Review of the Iconics Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Development Software
Over the course of the last few months, I have delved deep into the Genesis64 HMI/SCADA development software package by Iconics while working on a standardized solution for recipe editing in manufacturing lines. Overall, it is a competitive option when fast development time and web access are valued.
One of the features that enables fast development is the ability to use data from a SQL server database, a standard in many industries. Genesis64 uses an application called GridWorX64 Server to query data and store them in datasources which can then be accessed by grids, charts, labels, buttons, etc. in GraphWorX64. One may think of these datasources as being similar to SQL views. Read more about datasources in Genesis64 in the next blog post: Refreshing Datasources in Iconics Genesis64 HMI/SCADA Development Software.
Fast development is also facilitated by the numerous built-in Windows Forms and WPF elements in GraphWorX that can be tied to datasources in GridWorX Server quite easily. While the variety of elements that are available is substantial for basic tasks, more advanced tasks, such as processing user input and running stored procedures to change data in SQL, requires custom scripts. Custom scripting can be very powerful in Genesis64, but it can easily become cumbersome to maintain if care is not taken during development. The scripting environment that is available is Jscript.NET; however, occasionally you may run into certain properties or methods that are not available in this environment, but are documented on MSDN’s website.
In the application that we developed, scripting was extensively used to manage the front-end as well as initiate actions on the database from the user interface. For example, scripts were used to run stored procedures that created a new recipe, edited an existed recipe, deleted a recipe, etc. The inverse of this is also true in cases where the database had to be queried to show the user options for input: an example is the population of dropdown lists from which the user selects a value to be used in a stored procedure.
WebHMI is another aspect of Genesis64 that is very convenient for the developer and client alike. With a few clicks, a GraphWorX display can be hosted as a webpage on the internet, albeit only accessible through Internet Explorer.
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*Screenshot from Iconics Genesis64 demo.
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