Ignition Edge Store and Forward

Does the general store and forward functionality work with all of the Ignition Edge products? As in running the function system.db.runSFPrepUpdate() on a tag change?

None of the system.db functions should work on Edge, because Edge has no database access.

So when it talks about 1 week store and forward functionality with the edge enterprise module - what does that mean? Does this mean it will only store and forward information that has been logged via ignitions historian i.e. system.db.* library will do nothing?

Right. The S&F functionality on the edge enterprise is so have a way to store more than the single week of data you are allowed with Edge, but it doesn’t change the fact that Edge has no DB access.

Hi Kathy, what about using script to push specific data into Edge’s historian? I’m thinking of system.tag.storeTagHistory()

This requires the name of the history provider… what is the Edge history provider’s name ? I can’t find it anywhere…

system.tag.storeTagHistory() does not work in Edge.

Thanks, figured that out by now. It would be so very useful if you guys would bring out a manual for Edge… we’ve had to spend so much time already trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Did find the name of the historian though: Edge Historian :flushed:

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What’s the best deployment solution to meet this smart infrastructure command control centre (CCC) project specs?.

  1. CCC SCADA must work 100% on IOT push technology only. No pull or polling technology. This is 100% Telemetry project. In other words, SCADA shall NOT periodically poll and scan the remote RTUs like it normally does over a LAN. RTUs will report by exception (RBE) and go offline like old PSTN connection. SCADA can scan the RTUs whenever they connect for reporting, if required.

All RTU’s will send periodic heartbeat for SCADA to monitor the health.

  1. 1000’s of remote sites with “Modbus TCP - Master/Slave” RTUs.
  2. Each site having less than 500 DI/DO/AI points.
  3. All RTUs have remote datalogging and Alarm logging capability. CCC SCADA must collect remote datalogs from the RTU and update the local historian whenever RTU connects for reporting.
  4. RTUs can send time stamped datalog and Alarm log CSV files by FTP to the CCC server. SCADA shall use this as a redundancy channel for data collection from remote RTUs.
  5. I understand Ignition Edge is a software solution. Can IA supply IE preconfigured along with robust hardware?. The hardware must have VPN, Internet and latest mobile network communication capability to remotely program and manage the RTUs and Edge devices.
  6. The remote communication hardware shall meet all the latest security standards.
  7. The purpose of this project is to build an AI powered smart infrastructure CCC and provide web service for 1000’s of clients.

Please propose your solution. Thanks.

NodeJS based server on each RTU can PUSH data to server. The exception based reporting can be easily implemented.[quote=“R.Alamsha, post:8, topic:15645”]
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1000’s of remote sites with “Modbus TCP - Master/Slave” RTUs.
Each site having less than 500 DI/DO/AI points.
All RTUs have remote datalogging and Alarm logging capability. CCC SCADA must collect remote datalogs from the RTU and update the local historian whenever RTU connects for reporting.
[/quote]
RTUs can be installed with NodeJS servers. Our NJ-SCADA product has a local historian with No-SQL type own data base. The history time series data can be sent to CCC SCADA like Ignition whenever required [quote=“R.Alamsha, post:8, topic:15645”]
RTUs can send time stamped datalog and Alarm log CSV files by FTP to the CCC server. SCADA shall use this as a redundancy channel for data collection from remote RTUs.
[/quote]
PubNub can be used instead of FTP from RTUs. If NodeJS allows FTP then we can think of FTP, but PubNub is adequate as data reporting will be small packets as compression and exception based reporting is considered.[quote=“R.Alamsha, post:8, topic:15645”]
I understand Ignition Edge is a software solution. Can IA supply IE preconfigured along with robust hardware?. The hardware must have VPN, Internet and latest mobile network communication capability to remotely program and manage the RTUs and Edge devices.
[/quote]
NJ-SCADA and mSCADA cando this job. Also it has its own historian built on No-SQL type our own data base, which can store unlimited data ! NJ-SCADA can be installed on Raspberry PI device which has all the necessary Hardware and network communication facility on it such as WiFi, mobile network communication etc.

PubNub is very secure HTTPS protocol.[quote=“R.Alamsha, post:8, topic:15645”]
The purpose of this project is to build an AI powered smart infrastructure CCC and provide web service for 1000’s of clients.
[/quote]
NJ-SCADA can pump data into Ignition as a central SCADA.

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  1. Do you know any commercially available RTU which can do this job?. or do you suggest that we must buy a Linux RTU and customize it as OEM?.
  2. Ideally, i would need a Linux based “RTU+LL and script programming+mini SCADA+Datalogger+VPN+mobile data channel+S&F” capability. Can your product meet these requirements?. Please provide the full features and capability of your product.

FTP server is part of Linux by default. We can configure it to send all the CSV files to a remote server. Since the heart of the project is robust IOT data collection, redundant data collection channel is mandatory.

Can PubNub work with a private mobile network or does it require an Internet connection?.

NJ-SCADA can be installed on any Linux based hardware and is pure JS based scripting environment. It also has JS based open source OPC UA client as well as Server on it. Its data store is customized for storing time series data (time v/s any tag values) as there is no point in using a full fledged data base where we are using only 5% of its data modelling features! Logging is done on its own local hard disk or SD card. It needs Internet over WiFi or thru mobile service provider network to connect to remote server.[quote=“R.Alamsha, post:10, topic:15645”]
FTP server is part of Linux by default. We can configure it to send all the CSV files to a remote server. Since the heart of the project is robust IOT data collection, redundant data collection channel is mandatory.
[/quote]
I need to check if NodeJS supports an NPM for FTP, last time when we spoke it didn’t support. But now if some one has developed it them we can use it to send data. However we still need internet of course. PubNub also works on Internet but provides server less connectivity between two points.[quote=“R.Alamsha, post:10, topic:15645”]
Can PubNub work with a private mobile network or does it require an Internet connection?.
[/quote]
PubNub requires Internet , through whatever mechanism, WiFi or Mobile Internet.

When the RTUs go offline, all tags will go on fault. How do you think, Ignition can manage this situation?.

This is easy, the NJ-SCADA server installed on RTUs will send the data on exception to Ignition server over pubNub network. A gateway communication module on Ignition server will receive the packet over internet using PubNub and will update the Ignition database. Similarly the Ignition commands (like button pressed or released) will be sent thru the same gateway comm module to RTUs on exception basis over PubNub. PubNub supports two way communication and supports push mechanism unlike the Java web servers in which clients can only request (pull) data from servers. (with the exception of AJAX and web-sockets).

RTUs will remain in sleep mode (OFFLINE) when there is no change in its data. However they will continue to scan the IO points on MODBUS for any change. They will wake up when change is detected and will send the exception to gateway communication module on Ignition server.

PubNub also supports a heart beat mechanism to detect id connection is live or not. This will be used for detecting faults in communication failure and flagging errors in tag values.

Which RTUS you have in mind? We can build RTUs based on Raspberry PI with respbian on them and MODBUS for IO connectivity.

This complete project shall follow the rules of “Telemetry on PSTN”. The spec has been written after successfully running 1000’s of sites on a “PSTN Telemetry SCADA” for more than a decade. The most important question to be answered is:

Suppose the remote RTU is switched off or completely removed.

  1. What tag values will you see on Ignition in the CCC?.
  2. If you restart the SCADA, what tag values will you see on Ignition?.

If RTU is OFF or disconnected, the PubNub heart beat stops on receiving end (the gateway communication module on Ignition server) and all the Tags can be driven to FAULTY status. On restarting SCADA, they will still remain faulty until a heart beat the heard from RTUs on Server.

Furthermore PubNub stores the packets it sent/received on its own server in cloud., which can be used to Store and Froward data as well as initialize it to any value (zero or faulty) in the event of loss of communication (heart beat)…

The SCADA will raise a communication failure alarm when the heart beat fails. Do the tags go on fault on a PSTN Telemetry SCADA when the RTU goes offline?.

Tags can be initialized to any value using pubnub functions on server or on RTU when heart beat stops. if RTU it self fails then Tags can be initialized to fault on restart till heart beat is normal. not sure if i got your question right!

The Telemetry SCADA which i implemented, will display a communication failure alarm upon heart beat failure but retains the last value of all tags by default even if we reboot the SCADA server 100’s of times. Actually, SCADA is talking to a front end data server in the CCC, which in turn talks to the field RTUs and takes care of serving and retaining the last values. Before commissioning a new site, we normally set all tag values to zero and will raise a “site NOT yet commissioned” alarm.

This is a old fashioned SCADA, not suitable for IOT and web service. Now, the client wants to make money by providing AI powered web services. Client invited many SI’s of big 3 SCADA and gave them the spec document. They came, saw and didn’t get back so far. Of course, the spec was written by me :smile:

Nothing comes free in life. PubNub or any other service provider will charge on the basis of amount of bandwidth consumed, starting with a very humble base package. Cost of FTP based data collection (old fshioned S&F) for CCC is peanuts compared to PubNub. This is very good for web services (especially alarm delivery to 1000’s of mobile clients) which is a source of revenue generation for the service provider.

My client already got his fingers severely burnt, a couple of years back when he did an online IOT pilot project for 50 sites. The private mobile network service provider started with a base package like USD 10/- per 100 mb and extra 5 cents per mb. After running the site for 6 months:

  1. The mobile network bandwidth choked and some critical alarms like fire alarm took more than 20 mins to report. Client was disappointed.

  2. The engineering team of the SI was getting fed up because it was taking ages for them to upload their code to the remote stations and the connection was failing very often. This was putting the remote stations into error mode and the technicians had to drive 100 / 200 kms to reset the controller. Most of them jumped the ship.

  3. The network service provider didn’t send the bill for 6 months and sent it later. The client got a big shock. He shutdown the control room. and the project was scrapped immediately.

  4. I was running few sites with the same network service provider on my telemetry SCADA and none of them consumed even 10mb per month. The only traffic was hourly heart beat, few alarm packets which was less than few 100 bytes and occasional code uploading The client was very impressed.

Moral of the story: Ban polling and use PUSH only technology. Follow the old fashioned PSTN Telemetry SCADA rules for IOT SCADA.