Can you save FactoryTalk ViewStudio Machine Edition 6.0 projects as a previous version?

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Back on August 20th I blogged here about if it was possible to save a FactoryTalk ViewStudio Machine Edition version 7.0 project as a previous version. I found that while you could open a v7 project in v6.1 by saving the project as a v6.1 MER, you could not open any older MER’s in older versions of ViewStudio.

So in today’s blog we’ll investigate whether we can save a FactoryTalk ViewStudio Machine Edition version 6.0 project as a previous version.

Creating and saving a FactoryTalk ViewStudio 6.0 Project

The first step is to create a simple v6.0 ViewStudio ME project. For this test I created a single screen with numeric displays, as well as an RSLinx Enterprise shortcut to a PLC as shown below:

ViewStudio Project open in v60

Next, I created three runtimes for my test as seen below:

Save ViewStudio MER As v60 Save ViewStudio MER As v51 Save ViewStudio MER As v50

For the last step in ViewStudio 6.0, I created a v6.0 APA file to test as well (not shown)

Attempting to open the v6 project in v5.1

With all my file creation duties in ViewStudio 6.0 complete, I shut down that VMware image and started my ViewStudio 5.1 image.

Once running, I first attempted to restore the v6.0 APA file on the 5.1 system and was greeted with the following message:

Open ViewStudio v60 APA In v51

I wasn’t surprised this didn’t work, but wanted to be thorough so I gave it a shot.

Next, I attempted to restore the v5.1 mer I had saved in v6 above. To do this, I opened the FactoryTalk ViewStudio Application Manger and used the following steps:

Restore ViewStudio v51 MER

Restore ViewStudio v51 MER

Restore ViewStudio v51 MER

After successfully restoring the 6.0 project using the 5.1 mer, I wanted to be sure everything worked so I opened the project in ViewStudio:

Open Restored ViewStudio Project

As you can see below, everything looks in order:

ViewStudio v60 Project in v51

Successful with 5.1, I now moved on to ViewStudio 5.0.

Attempting to open the v6 project in v5.0

To start, I attempted to restore the v50 MER file using the same procedure I used above with version 5.1, but the end result is shown below:

Try to restore ViewStudio v50 MER

The only other thing I could think of doing was to import the v50 project. This is done using a procedure I first learned from Rockwell Tech Note, 8913 – Recovering a Project from the MER File which was previously a public document but now requires a tech connect.

After running the .MER on my machine using ME Station, I copied the contents of the ~mer00 folder from the temporary directory as described in Tech Note 8913. But when I attempted to import the .MED file into ViewStudio 5.0 I received the following error message:

Try to import ViewStudio v60 MED


In conclusion, while you can restore a version 6.0 project in ViewStudio 5.1 by saving the 6.0 project as a 5.1 MER, this is unfortunately not the case with older versions like v5.0.

I hope you find the above information helpful, and as always if you would like to comment please feel free to use the “Leave a reply” form at the bottom of this page.


Shawn Tierney
Automation Blogger and Trainer

Need personalized help? For as little as $25 per month you can get direct access to ask me Rockwell PLC, HMI, and SCADA questions! Learn the details at

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