Tech Support Corner: "It has to work, I can ping it, right?"

Posted by Marc Holbach on Apr 4, 2019 2:00:00 PM

As you are probably aware, the Ping command is one of the most widely used diagnostics tool when troubleshooting communication issues on Ethernet networks. I would accredit this popularity to the fact that everyone knows how to use the command, it's extremely simple to execute, and the results are not really open to interpretation (i.e. it either works or it doesn’t); or are they?

When troubleshooting communication issues, the most common line we hear when something isn’t working is “but I can ping it” as if this alone should serve as definitive proof that everything is working as expected and the communications server is choosing to not communicate.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this blog post covers some common misconceptions about the Ping command, particularly how it can be used efficiently, and when it may not be the best tool for the task, as well as, better alternatives to Ping that actually provide actionable data.

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Topics: Wonderware, Technical Support, Troubleshooting, Automation 101

Tech Support Corner: Did You Know about TOP Server Language Support for German, Chinese and Japanese?

Posted by Kevin Rutherford on Mar 28, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Our technical support engineers at Software Toolbox work with users like you from around the globe to keep their TOP Server for Wonderware implementations running with the highest performance and reliability possible.  Yet, many engineers pride themselves on their ability to self-help, as well.

To that end, in a continuance of our "Tech Support Corner" blog series, I'd like to review TOP Server localized language support for German, Japanese and Chinese that is included with TOP Server.  For our users whose primary language is not English living in regions speaking one of the supported localized languages, I'll show you how to take advantage of this support to enhance your overall user experience and self-help journey.

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Topics: Wonderware, Device Integration, Technical Support

Video Tutorial: Real-Time Collection for Omron FINS Ethernet

Posted by Kevin Rutherford on Mar 21, 2019 2:00:00 PM

If you're reading this, you likely have at least one Omron PLC being used in your industrial process and need to integrate data from that process.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to get started using our Omron FINS Ethernet driver to connect and gather real-time process data from Omron FINS Etheret PLCs for Wonderware applications.

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Topics: Wonderware, Device Integration, TOP Server, Video Tutorials, Omron

Tech Support Corner: Why You Need Your TOP Server Emergency ID

Posted by Kevin O'Connor on Mar 14, 2019 2:00:00 PM

If you're a TOP Server for Wonderware user, when you ordered your license, you've always received a serial number, a Permanent Activation ID and an Emergency Activation ID.  But what is your Emergency Activation ID used for, exactly?

Continuing our “Tech Support Corner” blog post series, this blog post covers why your TOP Server Emergency Activation ID is important, how to use it and what to do when you need to then re-register your permanent activation.

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Topics: Wonderware, Technical Support, TOP Server

How to Integrate Your S7-1500 via OPC UA using TOP Server for Wonderware

Posted by Marc Holbach on Mar 7, 2019 2:00:00 PM

In recent years, many of our users have let us know they are adopting the latest Siemens technology, particularly S7-1500 controllers.  And, with that adoption of those controllers, users have been asking for connectivity via the symbolic optimized block addressing.  So we added a Siemens Plus Suite to enable connectivity to new and legacy Siemens devices.

This post focuses specifically on the general steps required to integrate S7-1500 controllers by connecting to their embedded OPC UA server using TOP Server for Wonderware.

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Topics: Wonderware, Device Integration, OPC UA, Protocols, drivers, connectivity, Siemens

3 Reasons to be Excited About LGH File Inspector 2.0 for Wonderware LGH File Analysis

Posted by John Weber on Mar 1, 2019 8:14:50 AM

The LGH File Inspector software solution enables rapid query and export of Wonderware InTouch LGH files to Excel & CSV for analysis and reporting. With Version 2.0, user feedback on how they use the tool has been incorporated to add functionality in three major areas: Flexibility, User Experience, and Global User Support.

In this blog post, we review what’s new and why you want to upgrade to Version 2.0, and how you can upgrade.

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Topics: Wonderware, CSV, LGH

Video Tutorial: Redundant OPC Connectivity with Cogent DataHub

Posted by Win Worrall on Feb 21, 2019 2:00:00 PM

For many industries, where having access to process data is critical, it's common to implement redundancy on many levels to ensure there is no disruption to data collection.  While there are different levels of redundancy, the one we see users most interested in is with OPC data source redundancy.

The following short video blog demonstrates step-by-step just how easy it is to configure the Cogent DataHub to handle redundant failover between OPC UA data sources, OPC DA data sources and more.

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC UA, Redundancy, OPC, OPC DA, OPC Redundancy, DataHub, Video Tutorials

Did You Know? How to Integrate Virtual COM Devices with OmniServer

Posted by Kevin Rutherford on Feb 14, 2019 2:00:00 PM

If you're familiar with OmniServer, you likely already know how OmniServer is commonly used to retrieve information from devices that use ‘non-standard’ protocols to communicate such as weight scales, barcode readers, and printers either over serial connections or Ethernet connections.

However, with the advent of USB connectivity, many such devices that would have traditionally been a serial/COM device now physically connect to a machine via USB, instead.

Continuing our "OmniServer Did You Know?" blog series, we will cover how OmniServer can easily connect to USB or serial-to-Ethernet devices that are mapped virtually as Serial/COM devices.

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Topics: Wonderware, Device Integration, Protocols, OmniServer, OmniServer Did You Know

Tech Support Corner: Using Wireshark as a Supplemental Troubleshooting Tool

Posted by Kevin O'Connor on Feb 7, 2019 10:22:24 AM

You may or may not be aware that our technical support team at Software Toolbox maintains, updates and adds new content to an extensive knowledge base built from answers to all of your questions from over the years.  We like to frequently review which of our knowledge base articles have been used the most to see what users like you need help with and what is most relevant.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this blog post covers the why's and how's of using the popular and powerful network analysis tool called Wireshark as an additional tool in your troubleshooting arsenal.

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Topics: Wonderware, Technical Support, OPC UA, Troubleshooting, Automation 101, TOP Server

Video Tutorial: OPC to Azure IoT Hub with Cogent DataHub V9

Posted by Win Worrall on Jan 31, 2019 2:00:00 PM

You've likely already heard about Cogent DataHub Version 9 and it's new MQTT integration capabilities.  The DataHub V9 MQTT Client goes beyond just generically connecting to MQTT Brokers by providing smart connectors for Azure IoT Hub, Google IoT and Amazon IoT Core MQTT Broker services.

The following short video blog demonstrates step-by-step how to easily configure the DataHub MQTT Client for publishing OPC UA and OPC DA data from DataHub to the Azure IoT Hub, as well as, pushing data from the many other data sources supported by Cogent DataHub (such as ODBC, DDE, Modbus and more).

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC UA, DataHub, MQTT, Video Tutorials, DataHub V9

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Working in industrial automation since 1996, the Software Toolbox team has seen a lot. The level of automation system sophistication of our integrators and users has evolved, each driven by the demands of their market and clients.  Everyone's learning continues as technological change accelerates.

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