Comparing Ignition to other products

When trying to compare Ignition to other SCADA platforms I invariable run into the problem, which products from each vendor need to be included to make a valid comparison. For example, which products would need be required for a WW comparison; InTouch, Historian, etc. The three I’m most interested in are Rockwell, Wonderware and GE. Any help would be appreciated.


In Wonderware, the Industrial Application Server would be the equivalent of the gateway in Ignition.

InTouch viewer would be the client using Vision. InTouch design would be the Ignition Designer.

The Wonderware IDE would be the Ignition Designer also, mainly the SQL Tags part of it.

The Wonderware Historian is something I dealt with very rarely, mainly because it was fairly difficult to access from anything but Wonderware. I am not using the history in Ignition, as I am doing my own thing via gateway scripting and SQL Server, so I know very little about history in Ignition.

Wonderware has had three ways to do alarming that I am aware of. Originally it was SCADAlarm, which had essentially no ability to be configured programatically. That makes a big difference when you have hundreds of alarms going to several groups of people. They quit updating it years ago. Then they came out with an add-on for the IDE that had a couple of simple, yet very important things missing from it. We waited for months after requesting an update to it, but never even got a reply on our request. Now, as far as I know, they have gone to a third-party built software package that interfaces with Wonderware and is very similar to the Ignition Pipeline system. It looked pretty nice. But by the time it was shown to us, we had seen Ignition, and were pretty much sold on it immediately. Once IA gets a couple more things added to their alarming stuff, it is going to be everything we can ask for.

There are other parts of Wonderware that we never used, but the Industrial Application Server, the IDE, and InTouch are the main components that compare somewhat with the core Ignition software.

Hope this helps a bit.

So for a WW installation to equal Ignition:

  1. Industral Application Server
  2. InTouch installed on each client, presumably each with a purchased license.
  3. Historian
  4. Something for alarming
  5. OPC Servers (or do they include any of these)
  1. Something for alarming
    Yeah you would use a software like win911, which has a built in connection to wonderware and also factorytalk.

  2. OPC Servers (or do they include any of these)

They are called DAServers. I know they have quite a few like dasmbtcp, das mbenet, dasabcip, etc. I think they use suitelink/dde but may also have the capability to do opc da.

Sorry for the delay in replying. Been away for a while.

As diat said, Win911 works well with Wonderware. And unless I was given bad information, Wonderware InTouch client licenses are around $1500 a pop. That is one of the main reasons we moved to Ignition. We have six licenses, I believe, but needed at least twice that many to allow enough users on at one time. And if you run InTouch on a Windows terminal server, you also need Microsoft licenses for that too, which are not cheap. So Ignition wins hands down on the client and alarming issues.

Oh, and, Wonderware also charges you for each object you set up on their Industrial Application Server. They sell those licenses in bundles. The prices and quantites I don’t recall, and they could have changed by now.

On the OPC servers, there are several on the market that will handle that job. I don’t know what Wonderware offers in that respect, but I do know that AES Autosol is a good DA OPC server. We have been using it for at least eight years now. Kepware and Matrikon each have DA servers. I demoed both for a short while and found them easy to configure and use. There are others but I’m not familiar with them at all.

You have to make sure the DA server you select has the drivers for the device(s) you need to coneect to, of course. The three I named have drivers for most every popular device out there, and an assortment of other odd devices. You need to check on the device licensing for the OPC server before making a decision also. Depending on the number of devices to which you need to connect, the licensing can cost more than the OPC server software itself.

This may sound like I work for Inductive Automation, but I find it hard to beat their pricing setup. Unlimited clients and tags, built in historian and alarming, and, as they advertise on their web page, “If you can think it, you can do it.” These are some of the reasons we switched. The awesome support is just icing on the cake.

You don’t have to sell me on Ignition, been using for several years. The point of this exercise is that when making a comparison between WW and Ignition it would be nice to know which WW packages it takes to equal one Ignition installation.