Some basic questions

Going through the forums I can see that there are a lot of knowledgeable people out there.

I am running Ignition 7.2.11 on a linux openSUSE 12.3 desktop platform, 64 bit.

I am just getting started, and trying to learn how to run ignition on my own time. I have a few very basic questions that I assume lots of people know the answers to, but being a new guy, I may need some help to get started. I have done my best to look through the FAQs and search the forums, but it seems most people are a little more advanced than I am.

First of all, I would like to know, how much python do I need to know if I want to get really good at using the designer?

Ok, here are my other questions. If I should ask these separately in another forum, please let me know.

  1. Is there a good tutorial for learning to use the designer? I have opened up the designer, and started with a simulator plc, and put in some tank levels, toggle switches, and things like that. I can get a circle to change color by attaching it to one of the plc tags and clicking a toggle button. However, something really basic, like getting a circle to flash when a boolean tag is at state 1 instead of 0 is beyond me. I tried to add a dynamic property with blinking color, and bind the background color to it, but I could not get it to work. So, are there any tutorials available that will show how to do things like that? Going through the manual so far has helped, but it doesn’t seem to be giving me all the information.

  2. Are there any sample projects out there that I could download for the designer? When I used to program in Citect (before it was bought by Schneider Electric), I was able to get sample projects that other people had done, and this really helped me figure out the basic way to configure graphic objects and some of the programming script. If there are similar things available here for Ignition, that would be great. I did download the online demo, and for example there is the really cool graphic of a rotating fan when it is turned on. I tried to figure out how to do that in my designer, but I just don’t have the skills yet to make something like that happen. Yet if I could see how something like that was configured in the designer, I might be able to figure it out and make it work.

  3. I have very limited experience in SQL. The system I put together before was able to direct input plant data into an excel spreadsheet, and we didn’t have a need to go beyond that. How important is it to know how to program in SQL in order to really make Ignition work? I mean, I know it would help if I learned SQL, but do I need to become an expert in it in order to design a whole system?

Thanks for your patience.

To answer your specifc query about the blinking circle:

Draw a circle. Click the Property Binding icon next to the Fill Paint property.

On the dialog that pops up choose the appropriate
tag or property to bind it to (in your case this will equate to a 0 or 1).

The bottom section of the screen will show Number-to-Color Translation and should
have 0 and 1 in by default.

You can then edit the colours on the right to be what you want to appear depending on
the value. When editing a colour (double-click) you’ll see a Blink tickbox that you can use (and
specify an alternate colour) and that will make it blink.

With regards to your other queries I’d say you can do an awful lot with Ignition without
needing to write a single line of Python script or indeed any SQL.

However of course if you can learn them then you’ll be able to do a whole lot more.

BTW my solution above is based on Ignition 7.6.2 (I don’t know if functionality is identical in your version).

Hope that’s of some use.

Python knowledge - None to intermediate. You can create a SCADA application with Ignition without using any Python. Advanced applications generally take basic to intermediate knowledge of Python. If you’ve had any programming experience, you’ll find Python easy to pick up.

Good tutorial - There are training videos on the website, look under Support/Video Libary/Ignition Training

Sample projects can be found under Downloads/Extras

SQL knowledge - Again you can create a SCADA application without using any SQL. You’re knowledge of SQL expands what’s possible with Ignition.

If you are looking for examples of how to manipulate graphical items using scripting, this project may help you out as well. It has individual buttons for most of the scripting functions in Ignition. We use it to test scripting functionality during release testing.

While George’s solution is all right, I have to point out that the method he states would be for versions 7.3 and higher (the drawing tools were changed up at that point :wink: ).

for pre-7.3, let me point you the this thread. A little bit different application, but methodology is the same. If you import the window from there, take a closer look at the one using the Style Customizer.

Hope this helps!

I didn’t get into Python/Java/SQL until I got into Ignition (Actually FSQL/FPMI, which were the precursor to Ignition). I’m not an expert by any means, but I’m persistent, which counts just as much, IMHO. :mrgreen:

Thanks for all that. I was able to follow George’s instructions and figured out how to make it blink. The key was double-clicking on the color in the property binding dialog under “tag” instead of under “property”. Excellent!

I have downloaded several projects, like the various “skeleton projects” and the scripting project mentioned above. I uploaded them into the Gateway under the project configuration so that then I could load them into the designer.

However, when I open them up in the designer, they all come up with blank project screens, like this:

I noticed also that none of these have windows to open up.

The only exception to that is the “example project” which has one screen with graphics on it.

Am I doing something wrong?

I am only using the simulator PLCs at this point in order to become familiar with the designer software.


I could be wrong as I have never installed on Linux but it looks like you don’t have the vision module installed which you need to open/create new windows. You should see windows under Transaction Groups in the designer


Ok, thanks. I got it to work by downloading and installing the latest ignition (7.6) and then making sure I opened a client window first before opening the project in the designer.

I don’t know which action made the difference, but I did both and I am able to look at all the windows now in both a client and in the designer.

Great, this is going to help me get a feel for how everything works. I can see this is a really well put together package.

neramdaman, you may also find our youtube channel ( useful.

In particular, this will take you to the videos on how to use the designer: … y=designer

I think your other questions were answered above.

This Property Binding and Expressions 5 part video series is a bit dated from the FactoryPMI days, but still applies to Ignition. Those videos should make it clear.

Once you understand that, the Styles feature that Jordan referred to is a powerful and flexible tool for property binding.