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HMI Options for compactRIO to Replace Remote Front Panels





Using LabVIEW 2020 Pro I program several 9065 cRIOs (Linux-based with ARM processors) to control various actuators and read sensors on a machine.  In order to troubleshoot issues and control the cRIOs in the past, I have used Remote Front Panel Functionality (See ). 


This functionality allows me to interact with the cRIO applications' VI front panels using Internet Explorer to access webpages stored on each cRIO. My PC can control and read the VI front panels with only the LabVIEW runtime engine installed (which includes an Internet Explorer plug-in), instead of requiring a full installation of LabVIEW.  My PC and the cRIOs are connected via ethernet cables and a network switch.


This Remote Front Panel functionality is extremely powerful because:

->The required software is free

->A highly useful HMI is created almost automatically when creating the LabVIEW code, speeding up development

->It allows the user to: 1) read dozens of indicators at once (including graphs of streamed data in near real time) and; 2) control dozens of controls at will.


The Issue:

NI is moving away from Remote Front Panel functionality, and the technology that supports it is fast becoming obsolete (Internet Explorer, Silverlight, etc) with no replacement or direct upgrade planned on NI's side.


I am therefore looking for suggestions to implement an "easy" HMI to replace Remote Front Panels.  Any advice is greatly appreciated!


Strict HMI Requirements:

->At least 1 PC can interact (read indicators, control controls) with at least 2 different cRIO front panels at once.

->The PC must be able to connect, disconnect, reconnect, etc from the cRIO front panels at any time, as desired by the operator.

->Uses technology whose "imminent" future does not include partial or total obsolescence.

->Dozens of intricate controls and indicators can be displayed/controlled - i.e. more than just a simple handful of booleans.

->Does not require "major" software to be installed on the HMI PC (e.g. LabVIEW).


Strongly Desired but Optional Requirements:

->"Easy" HMI development and deployment, preferably simply using the existing front panels created when writing the applications (I would like to avoid creating and then maintaining an additional HMI interface, which seems to be what NI is moving towards).  

->Connection via Web browser is an extremely nice feature; would like to keep it but am open to other options.

->Free software.


Again any advice is most appreciated! Thank you.


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