1.7        Planning for a WebAccess Project

This section is intended as a quick list of things to consider.  This section does not list the detail here; instead, it is a reminder or checklist.  Use this as a reminder and review the appropriate section in the manual for details.

1.     Hardware

Pentium III, Pentium IV, or Athlon processors are recommended for the Project Node and SCADA nodes.  The Clients should be Pentium or better.

A network card is needed for network applications. 

Even for Standalone architecture nodes (Project and SCADA nodes combined, no network), the TCP/IP service is needed.  The loop back service can be installed for a standalone system.  Note that all configuration is through a Web Browser using IIS and the TCP/IP protocol. A Stand-alone node can benefit from some sort of network access to allow remote access and remote software administration.  Windows provides a service called RAS that allows remote dial-up over a modem. A network card and a cross-link cable provide an easy method to copy data to or from a laptop

Data Logging Trend Files require a fast CPU and a Hard Drive with fast access times and sufficient disk capacity. Data Logging requirements will also affect the number of SCADA Nodes required. It is recommended to use a SCSI drive for data logging.  It is further recommended to use drive for data logging that is separate from your operating system and WebAccess program drive.

5.     File System

NTFS file system recommended for Project Node and SCADA nodes.  NTFS provides Security and it is faster than FAT. FAT provides no security and is not appropriate for the Web Server (Project Node) or SCADA node.

File compression is also available with NTFS and important if you are Data Logging Trend data on the SCADA Node or recording to ODBC Databases on the Project Node.

6.      Operating System

Project Node operating System: Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 or  (Professional or Server), Windows XP Professional, Vista Business, Vista Ultimate, or  Server 2008 with IIS.  A Project Node separate from the SCADA node increases the security of your SCADA node.

SCADA Node: Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 (Professional or Server), Windows XP Professional. Vista Business, Vista Ultimate, or  Server 2008 .  SCADA nodes do not need web server software.

Client: Windows 98, Windows 2000,  Server 2003, Server 2008, Windows XP (Home and Professional) and Windows Vista (Home, Business and Ultimate).

XP Home and Vista Home will not work for Project Node (there is no Web Server feature). XP Home and Vista Home are not supported for SCADA node.   XP Home and  Windows 98 do not support advanced graphic features.  If your clients are to use Win 98, ME or XP Home, limit the graphics they can view to basic animation: vector rotation, color, motion. Bitmap rotation and Text rotation are not supported by 98 or XP Home.

Professional or Server?

The Number of simultaneous connections to Project Node will affect your decision to use 2000 Professional or Server  (or XP Professional or 2003 Server) for the project node.   Professional is limited to 10 simultaneous connections.  Database Configuration, DRAW and the Thin Client require continuous connections to project node (Web Server).   There is no limit in Vista Business and Vista Uitimate. 

Connections to the SCADA node by Clients using VIEW are temporary and re-direct to the SCADA node after an initial connection to the Project Node (Web Server).    Clients have a short-lived connection to the Project Node (Web Server) to get the address of the SCADA node and to get few ASP pages.  The connection from Client to Web Server is then dropped until the Client either presses the refresh button (not done during normal use of Web Access) or reconnects to SCADA node.

If you are using the Thin Client feature and have more than 10 users that will connect simultaneously, you should consider using 2000 Server, 2003 server or Vista Business with their expanded user license.

Also, Scheduled Reports, HTML Reports of ODBC Logs, and online changes to the Scheduler from VIEW require a connection to the Project Node. If have more than 10 users that will connect simultaneously view Scheduled Reports, HTML Reports of ODBC Logs or the Scheduler, you should consider using 2000 Server, 2003 server or Vista Business with their expanded user license.

7.     Web Server

IIS (Internet Information Service) is required for the Project Node. 

The Web Server (WWW Service) does not need to be installed on the SCADA Node.

7a.     SMTP (out going mail Server) -Optional

If using Windows 2000, 2003, or XP with email notification of alarms and email of scheduled reports are to be used, then, optionally, the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) service can be installed as part of IIS on one or both the Project Node and SCADA node.  If using Vista, a remote SMTP server must be used for email of alarms and reports (e.g. a corporate email server or an ISP).

8.     Service Packs installed.

Service Pack 4 (SP4) is required for Windows 2000. Service Pack 2 (SP2) is required for Windows XP Professional. Service Pack 1 (SP1) is required for Windows Server 2003.The latest service packs are recommended to improve security of your project and SCADA nodes. REINSTALL SERVICE PACKS IF YOU ADD A WINDOWS COMPONENT (e.g. you add IIS)!

9.     Internet Explorer 6.0, 7.0 or 8.0

WebAccess uses ASP for its configuration (Project Manager) and the initial page (VIEW). IE 6.0, 7.0 or 8.0  must have ASP enabled.

Netscape, IE 5.5 and IE 5.0 can be used for evaluation purposes only. IE 5.0 appears to work, but does not process Java scripts correctly and can potentially corrupt your Database. Never press the "submit" if using IE 5.0 to view configuration data. IE 5.5 supports many features in WebAccess, but not all (Video requires 6.0, 7.0 or 8.0)  Netscape is slower than IE 6 and although it appears to work, it is not recommended

9a. Internet Explorer Security Settings

IE 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0 security settings musts allow ActiveX control to run (Medium setting) this can be accomplished in two ways:

Medium for Internet Zone - This affects all Internet sites visited and is less secure than the adding Web Access as a Trusted Site.

Medium for Trusted Sites or Intranet- Instruct your users to add the WebAccess Project node as a Trusted site.  This allows a more restricted setting for the Internet zone.


10. Disk Defragmenter Utility

Data Logging (i.e. recording real-time Data to the Hard drive via Data Log Trends) will fragment the hard drive and slow the system, eventually stopping it.  Windows supplies a disk defragmenter utility that must be run manually and can not be scheduled.  It is recommended to purchase a Disk Defragmenter Utility for the SCADA Nodes, and schedule it to run Daily or Weekly.

11. Anti-Virus Software

It is recommended to install and update Anti-virus software on all SCADA Nodes, the Project Node and all Clients.

12. Firewall or Router with Port Mapping

It is recommended to place your SCADA Nodes and Project Node behind a Firewall or Router and close any unnecessary TCP Ports.  SCADA Nodes need only two TCP Ports (defaults are 4592 and 14592). Optionally the SMTP TCP port is needed for both SCADA Nodes and Project Nodes. The Project Node also needs an HTTP port (default 80), a Primary TCP Port (default 4592) and optionally the SMTP and POP3 TCP Ports. Windows remote Desktop or PC Anywhere may require additional TCP Ports. For more information see the Engineering Manual: 1.6.1 Firewalls, TCP_Ports and Firewalls and Routers, Proxy Servers, Port Mapping and NAT

Windows Firewall that comes with Windows Server 2003, Vista and XP is compatible with WebAccess. WebAccess will open any ports needed in Windows Firewall.

13.    Network Addresses (IP or Computer Name) 

The Project Node and SCADA nodes require some sort of Fixed Address.   You can use either a fixed IP address (required if users outside your intranet are to connect) or Network name (if all your users are on a local network). If all your clients are on an intranet, the SCADA node and project node can be private IP.

SCADA node and Project node can use Network Names (computer names) instead of IP address if all clients are on same network.

IP addresses must be fixed IP for SCADA and Project Nodes.  Clients can have dynamic IP addresses.

14.       Web Server Security

Integrated Windows Authentication for the Web Server is most secure.   It will require users to LOGIN with a password.  It requires that users be "recognized" Windows Users on the Project Node PC (local User) or the Domain of the project node (if a domain is used).  If users are all part of a domain used by the Project Node, the login will be transparent for recognized users (i.e. no dialog box asking for password) much like connecting to a shared drive or printer on your company's intranet.

It is recommended to remove "everyone" from Inetpub subdirectory and replaced with Authorized Users.

Authorized Users should replace Everyone in the security settings for c:\WebAccess and C:\InetPub\wwwroot\broadweb and subdirectories.  This allows WebAccess software to access these directories regardless of who is logged on to the Project Node or SCADA node.

15.       WebAccess Security

The Remote Access Code for SCADA node(s) and the Project Node is highly recommended.  This code is applied during software installation of the SCADA Node and Project Node software.  This code prevents unauthorized users from hijacking your Project node or SCADA node.

WebAccess user types can restrict graphic displays and data viewed by users.  The WebAccess users are independent of Windows security. The user types are Admin, Project, Power, General and Restricted users. Passwords are up to eight characters and are case sensitive.  User names are not case sensitive.

Area and Level security can further restrict which data a user can change.

Use the Remote Access code to prevent other from installing projects on your SCADA node or using your project node


16.       Security to install Client Plug-in

Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Windows XP users must have security to install the client. (I.e. they must be either administrator or Power Users for 2000, 2003, Vista or XP).

All Windows 98 and ME users can install the client.

17.       Communication Drivers:

Check that WebAccess has a driver that can communicate to your automation hardware.   It is not enough that the manufacturer has one driver: check the specific model and Web Access Driver Guide for compatibility.

Native Drivers are faster and more reliable.  They provide higher data rates.  Modbus RTU, Modbus Ethernet,

Some drivers are only available from the hardware manufacturer (for example LanStar).

Open Standard drivers, like OPC use third party software to provide communications between WebAccess and automation hardware. RSLinx is an example, providing communications to Allen-Bradley hardware via OPC. 3rd Party OPC servers are available from Applicom (www.applicom.com, Kepware (www.kepware.com), the hardware manufacturers, and others.  

For serial drivers, you need to know the physical protocol, cable wiring (Rs232, RS422, null modem cable, etc), Baud rates, parity, stop bits, device address and the minimum scan time the device supports.

There can be 12 Communication ports per SCADA node in Version 2.1 with 255 DEVICES PER COM PORT and only one protocol per COM port.

Multiple IP addresses and Multiple Network cards can be used on a SCADA node. WebAccess will search all network cards for path to device.  This allows automation equipment to be on one or more private networks and the SCADA node to communicate over a public network.



18.       Tag names

It is recommended to build tags and blocks before building Graphics. Graphic animation is much faster and accurate if Tag database is built, allowing the use of Widgets (which speed animation) and pull down-lists (which reduce data entry errors. Tagnames can be 21 characters. See the Engineering Manual section 4.11.1 Legal characters in a Tag Name for more information.

If you don't have time build a database, you can type tag names into the Dynamic Animation of graphics before the tags are built and still take advantage of Widgets for animation.  You can edit animation at anytime; it is just less work to animate graphics after the tag database is built.

19.       Addresses of data in automation equipment

Address for each tag.  Note that some drivers (like OPC) allow tag names and their addresses to be browsed and imported.

20.       Conversion from raw data to display data

If your automation device displays data in engineering units, then you can skip this.  Otherwise, you need to know how to convert the numbers read from the PLC or controller into meaningful information.  An example is converting 12-bit (0 to 4096) data into engineering units.

Conversions available include: none, y=mx+b, 12-bit to Span, 0-100 to span, defined input to span, square root.

20a.       Scaling

If you are using a conversion that is "scale to span", then you need this data as part of your conversion. Scaling of Data includes High Span, Low Span and engineering units).

A nice feature in animation of Trends, Level Fills, motion, rotation, etc is that changes in SPAN are automatically adjusted in the animation without rebuilding it.

Even if you are using no conversion, the Span High and Span Low will show on displays and will be the default values used in trends and animation.  For example, if you accept the default SPANHI of 1000, but your tag only reaches a value from 0 to 1, your trends will be scaled 0 to 1000 hiding any variation. Similarly, fills and rotations will hardly move, since they are as a percentage of full scale (Span Hi - Span Lo).

21.       Data Type (analog or discrete)

Analog is any floating-point number or integer greater than 7.

Discrete is normally On/Off (0,1) but can be any positive integer less than 8.    Up to 3 bits can be used to describe a discrete.

A Multiple-bit discrete can be used for multi-state monitoring.  For example, two bits (adjacent) can describe a valve.  Bit one is "requested state" (0:open or 1:closed). Bit 2 is "actual state" (0:open 1:closed).  0 is normal open, 3 is normal closed, 1 is closing, 2 is opening State Descriptors for discrete (open, closed, on off, etc).

22.       Alarms

Alarm Limits (High-High, High, Low, Low-Low, Rate of Change and Deviation) for analog tags. State alarm for discrete type tags.

Alarm Graphic - this is a powerful and underused feature. A graphic can be assigned to each tag to use during an alarm condition allowing operators to quickly call up the display appropriate for the alarm.  It takes planning. The Alarm Graphic name is limited to 8 characters in version 2.1. 

In version 2.1, Alarms are local to a SCADA node.  If alarms are to be monitored on separate SCADA nodes, a Web Browser window must be opened to each SCADA node.

Clients can view all SCADA nodes simultaneously, although a in a separate web browser window.

23.       Blocks

Blocks are repeatable group of tags.  Blocks can be used as a productivity tool in place of single tags. But, this requires significant planning to implement well.  There must be a recognizable pattern to addressing within blocks in order to implement them.  If you have "groups" of addresses that repeat, you can use a "block" to rapidly create multiple connections to your automation device. An example of an application that could use a "Block" is a PID controller: Measurement, Setpoint, Output, and Auto/ Manual state are grouped into a block.  Then you specify one block name and address to build connections to all 5 addresses.  See the Engineerin Manual section 5. Advanced Block, Parameter & Tag Configuration for more information.  Blocks take some planning.

24.       Block Detail Display

A Block Detail Display is a "template" type display that can view all blocks of the same block type.  A Block Detail display allows a single display to act as if it were multiple displays.  An example might be a VAV controller in a building that has 100 VAV controllers.  One block detail display could be built to view the data of all 100 VAV displays as if 100 separate displays had been built.

25.       Parameters

Parameters are tag configuration templates.  These are also the elements of Blocks.  They can also be used independently to build tags with commonly used settings that are "pre-defined".  See the following Productivity Tool section for more information. Parameters can help enforce "standards" in your project or help naive users configure the appropriate communication tags.

26.       Parameter Detail Display

Similar in concept to the Analog Detail, Discrete Detail or Text Detail display and like a Block detail Display, it is a "template" type display that can view all parameters of the same a parameter type. 

27.       Node Names

Node Names SCADA nodes can be named independently of their actual computer names or network names within WebAccess.

28.       Graphic names

Graphic names can have any length.  EXCEPT the Alarm Graphic is limited to 8 characters.  

Graphic names are listed alphabetically in the pull down lists in VIEW.

29.       Importing Graphics

Use DXF to import AUTOCAD files for Plot plans, Floor plans and other graphic Features.  AutoCAD R13 compatible DXF are supported only.  Imported object will loose all color. Vectors only (no fonts).  DXF objects can be edited in WebAccess DRAW.

GIFs and JPEGs can also be imported but not edited.  You can provide some animation to GIFs and JPEGs (motion, rotation, scale).  Note that GIFs and JPEGs are converted to Bitmaps to allow mixing of vector and bitmap images.  The Gifs and JPEGs lose file compression as bitmaps.

30.       Symbols and Widgets

The fastest way to create graphics is to use the symbol library (for static images) and Widgets for dynamic objects.  You can also create symbols and widgets for use in other displays and other users. 

31.       Video

Video supports some web-enabled cameras. Confirm driver exists for camera from  the WebAccess website, by looking at the demo, by loading the latest version of WebAccess Project Node  or checking with your local office sales office. Camera must have an IP accessible by all clients, since the client connects directly to camera.

32.       Scripts

There is a Limit of 8 (eight) global scripts per SCADA node, although a script can be of any size and can call other scripts.  Also, there can be a Script for every graphic display, but the display must be open for that script to run.

33. Windows Update

It is recommended to subscribe to Automatic Windows Update in order to get the latest security patches from Microsoft.

34. Windows Power Options

It is recommended to change the power saving options in Windows for the Project Node and SCADA to Sleep = Never. Otherwise, the SCADA node will stop communicating with IO and users will not be able to connect to the Project Node or SCADA node remotely.