Money Talk - Perspective vs Vision Modules

Hi gents/ladies,

I’m now being in the process of developing a full working SCADA based on Ignition for our product line, apart from licensing costs the biggest issue I’ve seen so far is to differentiate between Perspective and Vision modules.

I don’t have time to redesign everything to perspective module to match the specs of small screens but I’m looking to find out when perspective will become a ‘classic’ app?

I’m against ICONICs in my workplace currently.

Perspective Workstation already exists. But if you are looking for things like local filesystem and/or local device access, you will be disappointed. For now. Browser-based “applications” are simply crippled compared to native apps.

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Why such a heavy focus on perspective development then?

I am torn between the two as well. I love perspective for a lot of different reasons than I I love vision.

I don’t have the time,money and resources to develop both. It’s a hard sell to client when moving away from a native app style of HMI but I worry vision is going to get shelves or neglected as time goes on.

*I am fairly new so maybe my perspective might be naive

Java Swing is old and crusty and not getting enough developer love for users like IA to have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the long term. And I expect Swing will never have a mobile implementation. Perspective is the technology that can run on all front ends. That trumps the crippled functionality.

Nobody does, really. But each technology has functionality that the other simply cannot do, and likely never will.

Personally, I’m hoping that IA introduces front-end scripting for Perspective via WebAssembly (from python or perhaps kotlin). Combined with carefully curated hooks in Workstation, the most important use-cases could be satisfied. (Big project–don’t hold your breath–but possible with current technology.)


I hope they also let people code in java script in front end as well in perspective.

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Well, so I got my quote for licenses based on Vision product and they came up 50% more expensive for competitor product, fair enough you pay for slightly better design and more intuitive design. The bigger issue was that competitor system would work on browser type devices as well at much lower price, while for Ignition I would have to get Perspective license (an extra $10k) which is a big cost increase for customer, that’s an obvious nono.

I think having both licenses would work well with large system, but it’s not scaled to fit smaller, high quantity number of products.

And I suspect it never will. I asked a sales rep a while ago, and I got the impression that really isn’t the market they are after.

Did the quote include a discount? There is a 3K discount if you buy both Perspective and Vision at the same time:

Custom Package
Customize or Choose a package

Ignition Modules & Drivers
Vision Module Unlimited$7,150
Vision and Perspective Discount- $3,000
Perspective Module Unlimited$10,450
Ignition Platform (Required)$1,000
OPC UA Server Module
Core Drivers
Subtotal$15,600 USD
TOTAL$15,600 USD
Clear and Start Over

While I think it would be nice for this to be optional, unfortunately I fear that ship has already sailed

So if I am working for an integrator that wants to have ignition as a viable offer for clients. Is leaning into perspective heavily at the start (knowing increased learning curve) better?

The marketing seems to indicate that it isnt an either or decision but if swing is getting old and perspective seems to be the focus - it seems like a bigger risk to bother with developing in vision at all.

If by smaller, high quantity you mean single HMI computer (multi-monitor is supported, so this could be more than one screen), Ignition Edge may be suitable and gives you the choice of Vision or Perspective. If you run Perspective Workstation as the HMI on the same unit as runs the Ignition Edge server, I believe you’ll also be able to pull up one more “remote” (as in not on server) Perspective session in a browser or app–either covers the mobile use.

Unless you need local filesystem or local device access that Perspective Workstation doesn’t currently support, I’d seriously consider going with Perspective. The browser access is super convenient for anyone who wants to pull up the HMI remotely.

High quantity may also qualify for a price break, if a batch of licenses are all purchased at once.

Vision is still very much around, and will be for years to come - perhaps not forever, but who’s to say in 15 years’ time Perspective will still be active? Technology moves on.

I have been using Vision for a decade now. I am using Perspective too, yes it’s nice that you can quickly fire it up in a browser - but in the real world what do you do… launch the session (Vision Client or Kiosk/Browser)… then leave it open until you are done for the day. Or possibly if it’s in a control room it can be open for months on end.

What if your company is asked in a year’s time to take over a project, already well established, that is 100% Vision. Heck, I still see posts on the forum of 7.7 and older. There is a well-established base of Vision running out there, and even with 7.9 being EOL already, some end-users don’t want to either pay the extra license fee for Perspective, or the development time to re-factor, or the limitations aforementioned are deal breakers.

In summary, learn both.


Yup. I don’t see how an integrator can be only one or the other. Probably for as long as Vision is offered.

Well, what I’m looking at is a local server PC with Vision client and then maybe up to 5 connections to that system from all other devices over the network, let it be Tablet, Android phone or another PC, that’s the set-up I currently have with Iconics (limited in number of clients) but at least I can do some basics on my phone and as far as I understood I do need a Perspective license to view my SCADA remotely.

My panel is quite simple, and each and one of them has a server PC (let’s say I make 10 of those a year) but I can’t justify an extra $10k cost per panel to the customer, it’s just not financially viable to sell .

Not the only way. There is the much cheaper WebDev module you can use to make API endpoints to expose the data you want exposed. Then you can make whatever front end you want, whether its web based or a java swing application or a python tkinter app, the WebDev module can be used to expose the data you want to be exposed to the world.

With perspective you’re really paying for a very nice toolkit to make a web-based front end that already knows about Ignition and interfaces with it out of the box so that you don’t need to learn the ever evolving javascript ecosystem to make a nice web front end. It is much easier than making a web front end from scratch.

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Edge is affordable for this setup if you can use Perspective Workstation instead of Vision for the local (on server) client and only need one remote connection at once. I agree the price structure isn’t friendly for a larger quantity of remote clients on a small system.

Another possibility: if it makes sense to have these machines connect to a central server, you could supply unlimited remote clients for machines from one unlimited license central server (maybe a subscription service) while only the local (on machine server HMI) and a single remote client, if desired, is available otherwise.

Can we embed HTML pages and javascript in perspective clients and have access to ignition data base? I know with webDev we can do that, but webDev is not free (1800$ I guess)

If you are using perspective, you already have access to anything Ignition has access to without extra HTML or Javascript.

I think someone came up with a clever way to use javascript in some situations, but it’s not supported and you could mess up your system. I can’t speak to your question too much.

My only point was only that you can use WebDev for a lesser cost than perspective to provide data out of Ignition (tag history, data from database tables) etc, and use it however you want on any front end, including but not limited to a HTML/CSS/JS front end. If your company already has a web developer who can work on this, or you are one, and you think developing a website from scratch would cost less than the difference between WebDev and Perspective (~$8200), then it seems worth it.

A last free route that you could pursue is making a flask or django server, having it connect to the same database that Ignition does, and then you can expose any data you want, without using WebDev. The issue here is 1) tag data, alarm data, any thing that Ignition stores in datatables automatically and queries for you via system.tag.* and system.alarms.* will not be available and so then you would need to do some SQL reverse engineering to get those results and 2) its now on you to handle authentication/security to your API. (which is no small thing). But again, if you already have experience with this or someone at your company does, it could be a viable route.

If you are particularly motivated (many such systems, all identical with a full install of Ignition), you could even write your own module with its own java Servlet and not buy either Perspective or WebDev.

Deploying IA’s modules gets you support and long-term maintainability.

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Yes I tried a NodeJS server approach which works just as fine. However the other problems you stated below:

remain and have to be addressed by ourselves!

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