Rockwell Automation just released the latest version of its FactoryTalk View product.
Without any fanfare, FactoryTalk View Machine Edition version 8 became available for download earlier this week. This was a pleasant surprise to many of Rockwell's own employees and distributors who had expected it to come out much later in the year.
But even better than an early release are the new features included in version 8.
While View Machine Edition and View Site Edition were released simultaneously, today we'll focus on what's new with Machine Edition, and we'll cover View Site Edition on Monday.
What's new in FactoryTalk View Machine Edition v8.0
Here's my own take of the most important new features in ViewME 8.0:
Additional Operating System Support
We finally get official Windows 8 (and 8.1, and Server 2012) support! Not that I plan to ditch Windows 7 anytime soon, but it's essential for successful software products to support the latest Microsoft operating systems.
PanelView Plus 7 Support
Huh? Yeah, we were just talking about this last week. Now we finally have a public acknowledgement that the PanelView Plus 7 is coming. But it's not just that. The release notes also confirm that the PVPlus 7 will come in a standard and enhanced version, and will support new resolutions including widescreen aspect ratios.
Project based security
This is great news for anyone out there who has been frustrated with ViewME FT Local Directory Security which debuted in version 4. Now in FTViewME 8.0 security is project based, and no longer tied to the local PC's FactoryTalk Directory. This will make sharing projects with users, groups, and passwords much much easier.
With version 8 you can now add, delete, modify, unlock, enable, disable, and change users during runtime! You can also add, delete, and modify groups too.
In addition, support for domain authentication using Windows 2012, 2008, and 2003 via LDAP or LDAP over SSL has been added.
Many smaller enhancements are also included in this release. One is a warning if the resolution of the project being run is different than the terminal. Another is a warning if a shortcut is applied to an unsupported device.
But my favorite miscellaneous update is with the new application manager. It now no longer closes after completing a task. Instead (like many Rockwell utilities) at the end of a task (like backing up a project) it will return to its start page. This is definitely going to make managing libraries of projects much easier.
Well that's all I know right now about FactoryTalk View Machine Edition and View Studio version 8.0. In the coming days and weeks as I begin to use it I'll bring you any additional changes I encounter.
Until then, if you have some thoughts you'd like to share on ViewME 8.0 please let us know by filling out the “post a comment or question” link below.