nice if you're trying to do things that are fancier and that are going to show through or watermarked behind things, things like that.

This cursor is obviously the cursor itself, but you now see what this cursor is actually going to look like and then you've got these overflow options here as well. And then, of course, some of these containers have their own type of things with overflows, so you've got wrap for certain containers and some other things, and so those might overlap what these styles are doing. It cascades, CSS is Cascading Style Sheets, which means that the style of the component takes effect and it'll cascade ... The styles that are here will cascade down until it finds something that is set specifically for that component, then that component is in charge of its own things for those pieces.

For the other pieces, everything cascades down. So if you change the color for things, that's gonna cascade down, unless you change the color specifically for a component. You can see the style editor for each one of the components. It's the same thing here. So you get the same options, you apply them in the same way, you set this behind the scenes and it's going to give you that separate fill right there and if this fill actually made a difference for this component, you'd see it right here.

And then the other things to talk about, these are the Edge additions. So the new Edge additions are very exciting, and this is something that we've worked really hard on to try to make these answer a lot of the questions that the community has had. So everyone who's out there, everyone who's on this webinar, everyone who's watching this later, we really hope that this is going to be something that you're very excited about because we're very excited about this too. So these are the new additions. If you take a look at where this was before these are the old additions.

So these are the ones before Ignition 8.0.9, that you had, that you know, that you love, Edge Panel, Edge Enterprise and Edge MQTT and the new additions are Edge Panel which sounds like the old addition, although we have some changes there, and then the rest of these aren't going to be familiar to you. So Edge IIoT, Edge Compute, Edge Sync Services, and Edge EAM, because they're not going to be familiar to you, Travis made this cool graphic that's going to make them make a lot more sense. So basically, this is what we did right here and Travis, you wanna chime in?

Travis: Yeah, so we did this because of some pain points that we were trying to address. And so, specifically, Edge Enterprise, it had two functions built into it, it had the enterprise administration functions, and our sync services functions in there, and so, in order for a customer to use one or the other, they had to use both. So here, we basically separate them out into two different products, so to make that a little more clear. MQTT went to IIoT. And the reason for that is to put it to a better name because it does more than just MQTT. Also, as you'll see, exposes through OPC-UA. So it's more of getting data out in terms of IoT. And then Edge Panel continues to be Edge Panel with some new features, and we introduced a new product called Edge Compute, which we'll be talking more about here as well.

Kevin: All of these are answers to some of the pain points that folks have had, and as I said, we're very excited about all of this. So the features, we take a look at the new EdgeCore features and limitations. You might hear the word Edge Core. Basically, Edge Core is included, it's the core of Edge and all of these additions have a shared set of features that are underneath it. We decided to give that a label this time and we're calling that Edge Core. So, Edge Panel, Edge IoT, Edge Compute, Edge Sync Services, Edge EAM, all have a foundation of Edge Core inside there. So if we're talking about things that everything has, these are the EdgeCore features and limitations.

All of these are equipped with all of the drivers. All of the IA drivers, everything that Inductive Automation creates. The only exception there is the SECS/GEM Driver and SECS/GEM Module, that's a semiconductor module, and it has some requirements on the database as some specialized things for back and forth, in the way that it works. But all of the regular, native IA OPC drivers, those are all included. In order to do that inclusion, we did have to limit the number of devices that you can connect to directly. So we decided we're gonna open it up entirely with the driver suite, so you don't have to worry about buying additional drivers, and you can connect to up to two devices for any of those.

We opened up the connection to third-party OPC servers and there's OPC COM there. So if you have Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, for example, or if you have a device that's running Windows, then you can connect OPC DA, you can connect OPC-UA servers that are remote. You can connect to OPC-UA that's built in to processors and there are unlimited connections there so ... We got a Siemens S7-1500 or you've got Beckhoff or a Bedrock or some of these other newer processors that have OPC-UA built in, you can connect directly to them. Unlimited tags, that is still the case. Gateway network connections are built right in. If you wanted to use any of the features on top of the Gateway network, then you can choose which addition you want that supports those features, but the actual Gateway Network connection is part of it. One week Historical Data Buffer is part of it, and then the one-way email notification is right there. As I mentioned, there's the two-device connection limit. There's no SQL database access, which is exactly the same as it was before on Edge. And then one project, one tag provider, one historical tag provider, but now, this is something that everyone was asking for for a long time.

You can modify those names. So that means if you're centrally managing these, if you've got copies of these projects in different places if you're setting it up where you want this to run on a central server and have 20 of these projects side by side, and run it on the Edge, you can modify these names for these different things so you can just export as is, import as-is, you use Enterprise Administration Module to do distribution of these resources, from Central to the Edge and you don't have to go in and worry about changing the name or worry about changing names under remote tag providers when you have those set up from Central to Edge.

Travis: Yeah, that's really important. And just one thing to mention real quick on that is, we realize that the two-device connection there in some cases can be restrictive. The idea is you wanna keep Edge very simple and not have to worry ... Think about the functions you want and not worry about what drivers you need or any of that. And Edge is meant to be distributed, meant to have multiple out there next ... Right next to the controllers to minimize connectivity loss of those PLCs, do store and forward, do all that we need to do with that. When you have a lot more devices you wanna connect up to, it does behoove yourself to go to just a standard Ignition in those particular cases. But Edge here is designed very specifically for these scenarios that we're about to go through.

The first one is Edge Panel. And that is our HMI, standalone HMI functionality and that now provides Vision or Perspective, so you can choose whichever one you want to configuration point. You get basically one local client, one remote client, so that way you can ... From all those drivers, all those tags you built, you can do real-time status control and you can see alarms, and you can see that one week of historical data that's being buffered, in trends right there at the HMI without having to have a SQL database. And really gives you that power of being able to have visualization there.

In that case, you have a critical asset or machine. You wanna route location, where you wanna have that or if it's just standalone. And this does include a web browser for the module for Vision, so it's kind of everything you need for the visualization. Again, Vision or Perspective. So, pretty excited now you can extend your Perspective project down to the Edge, and have ... Maintain the exact same thing as Kevin was saying earlier, with being able to change your name, you can certainly do that going forward.

Edge IIoT ... So basically, we changed it from MQTT to IoT, because first of all, it's gonna resonate more with what it's meant to do. It's not just getting data through MQTT. It's really all about data and ... At all. So it's ... We have all the drivers included on the IA side. This also includes all the Cirrus Link drivers. So the Opto 22 SNAP PAC, the Emerson Rock and then eventually, ABB Totalflow when that comes into play. All will be included there, and that's really powerful. Letting us extend all those drivers out there and be able to bring that data up through MQTT, so of course, this has the Transmission Module to publish that data up, but this also now includes third-party access to our OPC-UA server, so that was formerly a restriction.

Here now you can have another product, talk to Ignition through OPC-UA. In particular, we had customers who wanted to use AWS SiteWise along with Ignition, and they weren't able to do that because they couldn't get SiteWise to connect to Ignition through OPC-UA on Edge, because we restricted it. So now it's completely open. So really IoT is all about data, getting data out, whether it's OPC-UA or whether it's MQTT, you have the best of both worlds going forward and all the drivers there, so it's everything you would really need to do IoT.

The next product is Edge Compute and we're really excited about this one. Edge Compute is actually providing edge computing, true edge computing at the edge of the network right next to the PLC. So this is ... This gives you Python scripting. That was a big pain point for our people. They want to do scripting on timer scripts or tag change scripts on Edge, and we just simply did not have the facilities for that. Now with Edge Compute, you can combine that with any other Edge product, giving you that scripting. It also gives you the web dev module so you can actually build REST APIs or expose data through that mechanism, work with it, and we can do messaging over the Gateway network.

So Kevin mentioned the gateway network is part of the core; now, we can send messages from the Edge up or from up-down to the Edge and have that going back and forth, and again, using scripting to make all that happen. So now, we can really start doing more with that way at the Edge than just getting data up there.

Kevin: Yeah, and I wanted to add a little bit to this, too: The ability to do Edge Compute, the ability to do scripting. When most folks think of edge computing, they do think of, specifically, Edge compute cycles that you might be doing where you're doing some sort of processing, some sort of logic that's sitting on the Edge. So as opposed to an edge HMI or edge data collector, Edge Compute is really viewed by the industry as something where you can execute things, you can do things.

And so, part of that Python scripting, I talked to a number of customers who were going to be doing machine learning at the Edge. So they're basically taking that Python scripting and connecting it up to libraries, either the ones that we had built into Ignition, or they might be connecting to a local Python installation that's sitting on that exact same box, which you can do over things like Flask or Bottle. There's some nice technologies that allow you to connect R Python over RESTful connections, just localhost and say ... That executes some TensorFlow or you can execute scikit-learn or other things that are locally on that box and have the communication back and forth.

So there's really sky's the limit when it comes to all of this because it really provides, as it says in the slide, true edge computing. And if anyone's heard any of the sessions that I've done, you know that I'm a big advocate of machine learning and I've seen how it's changed some folks' processes and how big of an impact it can have, and it's really exciting to me.

Travis: For sure. Alright, so let's talk about the next one, which is Sync Services. Again, we took the enterprise product and we broke it in two. One is Sync Services. These are all of the Gateway network services that we provide. So remote tags, remote alarming, remote auditing, remote tag historian, all of these things are part of that. So we're synchronizing data from the edge to central. So this does require, of course, a central Ignition server to do that Gateway network. Again, you can have remote tags being set up there, so they can see all the tags of Edge, see the status of the alarms. We can also have alarms, notifications being sent up the pipeline centrally to manage that. We wanna go for email, SMS or voice centrally.

Tag historian, synchronization have that while we could buffer, getting that up to the central to an actual database. Alarm history, synchronization, alarm journal is now part of that so you can synchronize that, which wasn't there before. So now, it really rounds out all the Gateway network services and of course, auto log syncing. So if you're doing anything in terms of local audits, that can get stored to a database centrally so you can see what's going on with all of that. So everything has to do with synchronizing data over our Gateway network, Edge Sync Services provides that. You can just get that piece by itself.

The next one is Edge EAM, so the ability to do Enterprise Administration Module and specifically just that. And this will ... You can go buy any other Edge products so that you can centrally manage the Edge up there by checking health and diagnostics. It's gonna be an agent Gateway. So you can check the health and diagnostics, manage central licensing, synchronize projects and a lot more that EAM provides, and we can just get EAM by itself, combine that with any other Edge product to do that. So if you had Edge Panel and you want EAM added to it, very simple.

Now, the biggest thing that's part of this product is that if you ever get EAM unlimited, which is the max you'd ever pay for EAM, it would extend any Ignition server you have, whether it's full or Edge, all of those that EAM would be granted automatically if you purchased that. So you could buy individually if you need to, but you can also get EAM unlimited that gives you that functionality. And the same thing is actually true ... Introduced a new Sync Services unlimited. Whilst do the same kind of concept for the Sync Services that applies just to Edge where I can pay a central unlimited price, and then all of my Edges would be covered for. All you have to pay for would be that core price, which is why we also brought it out as being its own thing.

Kevin: I know that most of you've probably already seen Edge, but maybe some folks haven't. So I loaded it up. Most folks that are running Edge run it on Edge devices that are running Linux, so I loaded up a Linux virtual machine. I have Ignition 8.0.10 installed, it's a completely fresh install, 8.0.10 Edge. Basically, I went to our website and downloaded Edge for Linux, and so I thought I'd pull it up right here and show you what it's all about. So this is ... Yeah, this is VMware that I'm running right here that has the install. If you are going here and you're downloading Ignition and you want to get Ignition Edge from any version that you're running, from any operating system that you're running, it doesn't really matter.

So instead of doing the main download link, you can go to this, "Other operating systems and versions." Go down here, scroll down and there are Edge installers. So this is the Windows Edge installer if you're running Windows. This is the Ignition Edge Linux installer here. And these are actually ZIP files since most of the time when folks are doing Edge, they may have, more specifically, they wanna put it in a certain spot. There might be some special things with the device where there's certain folders that are going to persist over restart and other ones that are wiped or not persistent. And so, we decided that it was a lot easier to just provide a ZIP for everyone. So that's what we do. If you're looking at ARM, then it's right down here. If you're looking at macOS, it's right there. So it's just right on the downloads page, grab that version.

And then come over, extract it somewhere. I dropped it on the desktop just so I could show it to you guys. And then there's ignition.sh for starting it. So I just started it and I'm coming right over here. Just going to localhost, and as I said, a completely fresh install. So welcome to Ignition version 8.0.10. It started. You noticed the branding is a little bit different, it shows Edge versus showing the regular Ignition Gateway, and I'm putting in kind of a poor-strength password, please ignore me. Don't do that in an actual system. This is running at a protective network that I'm going to right after this, so it's ... I'm gonna say it's okay.

Travis: While that's starting, Kevin, I thought it would be interesting to note that Ignition and Ignition Edge are the same code base. We are talking about the same modules and all of that, but the Edge products are just known to be very specific functions, you don't have to worry about modules anymore, especially drivers, it’s just “here’s what you need” and it comes with that, “here you go,” it makes it easy. And it is easy to actually flip full (Ignition) to Edge or Edge to full (Ignition). It's just a configuration change. Just so people realize it's not a completely separate thing, it's all the same Designer phase, it's the same configurations, that's now we could ... That's why we allow being able to modify names, so we can bring what we've developed centrally, down to Edge very, very easily. I thought it would be an interesting point to put out there.

Kevin: Yep, yep. So behind the scenes, Edge does have modules, but when you come to license Edge, you're basically licensing the different versions of Edge, and so, Edge has the five different editions that we were just talking about. You get a license for one of those additions. Or one thing that we didn't mention that is definitely worth mentioning is that those are all mix and match. So basically, maybe we did mention it quickly, but basically, you can take the Edge Panel and you can add Edge IIoT to it, you could add in Edge Compute, you could add obviously Sync Services in EAM as adders on top.

So you can get all, you can get nothing, you can get something more in between. And beyond that, Edge is the same thing that you are used to right now. So, this is a list of the plugins, right? And it will show, are they in trial or are they installed based on the license? If you add that license, you're going to see these guys change from trial to activated. If the two-hour trial runs out, of course, you've got the two-hour trial, if that runs out then it's going to say that these are expired and then you can reset the trial and get another two hours.

And then Edge IIoT right here, simply because this uses MQTT, and we don't directly distribute the MQTT modules inside the installer. This install right here directs you over to install on here, and then you install the Edge MQTT Transmission Module, and then this will pop up right alongside these guys in the same way as the rest of it. And that's the only additional thing to do for IIoT. Other than that, basically, you have the exact same product here. I can come in, I can launch the Designer if I want to. Get the Designer launcher for Linux here, you can save that.

I can launch it from my local system here if I wanted to, I've got a Designer launcher there. But inside the Designer, it's pretty much the same thing. So you'll see everything that you have with regular Ignition, you just are, whatever is not licensed, you won't have access to. So for example, databases, you don't have any way to configure databases here so it won't show up there, but yeah, this is what I wanted to show you guys, and yeah, go ahead Travis.

Travis: So the last thing to mention before we get to Q&A, we got to get to Q&A here. Is the Ignition ... So the onboard program, so the Edge project we talked about, so you can go download that, install, you can also purchase licenses from us directly in terms of that, but we do have a new channel that can distribute Edge very easily and that is the Ignition Onboard program, it comes when you go to that site, inductiveautomation.com/onboard, and with that, we have partnered with various hardware companies who are pre-installing, pre-licensing Ignition Edge on their equipment, so these are companies like, you see down there Opto 22, Advantech, Moxa, OnLogic, ORing, that have embedded PCs, panel PCs, PLCs, all sorts of different computing devices and that list will keep growing in terms of having a pre-installed you can get from them, and pre-license ready to go. So it can make getting Edge that much easier, not to worry about it. Yes, the install is simple, but it could take a lot of steps, you have a lot of these to go through. You can just simply go through Onboard when you get that equipment.

Kevin: And one of the nice things here is that these folks have often set up some pages, so OnLogic has great pages that you can go over and it's got a configurator, and go through and let you pick through different hardware and pick through different versions and all of that, and so, it's just available directly from links from the website. Of course, using one of these devices isn't required for Edge, these are just devices that come with Edge pre-installed, pre-licensed, already ready to go right out of the box, and you don't even have to purchase additional licenses. It's just part of these pieces of hardware. But yeah, if you wanna bring your own devices, of course, you can certainly do that and as I just showed you, you can take Edge, grab it, install it and do whatever you want with it. I thought maybe we'd do a call for questions.

Travis: Yep, and I think we'll go through them and we'll just take them Kevin, both you and I. So the first question there is from James, which database do you use for Designer? So, Ignition uses third-party databases, Oracle or Microsoft? We don't require a database for a straight Ignition, we actually have an internal database for all of our configuration. The only time we use a SQL database is for historical data, like our historian, alarm history, audit logs, transaction groups, those kinds of things where we then work with a new database of your choosing, whether it's MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle Postgres or others.

So with Edge though, you don't have to worry about SQL databases at all, because again, there's no access to that. Everything is kind of self-contained within Ignition including that buffer and all of that, that's available, so I hope that answered your question there, James.

Kevin: Next question is about which ones we use personally. Sometimes we do get that question from folks who are already familiar with Ignition. I know that it's a mixture inside Inductive Automation, some folks are using Microsoft SQL Server, some Express, some are using MySQL, some are using Postgres. I use a mixture of Postgres and MySQL personally, for the most part, although Microsoft SQL Server every once in a while.

Travis: Right, so my question here is from Phillip: If both people try to save at the same time and choose different versions, how does this resolve itself? So really, it's first-come, first-serve. But you'll get the conflict resolution screen, if you were second essentially, to be able to choose yours with the Gateway and see the differences between that. So you're guaranteeing that they can't be ... Have issues of being edited on both sides, it's going to be one or the other and you'd be able to choose that through the conflict resolution there.

Kevin, I'll throw this next question your way, this is from Paul. Can you save a chart by username in Perspective?

Kevin: Can you save a chart by username in Perspective? Sure. So, the charts inside Perspective, if we come over here and we take a look at what we have inside this example if you just go to the standard charts that we have right here and via the demo.ia.io. This isn't really doing any saving of these charts, right? So this is just display, simple, straightforward. If you go to this ad hoc, this has a save button in the upper right and this is going to save the CSV or XML, this is just saving off what you have right here, just the actual data that's behind this, but if you want to save this configuration to a database, you can certainly do that.

You could take what's down here inside the pins, you could take what's selected for the tags behind the scenes, you can take the start date and the end date and then save that into a database. So add another button right next to this that would pop that up. In fact, we have an example of that inside our Vision demo, which I don't have open right now, but inside that Vision demo project, the ad hoc charts right there, if you click that save button, you can choose to either save it in the database in an area that makes it public, so everyone has access to it or in a way that's directly tied to that user, the username, the person who's logged in right then, and then that becomes one of those user's graphs, so when that user logs in again, they have access to load their saved graphs.

When a user, if a different user logs in and they take a look at their saved graphs, they'll only see any ones that they've saved or they'll see an empty list of never-saved graphs before. So if you want an example of how to do that, you can easily take a look at that Vision demo, it is under demo apps, it just takes a couple of minutes to launch, so I don't wanna take the time right now, but this will let you launch it, and then on the exchange, you do have access to all of the resources if you wanna download copies of those demo projects. They're all sitting right under the exchange resources here and as a nice search. So, I'll just type in, "Demo," right here.

And there you go. So, Ignition 8.0 demo project, it includes the 7.9 things as well I believe. And then you can access that there or it's under extras on our website as well if we go to inductiveautomation.com, and you go to downloads and you go to extras, it's sitting right under the additional things that you can download right there. So it says Option. So, there's Demo Gateway Backups, VMware Images and then you do have a few other things down here.

Travis: Another question here from Nate is: How do we handle current Edge installations, enterprise that have more than two connections? Are these grandfathered in, or are they upgraded beyond 8.0.9? Certainly can upgrade them to 8.0.10 and beyond, they will be grandfathered if you have purchased any Edge product before that unlimited devices will be grandfathered in going forward. For customers who do need more than two device connections on Edge when you wanna purchase that, if that is a restriction, you please contact us, talk to us, we can talk through that and see if there are options that we can go through there, so we definitely don't want this to be a burden, but we want to be able to unlock all of our drivers for that.

Another question here from Sam. Kevin, I'm gonna throw your way. Question on Ignition Edge Compute, is the Python still Jython or CPython?

Kevin: Yeah, I'll take that one. So the Python inside Edge Compute directly is Jython, so if you're doing it inside the Ignition Designer, but we have a growing number of folks who are using Flask, to access the native Python there. Flask and Bottle are both little wrappers for Python, so you can do CPython on the local device right alongside Ignition, set that up with TensorFlow, with Scikit, with NumPy and SciPy and anything else that you need right there and then communicate from Ignition’s Jython over to CPython over the web services, so Flask makes it so it's about two seconds and if we had 30 seconds, I'd show you, but it's very quick to set up that and it plays back and forth.

Travis: Can Ignition Edge Panel be used as replacement for Allen-Bradley panel viewer's Siemens' comfort panel with an onboard panel computer? Absolutely, when you combine the Ignition Edge Panel, with a panel PC or one of the, especially if you use one of the onboard partners' ones, it is a great HMI panel view replacement, have a lot more features there and easily essentially manageable through Ignition with EAM, so it's a great solution going forward. I think the last question we'll take here for today is, will the Emerson Rock Edge IoT be a standard driver module or will the customer have to pay in addition to those modules?

So I want to mention, we chose that one because the reason we went through the Edge products here were the changes, and one of the big ones was to not have to worry about... You're going to get a particular function, Edge IoT or Edge Panel or any of these things, and we don't want you to think about anything else you have to add to it. It's not like all these other extra things you want you have to add more pricey. Launch is being included with that and that's what all the drivers are there. So all of our drivers are part of the core, every Edge product has it, the IoT includes those serial sync drivers with Emerson Rock.

Everything you need it's standard, you don't have to pay anything in addition to that. All you have to do is focus on the central server you want to then purchase and be able to do stuff with that data at the end of the day, so it makes that part really, really simple. With that, Kevin anything you want to say wrapping up?

Kevin: No, I think this is great, I appreciate everyone being here and joining us for this. I really look forward to the future ones here. I think that we'll probably wanna pass it over to Don just to wrap us up at the end, there were a couple of slides left. If you're not familiar with Inductive University, it's fantastic. Go there and you've got a whole team of folks over here, they're backing you for everything, if you need any help or questions or comments, you can give us a call, and back over to you Travis.

Travis: Yeah, so thanks everybody for joining us today, like I said we're happy to, if there's any questions or follow-ups you want, please feel free to reach out to us. Thanks for joining us and we're gonna be doing this next week as well, so keep coming back and we had good content lining up for all of this and we're really excited about this. It's a way for us to engage with the community and be able to share more ideas. The first couple are choosing some features of best practices, but we're gonna be engaging the community as well, with these series. So, again, stay tuned, thanks a lot for coming here today and we'll see you next time.

Posted on April 17, 2020