Summary questions about Perspective Module

Hello. I have a few questions that I am hoping can be answered by someone. I do not need a lot of detail, but any information will be appreciated. This may be a bit lengthy, but I am trying to provide some background in order that my questions make more sense.

I am the “SCADA Guy” here where I work(Water Treatment Facility). I have no background in it, I have only known about SCADA since coming to work here. However, it interested me enough that I dove in and learned all I could. I say this to lay the groundwork that I am not an integrator, but I do know how a SCADA system should operate and what we need in one.

We have been using ClearSCADA ever since it was owned by Control Microsystems. I know my way around it very well, but it is the only SCADA system/software I have used other than just some real basic mobile app stuff(which I would not consider a true system). However, after talking with some people and doing a bit of looking around, I really am drawn to the Ignition software.

I have gotten a quote, and it seems that not only would we benefit from a nice mobile SCADA system by switching, we could also have a significant cost saving over our current one. I went ahead and set up a server and installed the modules I was quoted only in order to make sure this is going to work for us.

I have been able to get everything set up just fine, but I keep finding myself running into walls in actually making the system operate the way we need to. So, what I would like to do is ask a few questions in order to see if it will be able to do what we need. If it can, then I have no problem learning how to make it happen. However, if the functionality is not there, I do not want to waste my time or others in trying to make something happen that cannot.

What I did find interesting is that I found the Vision module much more user-friendly (or at least what I am used to) over the Perspective one. However, the main reason to switch software is to get that mobility that Perspective offers. I know that some of these features I am going to list are available, but I want to give the full list of what we need and currently use.

Here is what we need:

Multiple users accounts that have the ability to log off automatically due to inactivity after a certain time frame.

A way to view an events log of everything that is happening. We have multiple operators on shift at any given time. We need a way to know who was logged in, who made a change/control, and when they made it. This is very valuable information that we currently use to diagnose problems and the events that led up to them. It also keeps a good accountability record. I can give more detail if needed about what/why we need this.

I need the ability to manipulate incoming data and then assign it to another internal point. I am not sure if this one will make any sense to someone who does not know about the ClearSCADA software. In essence, there are some math and control equations(ladder type, flow diagram type) that are done internally using a tag from a PLC and then assigned to another internal tag.

I think those are my main things, I am sure I have more that I just cannot think about right now. Most things I figure can be worked around, and I really assume that Ignition Perspective has all of this capability(seems logical to have it), but I am not readily finding this information. I am guessing a lot has to do with it being relatively new.

I have been going through the IU videos, but of course, they are based on the Vision side. I’ll be looking forward to when the new video’s for 8 get put up. I also comb through the user manual, but a lot of things I am finding are using different terminology than what I am used to, so it’s hard to ‘search’ for a particular aspect.

Thanks for the help in advance.

Multiple user accounts is absolutely currently possible. There is no idle timeout directly exposed currently - although it’s certainly on the list. With the current Perspective module, any active client session will stay active indefinitely. We’re looking to add an analogue to the system.util.getInactivitySeconds scripting function that’s available in Vision.

This would be called audit/ the audit log in Ignition - a lot of this support is already available (I would encourage looking into the manual) but auditing support in Perspective is something we likely need to expand further (I haven’t personally looked at how well it currently works, so I can’t specifically vouch for it).

I think this would be possible either through tag scaling, or if you need more control, derived tags - basically, take one tag (which can be a direct OPC item) and make a new tag that’s attached to it and allows you to run any expression function(s) based on the value it currently has, and also allows you to modify any incoming written value before it’s applied to the actual tag.

Thanks for the help.

I am finding that the Vision module would be something I could use, and seems more ‘intuitive’ to me(if that makes sense), but I am not seeing how it could be linked and used on a mobile device.

Guess I will just have to wait for the Perspective module to grow some more before I get too deep into things.