What is ViewPoint?

FactoryTalk ViewPoint SplashMany clients have asked me, “What is ViewPoint?”

Simply put, ViewPoint is an extension to FactoryTalk View Site Edition and the PanelView Plus which adds web server functionality to the FactoryTalk View project.

Web Client Compatibility

When Rockwell implemented ViewPoint, they did so as a Silverlight browser plugin that works well on computers running Microsoft Windows or Apple OSX.

FactoryTalk ViewPoint In Internet ExplorerHowever, much like Adobe Flash, on release Silverlight was not supported on mobile devices. And a recent web search reviled that while there is much interest in getting Silverlight to run on Apple and Android mobile platforms, as far as I can tell not even Microsoft’s own Surface RT tablet can run the Silverlight web browser plugin.

So for now, running a ViewPoint client is limited to Windows and OSX PC’s, including tablet PC’s like Microsoft’s Surface Pro.

ViewPoint on the PanelView Plus:

ViewPoint for the PanelView Plus is actually a free add-on.

PanelView Plus 700-1500For early PanelView Plus models, you’ll need upgrade the firmware to version 5.1 with ViewPoint. You’ll also need to insure your PanelView Plus has at least 64mb of Flash memory and 128mb of storage space. For details on upgrading memory on old PanelView Plus models see this public Rockwell Technote #68098.

For PanelView Plus 6 models (700 – 1500) ViewPoint is already installed. Hopefully Viewpoint will also be released for the PanelView Plus 6 600, and PanelView Plus 6 Compact 600 and 1000 by the end of the year.

ViewPoint on the PC:

ViewPoint for the PC is a chargeable add-on for FactoryTalk View Site Edition Station Runtime or Server. ViewPoint does not support Machine Edition Station Runtimes, which to me seems more like a marketing decision than a technical one.

The cost to add ViewPoint to your ViewSE system depends on how many client licenses you need. For a single client license it will run you $1,060.00 (9522-VWP01RENE) while three client licenses cost $3,180.00 (9522-VWP03RENE.) The ViewPoint server is included with these client packages, so those part numbers include everything you’ll need to add the ViewPoint functionality to your ViewSE system.

ViewPoint in ViewStudio:

FactoryTalk ViewPoint AdministrationAfter obtaining ViewPoint for your PVPlus or ViewSE system, you’ll also need to install the ViewPoint Administration software onto your ViewStudio  development system. This software can be freely downloaded from Rockwell’s Product Compatibility and Download Center, however you’ll need a support contract to do so.

Once installed, you access the ViewPoint Administration Console from within ViewStudio. It’s found under the “Application” menu. Then it’s a simple matter of chosing which displays will be published to the ViewPoint server, as well as choosing any security options.

FactoryTalk ViewPoint Administration WizardThe ViewPoint Administration wizard is quite intuitive, and once you’re done publishing your displays (with the PanelView Plus you also have to create and download a runtime file) you’re ready to connect to your ViewPoint server with your PC’s Web Browser. Note: Rockwell currently tests Internet Explorer 6 and 7 and Firefox browsers for use as ViewPoint Clients, however you may find other browsers work as well.

For more information on Rockwell’s ViewPoint, please see the following two documents:

I hope the above explanation of what ViewPoint and how it works was helpful. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming days as I’ll be posting the steps to publish a ViewME Runtime with ViewPoint. Until then, if you have a comment or question please don’t hesitate to use the “leave a reply” form at the bottom of this page.


Shawn Tierney
Automation Consultant
Insights In Automation

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Legacy Comments

  1. Hi, I’m in the development of a project that include 1 PC running a *.cli + 5 clients. My question is: Can I use ‘Factory talk view Site edition Network’ and use this main computer as a server for license? I mean share the ‘9701-VWSB100AENE’ license for all the computers and create a *.cli in each one, instead of use Factory talk view point, because the client only wants to see specific displays in specific PCs, they don’t need a browser solution.
    I hope you get the idea, I apologize for my english.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Good morning Andres,

      The part number you have listed is, “FactoryTalk View SE Station 100 Display.” This is a stand alone runtime license used to run the project on one PC, and cannot serve up clients (without the addition of ViewPoint.)

      You could however upgrade that license to a 9701-VWSS100AENE, which is a server license. Then on each client you would install a 9701-VWSCWAENE client license.

      Note: If the server PC will also be used as a client, it will also need a 9701-VWSCWAENE client license.

      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. Hi Shawn,

    All the examples I have seen so far on how to use ViewPoint are with the PC and PanelView Plus behind the same firewall. I am having difficulty successfully connecting to the PanelView Plus ‘remotely’ from outside of the plant where the HMI is located. I have a cellular router with static IP address. Can you tell me how the router and HMI should be configured? Do I need to forward specific ports for the HMI in the router configuration? Would using a VNC server on the HMI be a better alternative?

    Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated, thanks.

    • Steve,

      I believe if your cell router is routing correctly, you should be able to access all the devices on the remote network. This would include the PLC’s webpage, as well as the HMI’s ViewPoint webpage and VNC server. However, I do know of some cellular modems which will only route to one device at a time based on their settings (Prosoft.)

      The other thing with routers (versus VPN’s) is that the default gateway in your PLC and HMI must point to either your cellular router, or another router which has routing tables that include your cellular router’s info.

      It’s common to hear folks can connect to their PLC’s and HMI’s on the local network, but can’t remotely, or even just back in their office. The cause is typically no default gateway setting in the PLC & HMI, or incorrect routing tables in the routers between the two locations.

      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

  3. Hello Shawn,

    I hope you are fine. I want to thank you for all your advices in this blog…They are very helpful.
    Today, I have a problem with FTVP SE 2.61 which I installed to work with FTV 7.0: when I tried to create a web application, an error message appears and it says: “Unable to determine whether user authentication is required”. I have posted a topic in plctalk forum with more description: http://www.plctalk.net/qanda/showthread.php?t=102396 and I found a technote in knowledge base https://rockwellautomation.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/702811/comment/33787 but it didn’t solve the issue. Please, do you have any idea about that?

    Thank you,

    • Good morning Yassine,

      Sorry, but I have not run into that issue myself.

      My only recommendation would be to reboot the PVP, and if that doesn’t help flash it to the latest v7 firmware available.

      You also could try applying the latest FTViewStudio patch to your PC, but I’m not sure that would address this issue?


      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

  4. I find it difficult to follow your article. You could save thousands of words and add a great deal of clarity with a simple network diagram showing who is the client, who is the server, where various pieces of software need to be installed, etc. The root cause is Rockwell’s obtuse names for all their products and my inability to keep them straight without a picture.

    • Good afternoon Daniel,

      First, welcome to my free site where I blog about automation topics I find interesting.

      After reading your comment, I went back and re-read this three year old article (which by the way is less than 600 words.)

      While it’s no great work of literature (none of my blogs are,) it does make the point I wanted to make back in 2013.

      That said, if you’d like to submit an “easy to follow” article with “diagrams and pictures” that you suggest would be clearer and more helpful, then by all means contact me using the below form:


      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

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