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Thanks TommyHelter for replying,

I agree that LabView has its great strengths that any other SCADA package can't do, LabView is a programming language .. But:

In most of the SCADA applications (which is our discussion topic here) I don't need the "capabilitty of doing more sophisticated data measurements" as you said. I just need some quick and easy tools to visualize and monitor field instruments, status of the process/machine and to control some parameters (and of course other SCADA features: Trends, Alarms, Recipes, Historical .. etc). And in case of I wanted to do some sophisticated things, Many SCADA packages offer the ability to write your own "Scripts". Again, It's not as powerful as LabView can do, But this is what most of the SCADA applications engineers require.

DSC is doing a great job, But I think if the folks here that developing LabView and the DSC consider overcoming these limitations I mentioned in this thread, LabView (plus DSC) would be the only software that can do DSC plus SCADA applications effectively.

Note that I spend a long time comparing the features of SCADA applications (InTouch - iFix - RSview - Citect - Omron cx-supervisor - Lookout - InfLink ..)

On the other side, SCADA can't cann't be used to build DAQ applications, LabView is number one in DAS applications.

Just my openion.

And thank you all for your valuble comments.

Message Edited by Ayman_Metwally on 12-29-2005 03:34 AM

Ayman Mohammad Metwally
Automation Engineer
Egypt - Cairo
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Message 21 of 34
I understand all your points and, in many ways, agree.  Thanks for your input.

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Message 22 of 34
To summerise everything that was said. I whant to tell you that this problem was solved in completly different way. I start working from the begining and did everything in Delphi 🙂 But It is good that we are thinking about SCADA problems and trying to solve tham in discussion way. If someone will need help in SCADA programming in LV or ...., You can write dirrectli to me and I'll try to help you... 
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Message 23 of 34
The same goes for me,  I have authored several facility-wide applications for SCADA in LabView.

And I agree that our discussion is good, very good.

Thanks to all of you.

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Message 24 of 34
Yes, I really enjoyed this discussion .. actually one of my best technical discussion.
Thanks to you all.
Note: I noticed that there is a mistake in one sentence I wrote before, Here is the correction:
((DSC is doing a great job, But I think if the folks here that developing LabView and the DSC consider overcoming these limitations I mentioned in this thread, LabView (plus DSC) would be the only software that can do DAS plus SCADA applications effectively ))
Ayman Mohammad Metwally
Automation Engineer
Egypt - Cairo
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Message 25 of 34
I completely oppose that "LabVIEW is not good for SCADA".

We have done some great SCADA packages in LabVIEW even without using DSC module with great graphical contents such as animated pipes, electrical motors etc...

Look at some screen shots of one of our SCADA softwares which is controlling and monitoring the process of a vegetable oil production company:

The software connects to LabVIEW's built-in database which is a very good DB for industrial programming.
It also generates sophisticated HTML reports which is a unique feature of LabVIEW and is not easily accessable through other SCADA packages.
It generates various alarms and we had no problem, programming the alarm handling section.
LabVIEW is great because it support right-to-left languages such as Farsi(Persian) which is not supported by other SCADA packages like Siemens WinCC.

In LabVIEW you have great ready made functions like PID control etc.. which accelerate the software programming.

You can easily add custom graphics to the front panel by using ActiveX technology, as you see the animated pipes and electrical motors are animations, being controlled by Windows Media Player as an ActiveX!

The hint: Most of the time the problem comes from the programmer and his/her knowledge not LabVIEW!


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Message 26 of 34

Greetings Kasara,

It's not that SCADA applications can't be developed using LabView .. No .. This isn't our point here ..

Anything can be developed using any programming language, Our point here is: How much does it cost (i.e. TIME and EFFORT) to build SCADA application using LabView compared to using SCADA packages that were made for this purpose.

We once - Me and another colleague wrote a medium SCADA application (800 PLC I/O) using Visual basic and some ActiveX controls.. It looks great and does every thing the client wants. Take a look here

BUT: 20,000 lines of vb code (to develop and then to debug) is very bad thing if we compare developing the developing using InTouch for example, We used too many MS Word macros to generate the code (even this can't be used to develop the graphical code of LabView!)

You can compare it your self .. start the stop watch and build the same application using LabView and any other SCADA package.

Another thing is the "Effort" .. You need a good labview programmer to build the code required for Alarming for example .. It's OK with me and for people that are good in LabView programming .. But: If I have to many large projects .. I think that "right clicking" and "checking boxes" (this is the environment of SCADA packages) is easy for many people so I can get the project done quickly and move to another one.

I really like labView as a data acquistion system builder. I built 4 sophisticated systems using labView and it's very powerful .. But when it comes to SCADA .. I stick to my point that it's not made for that in the first place (especially if you didn't use DSC)

Thanks Kasara for your input, I appreciate it ..

Message Edited by Ayman_Metwally on 12-30-2005 02:22 AM

Ayman Mohammad Metwally
Automation Engineer
Egypt - Cairo
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Message 27 of 34
I am interested how the members of this discussion would rank their choices for SCADA development tools.  With number #1 being your favorite and then #2, #3, and so on.?  I would likek the input of the persons in this discussion so that I could learn a little more about these other environments.

Right now, my choice is LabView (and will likely remain so), but then again, I also incorporate Data Acq....   🙂


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Message 28 of 34
Here are my thoughts.  We use a program called Specview for our plant-wide SCADA system.  It is extremely easy to use, and it has drivers for almost all of the controllers that we use.  You can be up and collecting data within minutes of installing a new furnace,  process, etc.  I use Labview for everything else(DAQ, motion control, machine vision, test instruments).  If I need to get data into Specview, and they don't offer a driver, then I just create a Labview application and use OPC to get it into Specview.  The 2 programs together are very powerful.
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Message 29 of 34
When I did SCADA several years ago, my two favorites were InTouch and GE Cimplicity.  At the time, GE was playing catch up in the HMI business, and their Cimplicity software had many advantages over InTouch and some of the other SCADA HMI packages.  I just wonder if Cimplicity is still around, and why it hasn't grown to the top of the market.  If a survey would be conducted, I would think that InTouch would be #1.  It has all the built in capabilites that is needed for HMI software development (alarming, trends, animation, etc.)  Using Labview would require much more work to produce a system that has bells and whistles compared to using InTouch.  Until Labview and DSC comes up to speed with the other HMI packages out there, I would not recommend using Labview for SCADA.  NI should have developed Lookout with graphical programming like Labview, and with the capabilites of InTouch and the other HMI packages.
- tbob

Inventor of the WORM Global
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Message 30 of 34