The Platform.NExT I/O Data Server module is an essential feature to the platform's
projects as a communication and data manager server. The Data Server manages
communication with the field and third party systems by defining and centralizing
information dynamically using Tags described in the project's Tag List resource (Address
In addition, the Server manages alarms and records events in the Historical Log.
Ultimately, the Data Server can historically data log process data collected in Tags using
the Historian and Data Logger archive manager as an option.
As shown below, the Platform.NExT Server module is designed to manage:
- Data Communication
- Alarm Manager
- Historical Log management
- Tags List
Connecting to Databases
The Platform.NExT I/O Data Server module uses the ADO.NET Data Provider technology
to connect to the databases. By means of using this technology each project and each
data recording resource is independent from the data format that you have chosen to
By using Data Providers, the Data Server can be totally independent from the database
type used within the architecture. The connection string can be customized using the
Platform.NExT Data Server's configuration properties in order to use the preferred
Since there are different Data Providers to choose from, the user should check how to
set the connection string in function with the specific Provider they wish to use.
This may differ according to which Provider the user wishes to connect to for Oracle,
MySQL or others.
Historical Log Management
Among other things the I/O Data Server module also manages the recording of data in
the historical log archive using the modes and configurations described in the relating
The Server manages data recording by using the following functional modules:
Event and Alarm recording
Historical Process Data recording
Data Logger recording
DB Connectable Toolbox objects (grids, dataloggers etc...)
Each functional module independently records data and accesses its database using the
Platform.NExT platform infrastructure.
The Platform.NExT I/O Data Server module is the essential data communication and management server for the platform's projects. This Server enables field and third party system communication management by defining and centralizing dynamic information using TAGs to define the project's Address Space variables.
The I/O Data Server module enables the platform to communicate with the field devices in real-time, using the included communication drivers or the connection technology to third party OPC UA servers.
All the gathered information is defined in the Server's Address Space, which defines the list of Tags that are visible to all the resources and modules of the entire Automation Platform.NExT platform.
One of the main tasks of the I/O Data Server module is to manage communications with the field devices using different communication channels that manage protocols towards the physical I/Os of external peripherals.
The platform is therefore capable of communicating in real-time with field devices using communication drivers that are included with the product or technology that connects to third party OPC UA Servers. Whatever mode is used all the information collected from the field physical addresses is associated to Tags which are found in the Tag List resource used for the Server's Address Space.
The Driver configuration specifications are described in the relating sections of this documentation according to each driver's specific communication protocol type (e.g. Siemens S7. Ethernet-IP, Modbus, Omron and others) along with the OPC UA standard communication technology.
The Server's General Settings window is used to configure the general settings that determine how the Data Server functions. Fields such as:
- Application Name
Product URI link
Historian Default Connection
- Events Default Connection
Events Max Age
- Diagnostic Enabled
- Attention! The activation of this option may have an impact on server performances. Therefore, it should be used with caution and only when absolutely needed in addition to debugging. For example, when enabling this option, the server will take longer to startup with projects containing big volumes of Tags that have been defined in the Server's Address Space.
The I/O Data Server Prototype window enables you to insert and configure the data models as desired. These data models are also defined as Tag "structures" or "prototypes".
The prototypes are data structures used for defining complex tag types such as those using data model types composed of a series of data types and quantity defined by the user and called "members".
Each Member of a Prototype can be configured through the Property Window in the same way as simple variables. The only difference is that a few properties such as the 'I/O Physical Address' and 'Retentive' properties are not available for Prototype members but which can be applied to Structure Variables defined with the Prototype.
The Structure Prototype can be used to create several Structure Variables once it has been defined and each one of its Members have been configured. It is also possible to intervene to customize the Structure Variable' members to make it different from the other Structure Variables even though defined for the same Prototype. A Structure Variable can be exploded to view its structure and access the properties of each individual member. All the Members have a “UseShared” property which is left checked so that they inherit the configuration defined in the Prototype. When this property is unchecked, it will be possible to edit some of the Member's properties which will then have priority over the Prototype's settings. The following modifications can be done when unchecking a Structure Variable's Member's “UseShared” property:
Insert the I/O Physical Address in each Member
Insert a Description
Insert an initial value
Assign an Engineering Unit
Assign a Historical
Define User Access settings: User Level. Access Area in Read and Write, Access mode
Assign one or more Alarms
Assign one or more Views
Assign script code to the Member
To create a Movicon Alarm object you will first need to create an Alarm Prototype, where the modes and intervention thresholds, to be managed by the alarm, are defined. Once this has been done, the Prototype must then be assigned to a Variable (or to more than one Variable according to the number of alarms of that type to be managed). The value of this variable will be used as a reference for activating the Alarm.
More information can be found on the On-Line Help while in the program by clicking on the HELP tab on the Ribbon or by visiting https://www.progea.com/en/manuals/ to download an offline manual.
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