Ignition's Perspective Module is not replacing the Vision Module — in fact, the modules complement each other and can work together. Vision is the preferred module for building traditional industrial applications for the plant floor, and Perspective is preferred for mobile-first applications.
You don’t have to choose between one module or the other; in fact, we think that you should use both. Perspective is for mobile-first projects and applications, optimized for web browsers. Vision, on the other hand, is a tried and tested solution for designing traditional plant-floor displays, HMIs, and desktop screens. We continue to recommend Vision for any projects that don’t require browser/mobile-first functionality. Vision and Perspective modules complement one another’s functionality, and when used together, form the most powerful visualization system built specifically for the industrial space.
When you start a new project, there are many things to consider, such as who the users will be, how much data you need, what kind of time and resources you have to work with, visualization needs, and so forth. Deciding whether to use Vision or Perspective really comes down to which module best fits your project at the visualization level.
When It’s Best to Use Vision
Vision is and has been for many years a top-class desktop application. It is the best choice for traditional industrial plant-floor and desktop screens, standalone HMIs, and the like. If you need a full, production-ready application right now, then it is best to choose Vision. If you’re using multi-monitor or multi-desktop workstations, dedicated control panels and applications, desktop-dedicated or dedicated-access applications, terminals, or parallel screens, then Vision is the best way to go. In Ignition 8, the Vision Module got one of its biggest updates since it was first released in 2010, allowing you to make your HMIs and plant-floor dashboards faster, easier to deploy, and more beautiful than ever.
When It's Best to Use Perspective
If you need to build mobile-responsive applications, then Perspective is the recommended way to go. If your application needs to run on a mobile OS, namely iOS or Android, then choose Perspective. If you need Two-Factor Authentication or federated identities for the application you're building, choose Perspective.
With Perspective, you can automatically adapt to fit any screen size using mobile-optimized container types. It provides the ability to use your device's sensors and intuitive touch commands, as well as message handling, flexible property bindings, CSS3 styles, and more. For example, with an application built in Perspective, you could augment alarm information by taking a picture of the faulty machine. You could scan a QR code by a machine and have the SCADA system tell you what to do, or take readings or photos in the field and tag them with GPS and other sensor data. There are so many new possibilities.
Should I Upgrade?
There are many considerations for using Vision or Perspective. Perspective contains familiar elements like the drag-and-drop Designer, property binding system, and scripting engine. Refer to the Ignition 8 Upgrade Guide for complete information. See also A Vision-Oriented Guide to Perspective.
Behind the Scenes
A “Client” in Vision is called a "Session" in Perspective, and the two actually have very similar tech stacks. At the bottom of the stack is the OS. In addition to supporting Windows, macOS, and Linux, Perspective also supports Android and iOS. The next part of the stack is the web browser, which is very similar to the runtime/VM layer in the other stacks because it provides an environment to execute code, generate user interfaces, and communicate back to the Gateway. On top of that runs the Perspective session application itself, and then modules can augment the features of Perspective.
In the topology of a typical Ignition installation, there’s the Ignition Gateway, the Ignition Designer, and Vision clients. At the base of the Gateway is the operating system, which can be Windows, Mac, or Linux. Above the OS is the Java runtime/VM layer, which is what Ignition runs on. Above the runtime/VM layer is the Ignition platform, which provides many features and services like Tags, projects, database connections, the Gateway Network, and so on. At the top of the tech stack are modules, which let you do a number of useful things like connect to devices, use databases effectively, send alarm notifications, generate reports, and, in the case of the Vision Module, create applications which run as Vision clients.
As you can see, Perspective is just another module. It installs into the Gateway and provides a design experience in the Designer just like other Ignition modules do.