Over the last few months I've received several messages asking what the correct software is to program the MicroLogix line of programmable controllers.

This confusion surprises me since RSlogix Micro has been out since 2009, as can be seen in this story at Automation.com.

So what's causing all of this confusion?

Well, it seems to be the vendor's very own website…

theautomationblog-ml-sw-fiIf you visit any of the MicroLogix product pages over at ab.rockwellautomation.com, you'll find they all state that you program the MicroLogix line with RSLogix 500.

Ok, for the record you can program MicroLogix PLCs with any edition of RSLogix 500 that is “as new or newer” than the MicroLogix you wish to program.

And it absolutely makes sense to use RSLogix 500 if you also have SLC-500 controllers to maintain.

But today RSLogix 500 is very expensive, costing many times the price of a MicroLogix PLC, so informing potential new customers that you have to use RSLogix 500 quite frankly seems self defeating.

Especially since you can purchase the MicroLogix programming software, RSLogix Micro, for a fraction of the price of the least expensive version of RSLogix 500.

In fact, if you're using the MicroLogix 1000 or 1100 you can use the complete free version of RSlogix Micro.

Now before you ask, yes I have explained all this to one of the webmasters at Rockwell a few months back, but as you can see in the below episode of The Automation Minute, their website is still directing customers to RSLogix 500 even for the MicroLogix 1100 which has a free software option:

So if you know anyone who's going to start using the MicroLogix line of programmable controllers, please pass on these tips to them and save them from potentially spending thousands when they may only need to spend a couple off hundred (or in the case of the 1000 and 1100, nothing at all.)

Update 04/09/2018:

While Rockwell has removed most of the documentation about RSLogix Micro from it's website, I have located two legacy links which have some information.

First up is a free tech note (requires a free login to Rockwell's website) which explains what is not included in RSLogix Micro that is in RSLogix 500. Note there are dead links in the article as well as other issues with the document:

https://rockwellautomation.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/501746

Next is a Product Profile comparing RSLogix Micro and Developer. This document is not as good as the documents Rockwell has removed or hidden behind their support paywall, but it will give you some idea as to what features each package has:

https://rockwellautomation.custhelp.com/ci/fattach/get/1311557/0/filename/9324m-pp001_-en-p.pdf

Sincerely,

Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger

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Shawn Tierney

Shawn began sharing automation news and know-how online in 1996 when he launched his first BBS. Then in 1999 he moved to the internet launching ShawnMichael.com, which he later renamed ShawnMTierney.com. In 2013 he moved his automation efforts to a new website, TheAutomationBlog.com, which has since become the most popular independent industrial automation blog on the web.
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