We are using FactoryTalk View SE, with heavy VBA coding to communicate with SQL, Get Recipe, write back and download it to PLC. I’m looking to replace the system with Ignition if It’ll be a better solution, reliable, less coding and … . Does anyone have such experience, and can provide some insight?
Be aware, once you use ignition you will hate using FactoryTrash.
Recipes are a breeze with ignition. So many options.
I’m actually in the process of this very thing.
Will Ignition be a better solution? IMO with over 10 years battling FTView SE, yes absolutely. Even if you were to implement the entire VBA scripting process that FTV is using, Ignition would be much better and probably an order of magnitude faster. HINT: Don’t do that.
More reliable? I guess that sort of depends. In my experience the majority of the issue with FTV is the constraints that are present during the design phase. Once a system has been designed, and is configured properly, it’s pretty reliable. It can be slow at times and can have it’s hiccups, mostly caused by Microsoft and VBA. Especially if the VBA is not well written or is being stretched. I currently have a medium sized distributed system, and it’s up time is currently at a year. That will come to an end soon as I will need to take it down for it’s annual backup.
However, if you don’t follow the best practices (which are often convoluted and mostly undocumented) you can/will have issues. For instance there is a soft limit on FactoryTalk Linx for having no more than 20 Ethernet Device connections. The software doesn’t warn you or prevent you from adding more than that, but you will have issues if you exceed it. There are also limits on other things, like application HMI Tag counts, etc…
less coding? Absolutely. And when you do need to use scripting it is not deprecated to the point that you’re lucky to find information on how to use it (though some could argue that Python 2.7 is getting close to that point) Ignition’s Expression language is far more powerful than that found in FTV. Also, to really do much with FTV in the way of User Entry Forms you have to lean on ActiveX controls, and that requires VBA. Doing many of those same things in Ignition is just a few clicks.
One final note. With FTV, if the Application can’t do it, you’re pretty much done. Outside of writing an Active X component, you can’t really add anything to the application, you’re just stuck with what you got, end of story. With Ignition, you have the power to add your own, or third party modules to the platform. Making it capable of just about anything you can dream up. I haven’t run into anything that I needed that the platform couldn’t do or didn’t have the capacity to do. Sure their have been things that aren’t there out of the box, but they could have been added, should they have been worth the effort or money in some cases.
Ignition is hands down the better solution, I can’t wait to be rid of FTV. You get much more for (most likely) less of your money.
Oh, and did I mention that it doesn’t come with “Bloatware”?
Thanks, jlandwerlen for sharing the link. I’ll look into it.
Thank you Irose, for in detail reply.