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  • 2017-05-10

Announcement of a New Asix 9.0.5 Package

We are very pleased to announce a new package of Asix 9.0.5 system. We believe that this release introduces some new essential functionalities so distinct from the ones of typical update packages. Obviously, package 9.05 will be free-of-charge for all the users of Asix version 9.

Please, read below more details of the major new functionalities.

Process data support with the refresh cycle below 1 second

In connection with expanding requirements concerning the amounts of information gathered, we encounter ever more frequently the requirement to ensure faster reading and archiving of process data. Although the standard minimum read cycle for variables is 1 second, there are already available the mechanisms to enable data sampling in the cycles measured in microseconds. Selected drivers have the fast variable refresh function. In such mode, the refreshing is performed with the maximum technically-feasible speed of a link. The actual speed depends on the number of variables and devices capabilities. In practice, such speeds are reached that the difference between the direct visual inspection of an object and its representation in the SCADA application is imperceptible. The AsLogger module is used for archiving waveforms with high sampling density. The module allows you to record archive series composed of multiple measurements with microsecond resolution. The prerequisite is to have devices capable of delivering such quantities of data through embedded data pre-buffering.

In the new package, we simplify the data access in high refresh rates by introducing a standard refresh cycle with millisecond resolution directly to the Asmen communication module. It will automatically make fast refreshing available for all communication drivers. Obviously, the actual refresh rate may be limited by the link bandwidth. The Aspad data archiving module was modified as well. A new archive type allows you to record variables with high sampling density. At the same time, the archive was re-designed such that the increased data quantity should not reduce the system capacity in the data write phase or when providing archive data to clients. Ultimately, data with millisecond refreshing is handled in the application in the same manner as any other process variables of the application.

SQL Alarm Table Object

In Asix applications, alarm events may be written to two types of archives: a local archive at specific workstations and an SQL central archive. At present, the SQL-type archive may only be used in the report system and AsAlarm program as a basis for alarm statistical analysis. An additional visualisation object, SQL Alarm Table, will appear in the new package. The object will enable you to view alarm data from the SQL base directly on the application diagram. The table has two modes for alarm handling. The event mode displays separate lines for alarm start and end events. The mode is similar to the operation of a standard object of historical alarms and alarm tables in the "classic" Asix, but it contains full information about the alarm in the alarm start line. The compressed mode displays a single line with full information about the event for each alarm event. The use of an SQL archive as a data source for visualisation provides for:

  • Shortened alarm storage period in the local archive, which improves, on the whole, the system performance for a large number of events.
  • Fast access to alarms at seldom used terminal stations. Alarms are available immediately, without the need to wait for the local archive synchronisation.

Encrypted data transmission

An ever greater emphasis has been put recently on system security, especially for web applications. An essential contributor to the security is data transmission resistant to tapping and modification attempts. In the communication layer, Asix uses private, unpublished binary protocols plus data compression. All the components already make the information transferred to be extremely difficult for malware to interpret. In the new package we also introduce the encryption of data packets transmitted. This will ensure an even higher level of security for Asix applications.

Besides the functions described above, the new package also introduces a number of minor developments, fixes for identified failures and optimisations. The most interesting changes are as follows:

  • Improvements in the Asix Excel Addin, especially the calculation of historical and rolling aggregates of selected measurements.
  • Possibility to read historical data using OPC UA from third-party servers and to use the data directly in the AsTrend program for charts and reports.
  • Easier configuration of the report support system such as Reporting Services. In particular, you may set up an AsixConnect data base in a Microsoft SQL remote server, in a computer without the Asix package installed.
  • Redundant communications for channels with Modbus Tcpip - possibility to declare a separate address for a back-up link (alternative communications processor or back-up driver).
  • JFIF image support.

The public distribution of the 9.0.5 package will be launched once all the required tests for new functionalities have been completed. We are planning the launch in May 2017 already, about which we will notify our clients in a separate message.