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Old December 4th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #1
robertmee
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Factory Talk SE Studio - I'm sorry, But....

[RANT ON]

After having worked with it for a week, this is by far the sorriest, buggiest, piece of craptastic software that RS has released. While most of the problems are not earth shattering (read BSOD type), cumulatively, they make for a difficult development environment. I'm only crossing my fingers at this point, that once developed, at least the Client application will be dependable.

[/RANT ON]

Okay, having gotten that off my chest, maybe it is just me. I mean, I'm trying to do simple stuff (no imbedded VBA), and every time I hit roadblocks....Here's just a few (if anyone has solutions and points to me being an idiot, I'll gladly retract my opinion!)

- Tag browser doesn't refresh properly. If I add new folders into the Tag Editor and populate it with tags, it is hit or miss whether the Tag browser will see them in some reasonable time. Even after manually refreshing ALL FOLDERs they still don't show up. Yet I can manually cut/paste them into animations and they work fine. [EDIT: Known Problem. If you duplicate a folder, it won't show up, unless you add a new tag to the parent folder, hit refresh, and THEN it will show up. What a crock]

- Multiple Selection of Objects Bug. For whatever reason, if I drag across multiple items to select, sometimes I get the 'dots' and sometimes they appear opposite. In otherwords, an unselected object will have the 'dots' and a selected object won't.

- Multiple Selection of Objects within a group. So, can anyone tell me how to drag and select multiple objects while editing within a group?

- Refresh of Client screens. Seems to be hit or miss here. If I make a change on the development side to a display grafix, that change doesn't show up on the Client, even if I reload the screen. I've tried it with Caching turned off and on with no difference. Shutting down/restarting the Client consistently does it, however.

- WTF? When using RSLinx Enterprise, why in the world would you hide the poll time on the display settings of the window where you have the tag sitting.

- Numeric and String Input objects...Please, why isn't there a means to turn off the stupid outline (hashed or solid) of the input object. Makes the image look junky, IMO. No VBA method, no property, no nothing to turn this off and confirmed by RS tech support.

- Numeric and String Input objects, part deux...Okay, why is the color settings of an input object hidden and only defineable in the display settings? Meaning, ya can't have 'em different colors on a single screen. And it took me an hour to find the setting.

- Installation...If you have Net Framework 2.1 installed, FT won't even install, cause it is looking for 2.0. Not smart enough to know that 2.1 is as good. The solution is registry hacks or uninstall 2.1, install 2.0, install FT, install 2.1. Silly.

- Maximize the graphic editing area in Studio. For some reason, the windows lose their outline. Junky looking.

- VBA Runtime crashing. I'm not even using VBA and yet the diagnostic window indicates that the VBA engine crashes each time the client starts.

- Setting Default Login. According to tech support, the only way is to do it in the startup macro, where you have to type out the password. Should be able to just select a pre-configured user to do this.

- On screen keyboard. There are no less than 3 places where you can define their use for an application. Haven't really figured out which one takes precidence.

- Slow. Lots of things are slow. As an example, when configuring a tag and check boxing the Alarm indicator, it takes 10 to 20 seconds before the alarm button becomes enabled to actually configure the alarm message format.

These are just but a few of the nagging issues I keep dealing with. Again, nothing that can't be worked around, but for the 'next evolution' of HMI development, I would have thought it would be leaps and bounds beyond RSView32.

- One praise...Glad they finally put a retentive option on the tags.

Last edited by robertmee; December 4th, 2008 at 11:47 AM.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertmee
[RANT ON]

After having worked with it for a week, this is by far the sorriest, buggiest, piece of craptastic software that RS has released. While most of the problems are not earth shattering (read BSOD type), cumulatively, they make for a difficult development environment. I'm only crossing my fingers at this point, that once developed, at least the Client application will be dependable.

[/RANT ON]

Okay, having gotten that off my chest, maybe it is just me. I mean, I'm trying to do simple stuff (no imbedded VBA), and every time I hit roadblocks....Here's just a few (if anyone has solutions and points to me being an idiot, I'll gladly retract my opinion!)

- Tag browser doesn't refresh properly. If I add new folders into the Tag Editor and populate it with tags, it is hit or miss whether the Tag browser will see them in some reasonable time. Even after manually refreshing ALL FOLDERs they still don't show up. Yet I can manually cut/paste them into animations and they work fine.

The browser has been consistently buggy with refreshes since Studio came out. Online-browsing of PLC's can also be incredibly time consuming as it seems to poll everything multiple times, before actually displaying.

For the most part, I edit my tag database in Excel, by hand, then import it in lumps.

- Multiple Selection of Objects Bug. For whatever reason, if I drag across multiple items to select, sometimes I get the 'dots' and sometimes they appear opposite. In otherwords, an unselected object will have the 'dots' and a selected object won't.

Not sure what causes this, but I suspect it is not entirely Studio's fault. I have the exact same problem editing WonderWare screens too, Something in Windows is either mis-reading selection flags, or something is writing them improperly in both applications.

- Multiple Selection of Objects within a group. So, can anyone tell me how to drag and select multiple objects while editing within a group?

Meh... Explode the group, re-position, re-group. It is barely, sometimes possible to select multiple objects, but normally the focus just changes to something you do not want.

- Refresh of Client screens. Seems to be hit or miss here. If I make a change on the development side to a display grafix, that change doesn't show up on the Client, even if I reload the screen. I've tried it with Caching turned off and on with no difference. Shutting down/restarting the Client consistently does it, however.

Put a button somewhere, like on a simple directory screen, that does a Flushcache for all displays... Normally that will force a reload. The problem seems to be that View Clients really really really want to use the Internet Explorer cache for the displays, even if the server has updated them. Flushing the cache will force the IE Cache to be invalidated, requiring a reload.

- WTF? When using RSLinx Enterprise, why in the world would you hide the poll time on the display settings of the window where you have the tag sitting.

Much hate for RSLinx Enterprise. I can almost understand why it was developed, but for almost all projects, I use plain old Linx Classic or Software Toolbox's TopServer for the I/O server. Unfortunately, I love the new FT Alarms and Events thingies, so am now forced to use Enterprise for some comms, even if redundant.

- Numeric and String Input objects...Please, why isn't there a means to turn off the stupid outline (hashed or solid) of the input object. Makes the image look junky, IMO. No VBA method, no property, no nothing to turn this off and confirmed by RS tech support.

Rockwell's numeric and string input controls have always sucked. They are horrible. They are awkward, stupid, annoying, ugly, non-intuitive... I could go on. In general, for numeric inputs, I use the "Numeric Keypad Control for RSView32 1.00.0060". Too bad they have nothing for strings. Too bad also, that they don't publish the source code for that control, as I'd still like to fix it some, and add a string version.

The Numeric and String inputs sucked on WinView, View32, and now Studio. I don't see Rockwell EVER fixing them.

- Numeric and String Input objects, part deux...Okay, why is the color settings of an input object hidden and only defineable in the display settings? Meaning, ya can't have 'em different colors on a single screen. And it took me an hour to find the setting.

See above, at least for numerics.

- Installation...If you have Net Framework 2.1 installed, FT won't even install, cause it is looking for 2.0. Not smart enough to know that 2.1 is as good. The solution is registry hacks or uninstall 2.1, install 2.0, install FT, install 2.1. Silly.

Wait.. get's better... don't accidentally install a Vers. 4.0 service pack ontop of a 5.0 installation!!! You'd think these service packs would check version's before overwriting things, right? Nope. Not Rockwell. DO that, or install any 'wrong' patch, there is a great chance the patch will take, and break the entire installation.

- Maximize the graphic editing area in Studio. For some reason, the windows lose their outline. Junky looking.

- VBA Runtime crashing. I'm not even using VBA and yet the diagnostic window indicates that the VBA engine crashes each time the client starts.

I've seen this often, and somehow, it seems related to admisitrative rights on the user logged on to the particular PC, but as of yet, I've not tracked down the issue completely.
The VBA in Studio 4.x and 5.x is buggy anyway, again, not expecting a fix.

- Setting Default Login. According to tech support, the only way is to do it in the startup macro, where you have to type out the password. Should be able to just select a pre-configured user to do this.

100% agree. At the very least, you should be able to just have an account "Default" log on on system startup, or auto logon if someone logs off. I absolutely MUST have a default user, so I'm pretty much unable to really use user-level security on FTView. I can't have the screen going blank waiting for someone to log in at a shift change.

- On screen keyboard. There are no less than 3 places where you can define their use for an application. Haven't really figured out which one takes precidence.

- Slow. Lots of things are slow. As an example, when configuring a tag and check boxing the Alarm indicator, it takes 10 to 20 seconds before the alarm button becomes enabled to actually configure the alarm message format.

I know the pain here, but moving to FT Alarms and Events, I can happily ignore it. Of course ME doesn't support FTA&E, but then again, the alarm handling in ME is so trashy I just generally roll my own in PLC code.

These are just but a few of the nagging issues I keep dealing with. Again, nothing that can't be worked around, but for the 'next evolution' of HMI development, I would have thought it would be leaps and bounds beyond RSView32.

- One praise...Glad they finally put a retentive option on the tags.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #3
robertmee
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Glad, I'm not the only one suffering. I appreciate the response as I've noticed you seem to be the resident SE trailblazer.

One note (half solution) I found for login/logout. There is at least an inactivity ActiveX available that you can install on an always present display (header/status) that will monitor idleness. Within it, you can set the idle time and configure an event to fire that does do an autologin of your default user. So, here's what I'm doing:

I created a generic low level user called production (A security code only). On the startup of my initial screen I run a macro that does Login Production Production. Then, configure the OCX above to do the same thing in its event after 10 minutes. It prevents maintenance or engineering from logging in and leaving it at that level.

So, when the client starts, no login box is presented and it automatically is set at production (not the default windows user...I hate that). If a top level person logs in and walks away, it will log them out after X minutes back to Production. None of the annoying login windows and losing the background graphic.


As for numerics, yep, I have used the ActiveX method often. Why in the world the numeric Input object has 'download' and 'update' is beyond me. Another method I use is just not use them at all, and put inc/dec buttons to change values. Seems to work better. For strings, I'm stuck.

Last edited by robertmee; December 4th, 2008 at 12:17 PM.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #4
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That's kind of an idea, but not one I'm going to implement.

I use Studio and SE Distributed here extensively... An active decision was made to abandon WonderWare at this facility a number of years ago, simply because everyone got tired of WonderWare licensing/versioning/ and compatability issues. Not to mention, at the time at least, being able to remotely edit while online was (and is) of major importance.

I just keep hoping, that one day, Rockwell will get their act together, and actually release a version of Studio et al that has the fit, finish, and spitshine feeling of WW, but I'm certainly not holding my breath.

Over all, we've had a mostly positive experience with Studio, and really haven't had any instability issues that were related to SE Itself really... Most issues we've had have been either normal networking issues, or Linx Enterprise problems. Running Linx Classic or TopServer as the primary data server takes care of those.

Now, if they would only get back to the "TRUE" CPR release types they were doing for a while... I've reverted Logix 17 out of this laptop, simply because it broke the stupid Factory Talk Alarm Viewer (not A&E, the basic on), for no reason I can think of... I mean, the alarm log viewer should only be looking at the logs, why should Logix 17 break it? /shrug.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #5
robertmee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdrast
I've reverted Logix 17 out of this laptop, simply because it broke the stupid Factory Talk Alarm Viewer (not A&E, the basic on), for no reason I can think of... I mean, the alarm log viewer should only be looking at the logs, why should Logix 17 break it? /shrug.
Uh oh....I also have Logix17 installed and am using the basic viewer. Or trying to at least. I'm still in early development, but I have noticed that I am not getting any alarms in my alarm viewer object. What I have done is setup basic HMI tags with the Alarm feature checked (just like View32). I've toggled the tags (using Logix emulator) and I don't see any alarms in the viewer. I've pushed it to the back burner for now as I'm still working on screens, but is this an issue? Is there a tech note?
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #6
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There is an upgraded version of RSLinx Enterprise software available. It is V5.17.00 That may solve some issues with RSLogix5000 V17. Also, Factory Talk Services Platform CPR9 SR1 V2.10.01 may be required.
All these patches, service releases and red warnings in the knowledgebase articles makes it very confusing which patches to install or avoid.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJZ
There is an upgraded version of RSLinx Enterprise software available. It is V5.17.00 That may solve some issues with RSLogix5000 V17. Also, Factory Talk Services Platform CPR9 SR1 V2.10.01 may be required.
All these patches, service releases and red warnings in the knowledgebase articles makes it very confusing which patches to install or avoid.
That's an understatement!

I do have the latest Linx Enterprise installed and SR1 of FTS. I haven't installed any patches beyond the original latest releases in the software download page.

FYI, suddenly this morning, I'm getting alarms in the viewer. So, hopefully, I'm not having the same R17 problem. I think in my case it was a matter of having to shutdown the alarm logger after adding new alarm tags to get them resync'd, which is kindof stupid, but at least I know the workaround (one of dozens at this point).
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Old December 5th, 2008, 09:43 AM   #8
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Quote:

I haven't installed any patches beyond the original latest releases in the software download page.

You should check Item 37313 in the Knowledgebase. There are over 30 patches listed just for V5
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Old March 19th, 2017, 02:36 AM   #9
Shakeelcec
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Clear alarm in Factory talk ME

Hi all,
I am developing a alarm display with clear button. But the problem is in factory talk ME "clear" button clears all the alarms including the active alarms. I want to clear only inactive alarms retaining active alarms. Anyone can help me with this?


Thank you
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Old March 19th, 2017, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakeelcec View Post
Hi all,
I am developing a alarm display with clear button. But the problem is in factory talk ME "clear" button clears all the alarms including the active alarms. I want to clear only inactive alarms retaining active alarms. Anyone can help me with this?


Thank you
I suggest you to start a new thread with your question.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #11
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I spent 3 weeks working with Factorytalk Metrics. Never, ever again.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 10:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhatsen View Post
I suggest you to start a new thread with your question.

Dear nhatsen
I cant find link to start new thread
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Old December 1st, 2017, 05:42 PM   #13
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It has been down hill since RSView32. I am working on three different HMI projects right now. By far the easiest is IDEC, of all things.

Rockwell has gone off the deep end. What should be an easy straight forward task is convoluted beyond belief and functionality.

Just today, I have worked with FT Studio v8, v9 and Studio 5K. I am working with a Panelview 7 Plus Performance. I had to use Studio 5K for the Compact Logix PLC.

Ayway, this disaster is driving me nutz.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 06:36 PM   #14
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I think they (Rockwell Software) went with the Bill Gates marketing strategy. Modern humans don't have enough conflict in their lives. Let's sell them some.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 06:55 PM   #15
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I have made my share of projects in RSView 32, not grate but workable.

But I got so frustrated first time I worked with Studio, that I have totally dropped Rockwell when it comes to displays.

It is expensive, time-consuming and the end result looks cheep, they are light-years behind the competition.
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