Is Ignition too Different?

I’m at the final stages of evaluating HMI/SCADA software for my department. Based on the scoring model that I created, Ignition came in first place. I’ve had two web demos, I’ve played with the software quite a bit, and I’ve been lurking here for about two months. Still, I have a concern.

From what I’ve read here, most of the questions revolve around how write a script to accomplish something. While most of those questions are resolved fairly quickly, I can’t help but wonder if I’m getting into something a little more complex that I need. While I value the ability to script myself to a solution when necessary, I much prefer to avoid it whenever possible to keep the project simple enough for others to maintain.

How much scripting is really required? Can I create an entire project connected to ControlLogix processors with little to no scripting?


Short Answer: Yep, Easy peasy.

Buttons, Lists, displays, etc… No scripting required.
The scripting comes in when you want to get fancy. Just like the Wonderware scripting language, or iFix VBA scripting, or the joy that is AB ViewSE.

For example, I have a couple reports setup using the report plugin.
Simple bound query based on an Lot Number I wand in. Nada scripting wise.

Then I got a request to automatically print those reports when the load finished in the furnace, That required a simple ‘Property change’ function that the software generated for me.
Beyond that they wanted multiple copies based on a field in a database and a delay of 10secs on printing the reports. This is where I got into scripting.

I’ve been using the problem for a little over a year. I probably use scripts in 30% of my projects. Mostly where the customer wanted something a bit more ‘custom’.

IMO, it all depends on your requirements … the more complex your requirements are, the higher the likeliness you’ll require scripting. I can say that about any HMI/SCADA software package, not just Ignition.

We tend to see people head towards scripting way before they should, as there is a huge amount of power in the binding & expression system, which is generally more “transparent” from a maintainability point of view. Many projects can be done with almost no scripting at all.

The other thing I would point out is that the discussion on the forum definitely tends to lean towards the more advanced/custom end of the spectrum. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of useful basic questions as well, but a lot of what you see around here are the really advanced users trying to do very specific stuff.

Finally, there are simply some times that you may have to use scripting in cases where you wouldn’t expect. Our general motto is “make it possible, then make it easy”. We try to identify common things that users are trying to do with scripting and then incorporate them in a friendlier manner. Dravik’s mention of reporting is a good example - many tasks that people want to accomplish in reporting require scripting when it could be easier.


Thanks for the feedback!