In September, Inductive Automation announced the company was developing a major new release of its Ignition industrial platform, which offers tools for building human-machine interface (HMI), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. This week, Ignition 8 was officially released after several months of testing, culminating in a major update that addresses manufacturers’ needs for scalable architectures, mobility and enhanced security.
According to the company, Ignition 8 features new capabilities for building enterprise-scale architectures. A faster tag system aids very large deployments, such as those with a million tags or more. And, Ignition 8 was built with cybersecurity as a key consideration. It supports industry-leading encryption protocols, uses two-factor authentication and also includes single sign-on.
In an Automation World article that outlined some early details of Ignition 8, company officials highlighted the concurrent editing functionality, which will allow multiple users to work on the same project at the same time without locking each other out of resources.
“This allows for big projects to be completed more quickly,” said Carl Gould, co-director of software engineering at Inductive Automation, during a press conference at the ARC Industry Forum in February. “And with the addition of project inheritance capabilities, when you make a project, it can inherit resources from other projects. This means that you can define and reuse templates across multiple projects, and even create corporate standard templates that can be customized for each site.”
It is also compatible with industry-standard source-control tools to make it easy to restore previous versions, resolve code conflicts and track changes to the codebase.
But the key part of the Ignition 8 release is the Ignition Perspective Module, a pure-web, fully mobile solution. It provides full SCADA control from mobile phones, and drag-and-drop capabilities for designing mobile-responsive screens that are ideal for mobile devices. Applications built with the Ignition Perspective Module adapt to fit any size screen, from cellphone to desktop. It will also enable users to leverage a phone’s GPS, camera, Bluetooth, orientation-sensing and more. It runs in any web browser with HTML5, and requires no plug-ins. Perspective will allow people to enhance their SCADA systems in new and creative ways, the company said.
“With all the new features in Ignition 8, along with the new Ignition Perspective Module, this is a big leap forward for users of Ignition,” said Don Pearson, chief strategy officer for Inductive Automation. “This software is really going to open up a lot of creative opportunities for people.”
More than 1,000 people participated in the private beta test for Ignition 8, which was released for public beta testing in February. Now, it is generally available.
“We’re very excited to be sharing Ignition 8 with the world,” Gould said. “I can’t wait to see what people build with Ignition Perspective, which was built from the ground up to be a first-class, pure-web, fully mobile solution for industrial applications.”