Does the Vision module connect to databases internally, or do you always need the SQLBridge module? For example, if I want to run a SQL query on a database to return a result and write to the PLC or read a value from the PLC and store to a database table can I do it without SQLBridge? For applications where we are doing a lot of database stuff, the SQLBridge module looks very nice, but if we only have a few things we want to do to interact with a SQL database can we do it with just the Vision module?
The Vision module has full access to your SQL database connections, one of many services provided by the Ignition Platform itself (not the SQL Bridge module). It will display data from databases with ease (primarily through binding) in a variety of formats (text, images, colors, tables, graphs, etc). The Vision module is very capable of writing to both 1) your database(s) and 2) PLCs using SQLTags. This can be done with binding, with more powerful capabilities using scripting. You can accomplish a lot with the Vision module alone.
The SQL Bridge module comes in when you want data to be synched between your PLCs and databases without operator intervention, or when you want more complex transfers that are based on any number of conditions. It is also a great historian package, which I would guess is the most popular purpose for the module.
The database connection is not applicable to the Panel Edition though, right?
I downloaded the training webinar on the Transaction Groups within the SQL Bridge module, so I think I have a better understanding of the capabilities that it adds now.
Yes, database conneciton is not available in the panel edition.
On the Panel Edition, if database connectivity is not supported how does that affect the alerts which are stored in a database?
It means that you won’t be able to store alerts in the database. Realtime alerts will work, including email notification, but there will be no alert history.
If it happens to work right now it is an oversight that’s bound to get fixed at some point.
Not having alert history for the alert table to show active faults at least is a big feature to have missing. The Panel Edition was advertised as a full local HMI replacement. Any HMI on the market has some sort of alarm status and alarm history. Obviously I can’t complain too much since the product is free. I guess I can always just use some multi-state indicators to display alarm text and control them from the PLC to make my own alarm list.
Well, it’s important to make a distinction between alert history and alert status. You won’t have access to the database, so history isn’t an option, but you will have access to the current status. There is, in fact, a built-in component that shows the currently active alerts, and it will work in the panel edition.
… and so does ours, in any of the paid license levels.
Our goal with the Panel edition is two fold. On one hand, we would like to provide the market with a highly functional system for status and control… obviously with the bigger goal of introducing them to our company and hopefully getting them to move up to a bigger system some day. On the other hand, it serves a specific purpose within the ecosystem of our normal Ignition licensing model. See, with the web-launched clients, customers tend to have a central server somewhere, with clients run over the network - including on touch screens on the floor. Most of the time this is great- but it’s a little too distributed for some controls systems. So, we wanted a way to allow control closer to the machinery, while still being able to tie into the larger system. Panel edition (along with other key features like “retargeting”) allows this to happen. We decided to make it free to keep with the spirit of our “server based licensing”, with the additional hope that it would prove popular among others who just want to get started with a basic system.
Thanks for the clarification. I incorrectly assumed that the built-in components for alarm status and history linked to the database so they would not work in the Panel Edition. Having the alarm status is good. If the customer wants to see alarm history on the projects where we choose to use the Panel Edition then we can up sell them to the full version (or at least the 5 license version) of the Vision module.