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Transition from older versions to PROMOTIC 9

Many significant changes have been introduced in the PROMOTIC 9 version. These changes aim to simplyfy the application creation process and has major impact on future degvelopment of the PROMOTIC system.

This chapter focuses on these important changes. It is highly recommended to all application designers to get familiar with this text especially if they have been using older PROMOTIC versions and now want to convert their applications into PROMOTIC 9.

 
Caution:
- The OS Windows XP/Vista are no longer supported..
- Panels (PmaPanel objects) in VBScript language are no longer available for WEB viewing. The InternetExplorer in versions lower than 11 is also no longer supported for Web viewing.
 

New folder structure and new utility PmManager

New different folder structure is recommended to be used with PROMOTIC 9 compared to older versions:

The older PROMOTIC versions have been located in the /Pm folder by default (e.g. C:/Pm) and the applications were placed in other folders (e.g. C:/PmProj etc.) It often happened that the application designer had to work with multiple PROMOTIC versions simultaneously. It was necessary to have e.g. folders /Pm75, /Pm80, /Pm83 for individual versions. Before launching the application the designer had to remember which version is corresponding to the application and had to use such PROMOTIC version.

 
Now it is recommended to use new folder structure as follows:

All PROMOTIC versions and applications are stored in folder /Promotic (e.g. C:/Promotic). This folder contains:

- Subfolders containing individual PROMOTIC versions. For example Pm70500, Pm80301, Pm80327, Pm90000 etc.
- Subfolder Apps (as Applications), where all PROMOTIC applications are stored (created in various PROMOTIC versions).
- New utility PmManager.exe.

 
PmManager utility functionality:
- Manages multiple PROMOTIC versions on the computer. It is no longer necessary to switch between individual PROMOTIC versions.
- While launching an application the utility detects which PROMOTIC version was used to edit such application and launches that corresponding version.
- Manages a list of application that are present on the computer.
- Can convert applications from older PROMOTIC versions to newer versions.
- Can also launch older PROMOTIC versions (since version 7.3.9) and corresponding applications.
- The .pra file type is associated with this utility. It means that clicking a .pra file launches the PmManager.exe program. In previous versions this action launched currently registered PROMOTIC version.
 
The new folder structure and the PmManager utility aims to make creation and management of PROMOTIC SCADA applications much easier. This concept is suitable not only for designers managing multiple applications but also for simple usage with a single SCADA application.

Development environment and runtime are now separated into two independent programs

In previous versions both the development environment and runtime environment were a single program (PROMOTIC.exe).

In PROMOTIC 9 the two environments are separated into two programs:

PromoticDt32.exe = Development environment. The attribute 32 means that it is a 32-bit program (64-bit program will be available in following versions).
PromoticRt32.exe = Runtime environment
 
One of the advantages of such concept is the possibility to develop an application while it is running.

Removed obsolete objects

Some obsolete objects have been removed in this version. Some have been removed without replacement, some are coverted into another objects. Any of such cases is clearly indicated to the application designer.
 
Following objects were removed:
- PmPrinter: This object represented selected printer. It was a single purpose object with no significant practical use.

See How to print in the PROMOTIC system.

- PmModem: This object allowed to use the PmaComm object to communicate via telephone lines. This approach is considered obsolete and is no longer used.
- PmTooBar: This object represented a toolbar (ToolBar) in the application. It is much better to use PmaPanel object for such purpose.

See Preconfigurations in group "Toobar".

- PmProgressBox: This object represented a window containing a progress bar. It is now much better to create such window as PmaPanel object with the progress bar represented by inserted PmgBar object.

See Preconfigurations in group "Progress bar".

- PmWebScreen: This object provided the graphics of the PmaPanel object into Web in the form of png or bmp. This was used in times when old PROMOTIC versions could not provide dynamic html pages of corresponding graphic panel.

See Web panels.

- PmiBitmap: This graphic object was used in PmaPanel object to render bmp, png, jpg .. files. It was replaced by PmgRasterImage since version PROMOTIC 7 (year 2006). When converting the application such object is partially converted into PmgRasterImage.

Renamed objects

In order to improve clarity and simplicity some objects were renamed:
- All objects in the application tree now have the Pma suffix ("a" as application). For example the PmaData object was named PmData in the older versions, the PmaPanel object was PmPanel etc.
- All graphics objects in the PmaPanel object now have the Pmg suffix ("g" as graphic). For example the PmgBar object was named PmiBar in older versions.
 
Some objects were renamed completely (not only suffix) or were separated into multiple objects.
 
List of modified Pma objects (not only the suffix was changed):
Old name New name Note
PmAlarmEvent PmaAlarmGroup, PmaEventGroup Separated into two independent objects
PmCommData PmaCommGroup Name change
PmOpcClientData PmaOpcClientGroup Name change
PmTrend PmaTrendGroup Name change
 
List of modified Pmg objects (not only the suffix was changed)::
Old name New name Note
PmiAx PmTable PmgWTable Converted from ActiveX to standard Pmg object
PmiAx TrendsView PmgTrendViewer Converted from ActiveX to standard Pmg object
PmiAx PmgActiveX Name change
PmiText PmgString, PmgNumber Separated into two independent objects
PmiButtonTwo PmgButtonState Name change
PmiPanel PmgPane Name change
PmiWAnimate PmgVideo Name change

The JavaScript language is now supported also in Pma objects

In previous versions it was possible to write scripts in JavaScript language only in sripts of Pmg objects (in order to make these scripts functional in Web browsers).

In PROMOTIC 9 it is now possible to use the JavaScript language everywhere (i.e. also in Pma objects) and the usage of obsolete VBScript language can be avoided.

 
A conversion tool has been created for conversion of existing scripts written in the VBScript language into JavaScript language. This tool (although not being perfect) allows very easy script conversions in order to convert applications into a single language - JavaScript.
 
The VBScript language is obsolete, not functional in Web browsers nad lacking many modern commnads. Therefore it is possible that the support for such language will be terminated in the PROMOTIC system in future.

Unification of Application editor and Panel (GUI) editor into a single environment

In all previous versions the PmaPanel object graphics have been edited in an independent program.

Since this version the graphics is edited directly in the Graphic tab of the PmaPanel object (this tab can be expanded to the whole workspace). Editing a graphic panel is now simpler and easier to access.

 
The graphics editor functionality has also been significantly expanded:
- A tree of objects is now available (similar to the tree of objectss in the development environment.
- The zoom function has been added in order to improve the editing of small graphic objects.
- Many additional fixes and functions have been added.

Graphics ActiveX objects PmTable and TrendsView were transformed into standard PROMOTIC graphic objects

These two objects were created as ActiveX objects (unlike other PROMOTIC graphic objects). It used to be advantageous because such objects could have been used directly also in Web panels for InternetExplorer. The ActiveX technology is no longer supported in modern web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge ..) due to security reasons. Therefore since version PROMOTIC 8.2 these graphic objects were emulated for Web in html pages as standard PROMOTIC graphic objects.
 
In version PROMOTIC 9 these objects are converted into standard PmgWTable and PmgTrendViewer objects. This bring much easier configuration of such objects in the development environment because the configurators of such objects are now directly accessible the same way as for other Pmg objects.

Alarms and events - new concept

In previous version there was a single object (PmAlarmEvent) that managed both alarms and events. There was also a system alarm/event viewer that was fixed and impossible to modify by the application designer.
 
There are two individual objects now: PmaAlarmGroup for alarms and PmaEventGroup for events.

These objects has similar basic function - to save alarms and events and providing these for viewing. But these object do not provide the viewing function.

 
There are three new graphic objects (Pma objects that can be placed into the PmaPanel object):
- PmgAlarmStateViewer for viewing and confirming alarm states.
- PmgAlarmHistoryViewer for viewing alam history.
- PmgEventViewer for viewing event history.

These graphic objects can now be used to view the alarms and evens as required by the application designer. This new approach unifies the concept of viewing of alarms and events with other viewers such as trends, real time data etc.

 
Alarms/events conversion from older versions :

The PmAlarmEvent object is automatically converted into PmaAlarmGroup or PmaEventGroup (based on current setup) and following items are created in this object:

- for alarms: two PmaPanel panels. The first panel containing PmgAlarmStateViewer for alarm state viewing and the second panel containing PmgAlarmHistoryViewer for alarm history viewing.
- for events: single PmaPanel containing PmgEventViewer for event history viewing.

This way the old application is converted into new version allowing the designer to modify the alarm/event viewers as needed.

PROMOTIC 8.3.30 SCADA system documentation - MICROSYS, spol. s r.o.

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