Insights Inbox: How do I make a PanelView Plus trend historical

In today’s edition of “Insight’s Inbox,” we answer a reader’s question on how to make a PanelView Plus or View Machine Edition trend contain historical data.

Reader’s Question:

IMake PanelView Plus Trend Historical 1’m using FactoryTalk View Machine Edition and I would like to make my Trends historical so I can scroll back in time to view previous data on the Trend.

Insight’s Answer:

To do this you’ll need to create a Data Log Model, set it to run automatically, and then tie it to your existing Trend object.

Below I’ll list the steps needed to make this change, however I will assume the reader knows how to open their project in View Studio, as well as which graphic display their trend is on.

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You can support our site and buy a copy of this program for 99¢ HERE

Step 1) Discover which tags are displayed on your trend

Open your project in FactoryTalk View Studio, then open the Graphic Display with your Trend, and then double click on the Trend Object to bring up its properties.

Next, select the “Connections” tab and make note of every tag listed.

In the example below, my Trend Object has three tags: memint1, memint2, and systemsecond.

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Step 2) Create a new data log model

Now return to the project tree, expand the “Data Log” folder, right click on “Data Log Models,” and select “New.”

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Step 3) Describe Data Log and Define Maximum Data Points.

Once the new data log window appears, give your new data log model a description and provide a maximum number of data points you would like the log to hold.

Note: “Maximum Data Points” refers to all the data collected for all tags in the data log model. When the maximum is reached, the oldest data is overwritten.

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Step 4) Understanding the “maximum data points” setting in FTViewME 7.0 and higher

The maximum number of data points in a data log file in View Machine Edition 7.0 or higher is 1 million (all previous versions were limited to 300,000.)

This means if you set the maximum data points to 1 million, and have the maximum number of tags being logged (100,) each tag can have up to 10,000 data points of historical data logged in the data log file.

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Step 5) Choose your desired path to store the data log file.

Now select the “Paths” tab, and choose where you would like the data log file stored.

“System Default” stores the data log file with the project and is by far the most popular choice.

“Custom” allows the data log file to be stored in another folder on the local drive,  storage card, external storage device, or on a network share.

NOTE: It is important to note that if the data log file becomes unavailable (i.e. an external storage card is unplugged or the network goes down) then data will stopped being logged until the path becomes available again AND the project is restarted.

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Step 6) Configuring Log Triggers for Periodic

Next click on the “Log Triggers” tab and select “periodic.”

Now choose how often the data for all tags should be logged (the fastest interval is 10ms.)

NOTE: If you set the maximum data points to 1 million, have 100 tags being logged, and set the log period to 50ms, each tag will only have about 8 minutes worth of historical data logged.

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Step 7) Optional: Configuring Log Triggers for On Change

In applications where tag values change little over time, the usefulness of the data log can be greatly extended by using the “On Change” log trigger.

To do this, select “On Change” and then choose the desired “Maximum update rate,” “Change percentage,” and “Heartbeat.”

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Step 8) Add tags to data log model

Now select the last tab of your new data log configuration, “Tags in Model,” and then click on the ellipsis button (with the three dots:)

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Step 9) Select tags from Tag Browser

You should now see the “Tag Browser” as shown below.

Navigate the browser to find each tag listed in Step 1, selecting each tag and clicking on the “Add Tag(s) to List” button.

When done, click on “OK.”

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Step 10) Adding Tags to Model

Back on the “Tags in Model” tab, click the “Add” button:

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Step 11) Approve Changes

Once all the changes to your new data log model is complete, click the “OK” button.

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Step 12) Save your new Data Log Model

At this point you will be prompted to save your data log model.

Select “Yes” to continue:

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Step 13) Name your new Data Log Model

Now provide a name for your data log model, and click on “OK.”

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Step 14) Verify your new data log model has been created.

Verify your new Data Log Model has been created by insuring it now appears in the project tree under “Data Log Models:”

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Step 15) Edit your Trend and specify the data log model

Now return to your Graphic Display that contains your Trend Object, and open the Trend’s properties.

On the “Pens” tab, select your new “Data Log Model” as shown below.

Now click “OK” and save your graphic display.

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Step 16) Set the Data Log Model to start logging on startup

In most cases you’ll want your data log model to start logging data when the project starts.

To enable this, in the project tree double click on “Startup:”

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Step 17) Choose which Data Log Model runs on startup

In the Startup configuration window, select the checkbox to the left of “Data Logging,” and then select your data log model from the drop down list.

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Step 18) Accept Startup changes

Once your data log is selected to run on startup, click the “OK” button to accept your changes.

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Step 19) Run PanelView Plus / View Machine Edition project to insure the trend is now historical

Run your project, and after a couple of minutes view your trend screen to insure your trend now contains historical data like the trend below:

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NOTE: You can get an “ad free” PDF copy of the article HERE, and a copy of the sample program HERE.

I hope you’ve found today’s “Insight’s Inbox” about making a PanelView Plus or View Machine Edition Trend Object display historical data helpful.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please feel free to share them with us by submitting the “leave a reply” form at the bottom of this page.

Update: If you have your own question you’d like to ask, please post it as a comment on a related post here at


Shawn Tierney
Automation Consultant
Insights In Automation

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Legacy Comments

  1. Hello,

    Recently I went through the setup of a trend screen doing all the above steps. What is happening is randomly I will lose my trended data (ranges from an hour to eight hours) then it will come back online and work again. I originally thought that it was a networking error, but starting to think it is something else due to the amount of time it takes to come back online and start trending. Currently, I am not using a Flash Memory card of any sort, and am running a Panel View + 7 with ver. 7.00.

    One step that I had not done until now is the “startup” > “data logging” > then selecting the data model. Would this cause a problem like this? The trend screen is working now, but not sure if it will drop out again or not.

    Any thoughts of what could be going on would be greatly appreciated.


    • Good morning Jeremy,

      Yes, without a “datalog” the trend will only show you what it has buffered in “ram,” and if the trend screen is closed (and not running in the background) when it is re-opened it will start buffering data in ram from scratch.

      To get the best of both worlds, set your trend to buffer the maximum number data points in ram and never all that trend screen to be closed / replaced. Also, tie it to a datalog set to log the maximum number of data points.

      When I do this, I let the Trend collect data faster than the Datalog, so my realtime and near recent data has many data points, but when I go back in time past what is in ram I’ll see the data from my data log, which I logged slower so it goes back much farther than what will fit in ram.

      Hope this helps,

      Shawn Tierney

      Did you find my comment helpful? Why not become a Premium Member with a small donation, and in return I'll give you a coupon for $10 of my automation downloads! Find out more here

  2. Hello,

    I wonder if it’s possible and how to select the pen as I want to see if the graph has one more tag.

    • Good afternoon Giulia,

      If you look at the Trends Library you’ll see there is a “Next Pen” and “Previous Pen” button which allows you to select pens individually.

      Hope this helps,

      Shawn Tierney

  3. Hello Shawn,

    Thank you for all this information. I find your blog to be quite informative and that is why I keep coming back.

    I have a question: If I were to update my FactoryTalk View ME application and create a new Runtime file, do I lose all my previous DataLogging info for trending? Is there any way to retrieve that data and show it on the trend. I’m trying to keep all historical data and not have to start trending all over again any time I make a change to the application and reload the Runtime application. I’m thinking that there would be a way to pull that data from the already saved Datalog Files?

    Your advice will be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,


    • Good afternoon Robert,

      Great question.

      I’ve never actually tried this, but one would hope if you uploaded the .MER and converted it back to an APA it would also upload and keep all the logs, including data, activity/diagnostics, and alarms.

      However, I’m also not sure if you just change and download the offline copy of the app if it will keep the old logs?

      Since I also don’t recall seeing this documented anywhere, the only way to know for sure may be to test it out?


      Shawn Tierney

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