Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a process control system that is used in countless number of applications, including manufacturing, communications, distribution (water, gas, power) and heating, cooling and security in buildings. A SCADA system collects data from sensors in local and remote locations and sends them to central computers to control local machinery.

SCADA systems range from simple configurations to large and complex projects. Most SCADA systems use HMI software that allows users to interact with and control the machines and devices that the HMI is connected to such as valves, pumps, and motors.

SCADA software receives its information from RTUs or PLCs which can receive their information from sensors or manually inputted values. From here, the data can be used to effectively monitor, collect and analyze data, which can potentially reduce waste and improve efficiency resulting in savings of both time and money.

Ignition Is a SCADA Software Solution

Is referring to the ability to add more software or hardware to solve more demanding problems. This is very important as companies start to use Ignition on more processes in the facility, or if the facility grows over time.

Scale Up means to use a bigger single item (a faster/more expensive computer) as your requirements grow.

Scale Out means to add more small items (such as many inexpensive computers) as your requirements grow.

See SVG.

See Tag group.

Scripting is writing code to complete a specific task. In Ignition, scripting means using Python in the event based system. Almost everything in Ignition supports scripting by right-clicking the object in the designer and selecting the 'Scripting...' option. Scripting and Expression bindings are sometimes confused, but have completely different functions. Scripting is used to create complex logic, while an Expression binding is a single command that evaluates to a single value.

A Software Development Kit (SDK) is a tool set that allows you to write code to add functionality to existing software. In Ignition, the SDK allows you to create whole new modules. These modules can include new scripting functions and components. For more information about Ignition's SDK, see the Ignition SDK Programmer's Guide.

A system that grants access to view or interact with certain aspects of Ignition based on roles. These roles are defined ahead of time and can be assigned to users as needed.

A communication type that many older PLCs and other devices use. They have a specific cable (such as RS232) that must attach the device to a computer to allow communications.

A server is a computer stored somewhere (either on-site or in the cloud) that is intended to run non-stop for as long as possible and be available to other computers on the network. These are usually special computers that are more powerful than a common desktop computer, often referred to as a 'Server Class' machine. These computers will hold the main Ignition installation, a database, and ERP system, or anything else that needs to be available at all times.

You often see servers referenced based on the software they are running (such as an email server). In this case we are referring to the software that is constantly running, which may or may not be on a dedicated computer.

Server software is designed to be operated and managed on a computing server. Server software is often always running in the background, regardless of whether users are interacting with it. Contrast this with client software that resides in a user’s desktop or mobile computer and is only used when needed.

Example: Websites are hosted on a server and are always available. A browser like Chrome or Firefox is run from your computer only when you open it.

A setpoint is a single value that represents the target for another part of the process. This could be an ideal temperature, fan speed, etc. that the PLC is trying to match.

Siemens is a company that makes many things, but in Ignition we are commonly referring to their PLCs. Their devices are used around the world and have names like S7-1500. Ignition has a module that has drivers for several types of these PLCs.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol that works in conjunction with other application layer protocols to control multimedia communication sessions over the Internet.
In Ignition, the Voice Notification Module adds the ability to deliver alarm notifications to users via telephone, using any SIP compatible phone system (common for VoIP systems).

Short Message Service (SMS) is the protocol that is used by text messaging systems. In Ignition, SMS refers to the SMS Notification Module, which gives to the ability to connect to an SMS device and send text messages in response to alarms through Alarm Notification Pipelines.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a way for web services to communicate. It uses HTTP and XML to transfer information.

Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a system by which one can sample and inspect the output of a process to determine if one needs to adjust the process to bring the items or goods into an acceptable quality standard. SPC packages analyze the collected data using statistical math procedures and can present results with various types of graphs. SPC works along side Quality Control, but is an analysis tool for existing samples.

Structured Query Language (SQL), pronounced as sequel or S-Q-L, is designed to manage data held in a relational database management system (RDBMS). SQL is particularly useful in handling structured data where there are strict relationships between related sets of data.

SQL is considered a standard language, but there are variations in syntax and functions across all database brands (MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, etc).


SELECT Firstname FROM Contacts WHERE Lastname = 'Smith'
INSERT INTO Contacts VALUES ('Joe', 'Smith')
UPDATE Contacts SET Lastname = 'Howard' WHERE ID = 1
DELETE FROM Contacts WHERE Lastname = 'Smith'

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a widely used security protocol for data as it goes across a network or the internet. In Ignition, you have the option to enable SSL, which means traffic to and from the Ignition Gateway will be encrypted just like any website with sensitive data. For example, almost every bank uses SSL to protect your information.

This is a common term for a system that uses multiple programs to support it, usually diagrammed as each resting on the previous piece.

In Ignition, the stack we are usually referring to is that the Ignition modules use the Ignition platform, which runs on Java, which runs on the Operating System.

Something that works without any other pieces. In Ignition, this means a single install that can do everything you need, but having multiple modules in one install is still a standalone system. This is one of our possible architectures.

This is referring to commonly used formats and protocols on the internet. Things like Ethernet, TCP communications, and web servers that have been incorporated into Ignition. All this really means is that we are using proven technology that already exists in your facility.

Store and Forward refers to a system in Ignition that allows it to store data accurately in a database even if communications are not constant. It stores data locally on the computer that Ignition is installed on and forwards it to the database when a connection is valid.

The Style Customizer is used with many components and lets users define a set of visual styles that are based on a single driving property, often a custom property, that focuses attention to the user.

SUDS is not an acronym; it's the name of a lightweight SOAP client (web services) for Python. It is common to use the SUDS libraries in Ignition because it uses Python.

A Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation. In Ignition, SVGs can be used by simply dragging them onto an open window in the designer.

SVG is an open standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). SVG images and their behaviors are defined in XML text files. They can be searched, indexed, scripted, and compressed. Any text editor and most drawing software, can create and edit SVG files.

This is the name of a module in Ignition and the name of a product from a company called Software Toolbox. Either way, it refers to a collection of Images that is available in Ignition.

This term depends on the context it is in, but generally means we are talking about a group of things that make up a whole. Sometimes a 'system' is in reference to a complete project or chunk of an operations. For example, a SCADA system would be referring to all of the computers, PLCs and other controls that allow your factory to run. On the other hand, an Ignition system could be referring to an installation of one or more copies of Ignition that are controlling a process, factory, or enterprise.

System Tags provide comprehensive status and diagnostic information about the Gateway and Clients. Read more about System Tags.

A script module is a user-defined library of scripting functions. They can either be shared script modules or project script modules. The shared modules are available in the whole Gateway, including Project scopes of all projects and the entire Gateway scope. The project modules are only available in the project they are created.

There are three different types of scopes in Ignition: Gateway scope, Client scope, and Session scope. Where a script runs determines what scope it is running in, what system functions can be run, what resources the script can interact with, and where the output will be written to. Gateway scopes execute on the Gateway and do not have access to any Client-level or Session-level resources such as windows (or views) or components. Client scope scripts execute only on a running Vision Client and in the Designer, in Preview mode. Its values are isolated to the Client, and the output will be displayed on the Designer/Client console.  Session scope scripts execute only in a running Perspective Session and in the Designer, in Preview mode. Its values are isolated to the Session, and the output will be displayed on the Designer/Session console.  

SQL injection attack is a code injection technique used by hackers to attack data driven applications for the purpose of stealing data.

See SIP.

See SMS.


See SDK.

See SPC.

See SQL.

See SSL.


Sequential Function Charts (SFC) are a visual programming language that provides a way to write complex logic with a simple drag-and-drop programming tool. The SFC module's standardized programming method, part of the IEC 61131-3 specification, will be familiar to many users who have experience in programming PLCs.

See Sequential Function Charts.

The SECS/GEM (SEMI Equipment Communications Standard/Generic Equipment Model) is the semiconductor's equipment interface protocol for equipment-to-host data communications. Developed by the SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International) organization, the standards define a common set of equipment behavior and communications capabilities. In Ignition, the SECS/GEM module enables Ignition projects and third-party applications to communicate with semiconductor fab equipment.


The SECS Definition Language (SDL) file is where SECS messages are defined. See also SECS/GEM.

See SDL.

Single Sign-On (SSO) is a type of user authentication that permits a user to access multiple applications with just one set of login credentials (such as name and password). In SSO, a user logs in once and gains access to different applications, without the need to re-enter log-in credentials at each application.

See Single Sign-On.

Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) (pronounced sam-el) is an open standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between parties, typically between an Identity Provider (IdP) and a service provider. In Ignition, SAML is one of the available IdP types.

See Security Assertion Markup Language.

SAP SE  (Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing) is a vendor of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and related applications. The company's ERP system enables its customers to run their business processes, including accounting, sales, production, human resources and finance, in an integrated environment. In Ignition, history can easily be accessed by third-party software such as ERP or SAP systems. See also Enterprise Resource Planning.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an Internet standard for sending email messages. It is part of the application layer of the TCP/IP protocol. Email software most commonly uses SMTP for sending and either the Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) or Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) protocols for receiving mail.

See Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.

SAML Service Provider (SP) is a type of Identity Provider used to log in to a website or program through an internet service. It uses the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).

See SAML Service Provider.