January 4, 2019 | Reliance SCADA
After about six months, another official version of the Reliance SCADA/HMI system, version 4.8.1, has been released with many new features and enhancements. The major ones are summarized in this article.
Consolidating repeated alarm/event occurrences into one instance
Selecting an OPC UA server and importing tags
Reliance Web Client Launcher (Web Client and Java 11)
This new function allows avoiding the accumulation of multiple instance of the same alarm on the list of current alarms/events if no one acknowledges these instances. In both new and existing projects, this option (Project Options > Alarms/Events > Other > Consolidate repeated alarm/event occurrences into one instance) is enabled by default.
If this option is active, a new instance of an alarm won't be created each time the error is repeated. Instead, the existing instance will be updated. Specifically, the number of alarm occurrences will be increased and the time of the last alarm occurrence will be changed. This information can be displayed as separate columns in the viewer of both current and historical alarms/events.
For detailed information, refer to the article titled Consolidating repeated alarm occurrences into one instance.
Reliance 4.8.1 allows selecting an OPC UA server and importing tags from this server. To select an OPC UA server, a new dialog named Select OPC UA Server Endpoint URL has been added to the system.
The dialog for importing tags is common to an OPC UA server and an OPC DA server. Its function has been improved (e.g., quick filtering has been added), so working with the dialog for both types of OPC servers is now much more user-friendly.
Reliance's data servers (Reliance Server, Reliance Control Server) now have support for connecting third-party applications via a simple and powerful REST API (Representational State Transfer API). The existing SOAP API will no longer be expanded, for which reason we recommend that the REST API be used for new applications. The documentation, which describes REST's basic principle, security policies, and individual calls, is part of the data server's Web page.
Security Audit is a new tool for generating a report summarizing all Reliance project settings that affect security and containing information about all server connections (remote IP addresses, open TCP port numbers) on the computers defined within a project. The resulting report is saved as a text file.
The information contained in this file may be helpful when detecting security issues (e.g., when there is a forgotten open connection, when checking strong passwords is temporarily disabled, or when project encryption is turned off). Also, IT administrators can use it as a base for building the right network infrastructure for Reliance applications.
Beginning with version 4.8.1, a new launcher – Reliance Web Client Launcher – is part of the Reliance SCADA system. It acts as a substitute for Java Web Start and allows running Reliance Web Client on new Java versions.
The JRE (currently in version 11) – which is part of the launcher – is tailored to Web Client. There is therefore no need to download and install Java on the end user's computer. You just need to download and run Reliance Web Client Launcher, through which you can – for the configuration you have selected – directly run Web Client or create a shortcut to it.
For detailed information, refer to the article titled Reliance Web Client Launcher (Web Client and Java 11).
Due to many requests from our customers, we have added the following native communication drivers for specific PLC types to Reliance 4.8.1:
We have reworked the display of summary calculations in the report viewer. They are no longer placed in a dialog window. Instead, they are inserted directly into the report viewer.
A description of the visualization project file structure has been published. The meaning of the columns of the RDT files in the System subdirectory is described in the Info.txt file, which is part of the project.
Security is a top priority when developing the Reliance SCADA system. In version 4.8.1, the security level of user passwords is again increased by introducing other features. A new rule for strong passwords named Enforce password history has been added to the Project Options dialog box (Security > Passwords). It specifies the number of unique user passwords that must be created before the old password can be used again. Another new feature in all runtime software modules and thin clients is that users are notified that their password is about to expire. The notification will appear when the expiration date is near.
Some other new features and enhancements have already been published on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and there are more to come.
Have you not found the feature you were looking forward to? The above are only some of the new features. The full change log is available on this page.