New in 8.0
Ignition 8 contains a wealth of new features including the new Perspective Module. It provides users with a powerful new view of their industrial processes that is more mobile, customizable, scalable, and secure than ever before. Some features and updates of Ignition 8 will standout, and some will be transparent to the user.
- Perspective – Is a brand new module that allows you to create new mobile responsive visualization systems. Ignition Perspective is launched in a browser so it’s compatible with any device type such as smartphones, tablets, touchscreens, laptops, and desktop computers. It automatically adapts to fit screens of any size and orientation, gracefully scales, and allows multi-touch gestures.
- Tag System - The Ignition Tag System was updated for performance, functionality, extensibility, and efficiency. This means Tag properties can be edited individually, users can create and edit UDTs much faster, and with the use of Binding Transforms, it even takes bindings to the next level.
- Security - Perspective introduces some new and improved security concepts to Ignition: SSL for communication encryption, authentication, permission levels, and Two-Factor Authentication.
- Project System - Improvements to concurrent editing, version control, and pushing resources to an enterprise, thus providing better development and production environments.
- Client Launchers - Improvements to the Vision Client Launcher including embedding Java make it easier than ever to use Ignition.
These systems are all very different in scope, some updates will definitely standout, and some will be transparent. For example, Perspective is a new way to create a user interface and may take a little while to learn whereas the Tag System changes are mostly behind-the-scenes and you will be able to dive right in and start using them immediately.
Perspective is a brand new module that is the next generation visualization system for industrial applications, optimized specifically for mobile devices. It's compatible with any device type such smartphones, tablets, touchscreens, laptops and desktop computers, and adapts to fit screens of any size and orientation, and gracefully scales when launched on any size multi-touch device.
Ignition Perspective is fully HTML5 and CSS3 compliant. With Perspective, designers can build full SCADA, HMI, alarming systems, and other applications that put users fully in control of their processes from a mobile device. It empowers users to harness the full power of mobile device's touch inputs, GPS, cameras, and other sensors to create the next generation of smart industrial applications. CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets) styles can be setup to globally change the appearance and position of anything in your project. By combining styles into themes, designers will also be able to apply and edit styles across multiple projects in an instant. Perspective Sessions (similar to Vision Clients) run on any major operating system, and the App runs on both iOS and Android devices. Perspective is built on the power of the Ignition platform and works together with all of Ignition’s modules.
Java 11 runtime is now directly embedded into Ignition 8. This change to embedded Java eliminates the need to download, install, or update Java on the server or client machines. No more worrying about what version or bit architecture of java you have. It also includes a new, more streamlined way to launch the Ignition Designer and Vision clients.
Ignition 8 introduces the transition away from jnlp (also known as Java Web Start), and to the new Ignition Designer Launcher and Vision Client Launcher. These launchers add a ton of new features including customizable applications for each project across multiple Gateways. Replacing the Native Client Launcher, these applications allow you to configure startup properties through an easy to use GUI interface. They also support the ability export these configurations another machine to make setting up multiple machines quick and easy. The greatest addition of the new launchers is the bundled java runtime allowing them to run on any machine natively.
The system commissioning process is part of the Ignition 8 installation process. It determines if a new installation of Ignition is required, or if the Ignition system was previously commissioned and a password reset is required. Commissioning enables a wizard that walks you through the steps of accepting the EULA, configuring the HTTP ports, and creating a main user / system administrator account with full privileges.
The Ignition Tag System was optimized for speed and performance, functionality, extensibility, and efficiency. It handles larger amounts of data more easily, and quicker than ever before.
- The new Tag system is built around User Defined Types with optimized memory usage, and less impact when editing Tags so only the modified property is updated throughout the hierarchy, and dynamic/writeable parameter references trigger updates to only properties that use them.
- Performance optimizations were made with Tag importing and search/replace functions that are now executed on the Gateway at a faster rate.
- With the Tag system being a more extensible system, it allows users to easily create new Tag types and add new sources of values with unique and robust configuration options.
- Tags are now defined as JSON objects which consist of properties, arrays, and sub-objects.
- Provides a simplified scripting API and a better data model with the ability to define Tags in scripting as simple dictionaries, or JSON text.
- With the new transform tool, users can easily take a Tag value coming into a binding, manipulate it, and transform it to the output of choice, such as mapping, scripting, expression, and formats.
- New OPC UA certificate management pages for the client and server have been added to the configuration section of the Gateway under “OPC UA > Security”. From this UI, trusted certificates can be imported and quarantined certificates can be marked as trusted. Ensuring the remote certificate is trusted is required for all secured inbound and outbound connections.
- New installations have some new OPC UA related defaults:
The server binds only to localhost (i.e. no remote connections allowed)
The server uses port 62541 instead of 4096
The server only allows secured connections (SecurityPolicy Basic256Sha256)
The default “loopback” connection is called “Ignition OPC UA Server” (there is no longer a “-” between “OPC” and “UA”)
Ignition Perspective introduces some new and improved security features to Ignition: authentication and authorization, permission modeling, and transport layer security. These new security features are only available for Perspective 8.0. (A broader rollout of these features are planned for Ignition 8.1).
- Integrates with existing corporate identity infrastructures that use two-factor authentication (2FA) to verify the identity of users, adding an extra layer of protection.
- Uses single sign-on (SSO) with existing corporate credentials to get access to all assigned accounts and applications in one place using trusted federated identity technologies such as SAML, OAuth, OpenID, and others.
- Uses security Levels (instead of/similar to Roles) that are assigned to users. This makes defining permissions simple. The hierarchy of security levels can be used to simplify the security settings, because users with more specific security levels also “inherit” the more general security levels (i.e., a user granted the security level of “Operator / LineB” also has the security level of “Operator”).
- Sessions (i.e, clients) launched from the Perspective Module are secured using cutting-edge encrypting technologies and communication protocols to provide the most secure web-based data transfer.
- Provides strongly enforced “guest mode” access to prevent against unauthorized writes on the Gateway.
Ignition 8 introduced several project level improvements to make the design process more efficient, reliable, and quicker.
- Project inheritance makes it is easy to define overarching corporate projects that share resources like windows , data types, scripts, and themes that can be inherited by the local sites. Changes at the top can cascade down to all projects or be overridden and customized at each local site. This new inheritance system makes Ignition 7’s “global” project concept obsolete. In order to maintain backwards compatibility, refer to the Ignition 8 Upgrade Guide what happens when an Ignition 7 Gateway is upgraded to Ignition 8.
- Improved the non-locking concurrent editing system which allows for multiple people to work on the same project at the same time without locking each other out while keeping track of the resources being edited. The Designer keeps track of the resources that are being edited, and any conflicting edits will be resolved at the time the project is saved. The developer who creates a saving conflict will be prompted to resolve the conflict by choosing whether to use their own changes, accept the other designer's changes, or cancel their save and figure out what to do in another way.
- Ignition is fully compatible with industry standard source control tools, such as Git, that make it easy to restore previous versions, resolve code conflicts, and look back in time to track changes to your codebase.
- Capability to run a large amount of sessions (runtimes) across an enterprise all at the same time.
To learn more about Ignition 8, refer to the Ignition 8.0 Upgrade Guide .