AdAstrA's Technical Support team announces a new SCADA TRACE MODE 6.07.7 release. The 6.07.7 release makes TRACE MODE 6 fully compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, while also introducing exciting new features for designing distributed control systems and energy or resources metering.
New System Requirements for TRACE MODE 6
As of 6.07.7 release, Windows 7 is now the recommended operating system for TRACE MODE 6. Consequently, the hardware requirements have changed.
The new minimum system requirements for SCADA TRACE MODE 6 are as follows:
- Operating system – Windows XP SP3 or Windows 7 Professional;
- CPU – Intel Core Duo 2 GHz or equivalent;
- RAM – 1 GB;
- Disk space – 2 GB;
- Display resolution – 1280x1024;
- Color depth – True Color;
- OpenGL v.1.1 graphics card with at least 64 MB of onboard memory. We do not recommend using built-in graphic card;
- CD-ROM, mouse, USB port.
CAUTION: As of 6.07.7 release, the protection dongles for the LPT port will no longer be available!
The recommended system requirements for SCADA TRACE MODE 6 include:
- Windows 7 Professional 32 bit or 64 bit;
- CPU – Intel Core Duo 2.4 to 3.2 GHz or equivalent;
- RAM – 2 to 4 GB;
- Disk space – 4 GB ;
- Display resolution – 1920x1200;
- Color depth – True Color, 32 bit;
- OpenGL v.1.1 graphics card with at least 128 MB of onboard memory. We do not recommend using built-in graphic card;
- CD-ROM, mouse, USB port.
Please note that the software and hardware requirements may vary depending on how much information TRACE MODE software products will handle, how many functions it will have, and what kind of projects you plan to develop. For projects involving 1000-2000 or more channels, we therefore recommend using the most powerful PCs available on the market.
Changes to System Installation Procedure
The 6.07.7 release introduces a few changes to the system installation procedure. The installer now detects the operating system automatically. If Windows XP is detected, the legacy procedure follows, including installation of the HASP key driver supplied with the system. If Windows 7 is detected, installation of the HASP driver is skipped. You can install the HASP driver either via Internet or manually (by running haspdinst.exe in the \ForSetup\ folder of your development system).
TRACE MODE under Windows 7
No specific changes to user experience with TRACE MODE under Windows 7 compared to Windows XP were reported. These findings are based on AdAstrA's internal testing and further testing across our user base in Russia and abroad.
New Features in TRACE MODE 6.07.7 Release
TRACE MODE 6.07.7 includes some exciting new features:
- The system now delivers the ability to record user actions into designated text files, in accordance with the U.S. standard 21 CFR 11. You can view the files in any text viewer or display them as tables together with the records validation results.
- Another enhancement is a streamlined procedure for detecting the user rights when automatically starting any project nodes controlled by the runtime modules, including Micro TRACE MODE for Windows CE. The system loads the USER, for which the "Execute" option was checked, without authenticating such user.
- TRACE MODE 6 now provides an improved OPC server, enabling convenient access to a channel tree and attributes through a user-friendly interface, while also making it easy to change any channel attribute in real time. Any connected OPC client will see the same channel tree with an attribute drop-down list. The OPC client can access any channel attributes.
- This release also introduces a new feature – "Store and forward data to logger" – designed to monitor the connection between RTM+ or archive servers and automatically restore any data lost when connection fails, by storing the data blocks during downtime and forwarding them later. Both nodes monitor the connection and use SMS to communicate whenever the connection fails and must be reestablished. With the addition of this new feature, it is now also possible to enable reliable communication between the nodes of a distributed control system. The new feature can be particularly useful in projects involving wireless connections prone to temporary connection failure. Please see a training video about how the new "Store and forward data to logger" feature operates.
- The new Geometry section in the graphical item properties window enables you to edit its geometry details (coordinates, size, or rotation angle).
Improvements to CALL Channel Functions
- The CALL.EMAIL channel now allows to fully identify a sender and provides enhanced diagnostic tools to troubleshoot the email delivery process. When sending an email, you can configure an outgoing email server name, account name and password, or recipient's address. Any detected errors are logged in the profiler log and display in the channel attributes.
- You can now use the CALL.TVC channels to create daily and weekly schedules, which can have custom duration and allow to highlight specific days. You can display the schedules both as trends or tables.
- The CALL.LongFromBits channels enable cascaded group control of devices such as valve- and/or motor-based dispensers. The system automatically controls the dispensing process, monitors each operating device status, and handles emergencies. The next process phase begins only if the previous phase finishes properly. You can display or modify any control or diagnostics settings for the dispensing process in real time.
- The CALL.RT_Statistics channel now offers enhanced interval statistics for a large number of intervals. You can configure a channel list and select intervals in real time to generate various statistical data (total, remainder, average, start and end values). The results produced by statistical processing are recorded into the CALL.ChGroupReq or CALL.TVC channel arguments in a stack mode and are available for further processing, archiving, and/or documenting.
New Debugging and Diagnostic Tools
- The TRACE MODE runtime modules now provide diagnostic tools of the development system profiler to assist you with debugging your control system project during the setup phase. With the new release, any runtime module (including Micro TRACE MODE for Windows CE) can now maintain a log similar to that of the development system profiler. To take advantage of this feature, you simply need to add the DEBUG key to the configuration file used to run a node. You can also flexibly configure the scope of diagnostics.
- The OPC client in TRACE MODE now offers improved diagnostics and initialisation functions for the connected OPC servers. Connection status monitoring, communication error control, and reinitialisation can be performed individually for each OPC server. Whenever the system detects any connection problems or increased level of errors associated with a certain OPC server, it can reinitialise the connection with this specific OPC server.
- The DEBUG system variable has been significantly revamped. Instead of 16 diagnostics types, this feature now logs the results of 32 different procedures. It can maintain separate error logs for Alarm Report, system state file, supported protocols in the SLAVE mode, SQL queries, OPC interface, IP traffic, TCP communication, requests of historical trends, calls of templates, extensive information for built-in protocols (Modbus, DCS, etc.), and other errors. Because this variable enables you to enter its value online in real time, you can quickly adjust the actual scope of additional diagnostic information without restarting your node.
- You can now generate HTML files with diagnostic information in your node folder in real time. To do so, you can add predefined strings to the custom channel attribute. The information in the tables is generated based on whatever you call:
- electric meters;
- drivers called by the VECTOR channels;
- network or RS communication;
- The "debug545" string outputs a table with the OPC server information: number, name, status, last connection time, last communication time, and total error count;
- The "debug547" string outputs the project nodes discovered on the network.
- With the introduction of a new channel, CALL.Vector, you can now develop input/output drivers for custom serial interface protocols without programming and also archive data in separate archives. This feature is designed to acquire data blocks from the devices as slices with the same time stamp. The archive data can display as trends or documents. For this reason, a channel has a special licensing policy based on the arguments assigned to this channel. Please see a training video on how to use the CALL.Vector channel to develop input/output drivers for custom serial interface protocols without programming.
- The NMEA 0183 enabled devices are now fully supported. Previously, the system supported only the GPS functions of the protocol. You can now seamlessly integrate a wide range of navigation devices based on this protocol in your automated control systems.
- A driver for Kestrel 4000 weather station is now available. The driver has been successfully tested in a real-life project environment.
The system now also includes a driver for Beckhoff controllers (via TwinCAT), which delivered exceptional performance during testing in real-life projects.
- DELTA DVP Controller Driver.
- The Universal Meter Communication Mechanism now provides enhanced functions for reading the power and synchronization profiles from the SET-4TM meters.
- The PSC-3APT meter driver has been adapted to comply with the actual implementation of the protocol. Included in the Universal Meter Communication Mechanism, this meter is now also supported by Micro TRACE MODE for WinPAC controllers.
- The Modbus TCP protocol driver now makes it possible to scale a frame up to the Modbus RTU format. This feature will be of particular interest in projects involving applicable converters such as those based on the GPRS modems.
- The group recording functions (16) of the Modbus protocol have been extended to include a broadcast feature.
- The system now offers enhanced formats of reading integers through the Modbus protocols, allowing to read, display, or process a 4-byte signed integer.
The new release is available for download for all registered users at the SUPPORT section at www.adastra.ru.
If you have questions, please visit http://forum.tracemode.com/.