This blog is dedicated to open, interoperable manufacturing software and the coolest, latest and greatest things I see every day while conducting business under the banner of Inductive Automation.

Hello, my name is Steve Hechtman and I am president of Inductive Automation. During the span of one day there is more excitement, more discovery than I can possibly keep to myself. This blog is, therefore, my outlet. WARNING: This site is highly biased in favor of the most powerful, affordable manufacturing software in the world - Ignition by Inductive Automation!

"Softwar" - the future of MES and SCADA

Hate to keep beating a dead horse. This is really funny unless you happen to be the one getting hit with punitive upgrade fees.

Actually, all these per tag, per client, per designer seat, per database connection licensing models are history. One big SCADA company "graciously" got rid of their per tag licensing model only to replace it with a per screen licensing model. Thanks for the "help" – probably the most liberal licensing model to come along in SCADA in the last ten years (except for Ignition, of course!).

Truth be told, the whole client-server model of MES and SCADA is on an evolutionary dead end. Not my words – those belong to Larry Ellison, except he was referring to IT practices of ten years ago. Softwar is a book about Oracle and Larry Ellison (its CEO and main founder) . It's one of my favorite books because it's a blueprint of things to come in our industry. There's an uncanny parallel between Ellison's predictions of ten years ago for the IT industry (which have come true) and what's happening in our controls industry today. You should read the book.

So what was Ellison saying? He was saying database centricity was the only viable model. He said the client-server model only distributed complexity and was an unsustainable model. He said it was on an evolutionary dead end. As I read those words I was saying "Yea! That's what I've been saying all along!" Only he said it first and history has proven him right.

Ellison was also talking about his rationale for the Oracle eBusiness Suite. He reasoned that all applications at the ERP level should have a common data store, common data schema, common user interface and should deliver common business processes "out-of-the-box." This would prevent data fragmentation, unsustainable support requirements and eliminate the cost prohibitive modifications required to make heterogeneous applications work together (though poorly).

This is exactly what we're doing with the Ignition MES Suite. You haven't seen the whole suite yet – just scheduling, production, downtime and OEE so far. But in the coming year and just beyond, expect to see the most impressive suite of MES functionality available anywhere and completely in alignment with these principles.

We go one step further though with our licensing model because you just pay for the server. Then you can develop with the included web-launched designer, web-launch as many clients as you want, create as many projects as you want, use as many tags as you want and never be constrained again. Everything that applies to our unlimited SCADA suite applies to our MES suite too. Go for it!

No comments: