Ignition was designed to be a powerful industrial application platform, built from the ground up to support extensibility through a modular architecture. In fact, nearly all of the commercial pieces associated with Ignition, such as SQLBridge, Vision, and OPC-UA, are modules built with the same SDK that you have in your hands.
As a platform, Ignition provides a variety of services that dramatically reduce the time and effort required to develop top-quality industrial applications. Instead of worrying about the OPC specification, or how to efficiently handle database connection pooling, you can focus on achieving your main goals. Using the SDK, you'll be developing modules that are loaded into the platform and given access to everything it can do. In addition to using these services, in many cases modules can extend them to provide additional implementations, such as adding a new way to authenticate users. Modules can provide new components for Vision screens, create new workspaces in the designer, and add drivers that expose data through OPC-UA. In short, if you can dream it, it's likely the Ignition platform can help you do it.
This document is written to be a friendly reference guide to the platform, and to provide all of the information you need to get started with the SDK. Some parts of the SDK might not be covered as well as they could be, and we always encourage feedback on this point, though when coupled with the technical documentation (the JavaDocs) everything should at least be represented. As questions come up, or you come up with ideas for ways the platform could be improved, we encourage you to contact us, preferably through the Module SDK Forum on our website.
We hope that you will find programming for Ignition as exciting and fun as we've found the process of building it, and look forward to seeing the great things you create with the SDK!
The Inductive Automation Development Team