Wonderware Historian/InSQL to TOP Server

Wonderware Historian/InSQL to TOP Server
Wonderware Historian/InSQL to TOP Server
Using TOP Server to Log Data in InSQL/Historian
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Table of Contents
Intended Audience
Installing Wonderware Common Components
The TOP Server Interface
Configure an Alias in the TOPServer
Test the Configuration with the OPC Quick Client
Configure New I/O Server Type
Configure New I/O Server
Configure New Topic in Historian
Configure New Tag in Historian
Commit Pending Changes in Historian
Start Data Collection in Historian
Verify Connection in TOP Server
Contact Us
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The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how to make a basic connection to the TOP Server with
Wonderware’s Historian. We will use Historian to refer to version 10.0 and all prior versions (formerly
known as Industrial SQL Server or Historian). This document will cover the connection from Historian 9.0 to
TOP Server V5.x. If you are still using TOP Server version 4.x, please refer to the document
Connecting the TOP Server to Wonderware Historian.
The TOP Server in this example will use the Simulator driver and the pre-configured simdemo.opf, both
included with TOP Server. The same basic steps can be used to make a connection using any of the 100+
drivers available for the TOP Server. If you do not already have TOP Server installed, the free two-hour
demonstration version can be downloaded at http://www.toolboxopc.com/html/free_trial.asp. This version
functions the same as a fully licensed version within the two-hour demo mode. Stop the TOP Server and
restart it for two more hours of runtime.
This guide will also demonstrate how to connect Historian tags to TOP Server tags and thus to points on
your controller. TOP Server does not need to have a tag database for Historian to log data from devices
using TOP Server. You can directly address the points on the controller to reduce the number of locations
that you must create a tag database. However, there are cases where you should create the TOP Server
tag database first.
Intended Audience
This guide is intended for Wonderware Historian users who are new to TOP Server. This document makes
the assumption that you have some familiarity with Historian (including having a working Historian setup),
know what data you want to store, and have configured a TOP Server project (for assistance read TOP
Server Quick Start). You can find a full list of documentation and training videos at our TOP Server Support
site. Driver specific help can be found either in this documentation or in the help files installed with the TOP
Server. The information provided here is not a substitute for your Historian documentation. This procedure
is being demonstrated in order to show a complete connection, not to provide comprehensive training on
how to use Historian.
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Configure and Test the TOP Server
In this example we will be using the TOP Server simulation driver configuration. This is not a
comprehensive guide for setting up the TOP Server for device connectivity. For more information on how to
setup TOP Server, see the Training Videos or Papers and Utilities links at the website below:
You will need at least one Channel and one Device in the TOP Server in order to log data in Historian.
Tags can be entered into the TOP Server if desired, but these can also be added in the item field in
Historian to avoid duplicate tag database entries. This is the approach this paper follows and is shown later
in this paper.
Installing Wonderware Common Components
In order for the server to allow FastDDE/SuiteLink connections, the Wonderware components must be
installed. If within TOP Server under File | Project Properties you do NOT see the option tab for
FastDDE/SuiteLink, then you will need to install these components. The common components can be
installed from the Wonderware FactorySuite I/O Server installation CD by performing the following steps.
Run the setup.exe located under FS2K71\Common\
Run the setup.exe located under FS2K71\IOServer\Common\Win32
The TOP Server works with all Common components installs, but we always suggest using the newest you
have available. SuiteLink connections to the server will not function if these components are not installed.
The tab, File | Project Properties | FastDDE/SuiteLink will be shown or hidden based on proper installation
of these Wonderware components.
The TOP Server Interface
When you first launch the TOP Server, the pre-configured simulation project should. If it does not, open the
file as below.
Click on the File Menu
Open and in the \Program Files\Software Toolbox\TOP Server 5\Projects folder
There is a file named "SIMDEMO.OPF" - this file is the saved configuration for our simulation demo.
Note: By default simdemo.opf is marked Read-Only. If you make changes to the simdemo.opf sample
project, you should save it under a different file name.
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When the file is open, the TOP Server screen will appear as shown below. By default, the Configuration
Interface is connected to the Runtime so changes you make are committed to the runtime as soon as you
make them. If you want to work offline and then update the Runtime when ready, click Runtime>Disconnect on the TOP Server menu. If you later want to commit your changes to the Runtime, you can
click Runtime->Connect and TOP Server will ask you to save your changes and if you want to update the
Runtime with your changes. Click to learn more about offline configuration.
Figure 1: TOP Server Interface
You will see that there are 5 channels configured with a total of 10 devices.
In the TOP Server, a "Channel" corresponds to a communications port for serial connections or a single
thread of execution for Ethernet connections. Under each channel, provided the PLC protocol being used
supports multi-drop, you can have multiple Devices. A Device is a PLC or piece of hardware. If you then
click on the name of any given device in the configuration - for example "Device_6" under "Channel_4", you
will see that in the right hand window pane, a set of tags are shown. We have pre-configured some tags for
you in this example.
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Each Tag corresponds to a single memory location in the PLC or the device. You can add tags by right
clicking on the device name and selecting "New Tag" or by right clicking in the window where the tags are
shown and selecting new tag.
Configure an Alias in the TOPServer
Each time you add a channel, device, or group TOP Server generates a basic Alias for you. You may also
create your own alias mapped to a channel, device or group. Aliases are necessary in the Server since
Wonderware does not recognize the “ChannelName.DeviceName” syntax in the Topic Name because of
the dot “.” characters in the hierarchical structure when you setup the System Platform Access Name. If you
are used to setting up Topic Names in other DDE servers, setting up an Alias name in the TOP Server is
our equivalent of that step in the setup. To do this in the TOPServer, click on Edit|Alias Map. The dialog
shown below will appear and will already have topics made for you automatically that correspond to your
channel names, device names and group names, each separated by underscores. If you don’t have any
Aliases make sure you have configured your channel and device first or that the “show aliases” check box is
Figure 2: Alias Map
If you have the checkbox “Show aliases for system generated subgroups” unchecked, all you will see are
aliases you have entered or will be blank if you have created none. If you plan to use only aliases that you
create, it is recommended that you leave this unchecked for simplicity and ease of finding your aliases for
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To create your own alias, click on the Icon in the upper left corner of the Alias Map dialog and add an alias
in the dialog shown below that maps your ChannelName.DeviceName to a single word topic name
WITHOUT any spaces or punctuation - this Alias name will be used as the TOPIC NAME when configuring
the System Platform Access Name. In the example below we created an alias named “Device” that maps to
“Channel_1.Device_1” in the TOPServer.
Figure 3: Created Alias
Note that you can create as many aliases (also known as topic names in System Platform), as you like that
point to the same or different combinations of a Channel, Device, and Group name.
Test the Configuration with the OPC Quick Client
You can launch our OPC Quick Client at any time by clicking on the Quick Client button on the toolbar of
the TOP Server as shown here. When the Quick Client launches it will automatically connect to the TOP
Server, browse it for available tags, subscribe to them, and start displaying the live data.
Once you have launched the Quick Client, you will see it on your taskbar. The Quick Client is shown in
action below.
Caution: Each time you click the icon shown above we will launch another instance of the Quick
Client as there is no hard coded limit on the number of clients you can have simultaneously
connected to the server. Quick Client automatically connects to TOP Server with a 1000 ms update
rate. You can easily change the default group update rate in Quick Client by clicking Tools>Options.
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Note: the Quick Client can also be started directly by clicking Start->Programs->Software Toolbox>TOP Server 5->Quick Client. Quick Client can connect to any OPC Sever, create a group and
browse for particular tags - great for troubleshooting! Learn more in the OPC Quick Client Users
Figure 4: OPC Quick Client
Once you have the quick client launched you can right click on any tag name to write different values to the
tags. Remember though that tags that reference R registers are over-written by the simulated data as soon
as you write a new value - you will see your write though. For example, if the tag has a value of 2359 when
you write a 0 to it, you'll see our simulator automatically keep counting up from 0 after your write.
If you right click on the folders on the left and choose properties you can control how fast the client will
request tag reads. This can be a key adjustment when you are actually connecting to a physical device.
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Configure Historian/Historian to Connect To TOP Server
You will now need to create the connection to TOP Server from Historian. This is a simple three step
Configure New I/O Server Type
The first step is to create a new I/O Server Type. Open Historian and go to the Configuration Editor in the
console tree as shown below.
Figure 5: SMC Configuration Editor
Expand the Configuration tree then navigate to the I/O Server Types as shown below. Right click on the I/O
Server Types to show the context menu as shown in Figure 7 below.
Figure 6: IO Server Type
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Select New I/O Server Type as shown below.
Figure 7: Add New I/O Server Type
The New I/O Server Type window will open and should be filled out as the figure below shows. It is
important that the Application name is Server_Runtime and the Exe Name is server_runtime.exe. You can
set the Platform type as needed for your application.
Figure 8: New I/O Server Type Creation Dialogue
Once the New I/O Server Type is added you can add the TOP Server as an I/O Server to your Historian
Node. Once this is complete you can click Finish.
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Configure New I/O Server
To begin this second step, in the Configuration Editor branch of the SMC tree, browse to the IDAS <Server Name> entry in the tree.
Figure 9: New I/O Server
When you right click the entry as shown above in Figure 9, it will open the context menu as shown below.
Click the New I/O Server entry as highlighted in Figure 10.
Figure 10: Select New I/O Server
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When the New I/O Server Window opens you will be able to enter the I/O Server Location where the TOP
Server is installed. Use localhost as the I/O Server Location if Historian and the TOP Server are on the
same PC. Select the I/O Server “Server_Runtime” and use SuiteLink as the protocol. Description and Alt.
Server Location can be added as needed.
If the TOP Server is not on the same PC as Historian (or any other Wonderware application) you must
make sure that the Wonderware or Factory Suite Common Components are installed on the PC where TOP
Server is located for SuiteLink to work. These components can be found on your Wonderware installation
CDs. Contact your local Wonderware support if you need help installing the Factory Suite Common
Components. Once this is complete you can click Finish.
Figure 11: Create New I/O Server Properties
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Configure New Topic in Historian
You will now see the I/O Server you just created in the Console tree view. Highlight the new I/O server you
just created as shown below.
Figure 12: I/O Server Created in Console Tree
Right Click and choose New Topic from the Context Menu as shown below.
Figure 13: New Topic Selection
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The New Topic window is shown above. The Topic Name entered needs to be in the format of the Channel
name followed by the Device Name you have in the TOP Server, separated with an underscore (_). After
you verify your Topic name and set your Scan rate override for the Topic in the TOP Server Alias Map,
make any other changes to the New Topic dialog in Historian and click Finish. The Time Out setting is for
the connection to TOP Server from Historian and does not affect TOP Server to device timeouts. Consult
your Historian documentation on advice on the Time Out setting.
Figure 14: New Topic Creation Dialogue
Once the new topic is created you can now click Finish and start adding tags.
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Configure New Tag in Historian
You will now see your new topic created under the I/O Server in the Console Tree. To create a tag use the
steps below. Start by highlighting the topic as shown below.
Figure 15: Topic Added in Console Tree
Right click on the Topic then choose the tag type that you want to create. Select the type of tag you wish to
create. In this example we will create an Analog Tag.
Figure 16: New Tag Selection
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The Unique Tag Name is the name you want shown in Historian and can be any meaningful name. In this
example we have used testtag1. Click the next button to proceed.
Figure 17: Unique Tag Name
The General Window is for the tag description, Engineering Units type and max value inside of Historian.
Figure 18: Tag Configuration – General
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Click on the Next button once you have this filled out as needed. The example shown does not set any
scaling or Engineering Units. You will then move to the Acquisition dialogue. Select the appropriate type,
server and topic from the drop-down menus if these do not default to what you have configured.
The Item Name field can be the PLC address for the data you want to read through TOP Server into
Historian, or a tag name in the TOP Server that you have configured. If the PLC address is being used then
refer to the Addressing section in the TOP Server driver help file for the particular driver you are using to
verify that the default data type is the same as the data type you want returned as set in the Raw Type
setting. In this example we want a 16 bit unsigned integer. Once complete, click Next to Continue
Figure 19: Tag Configuration – Acquisition
In the TOP Server simulation driver, the address R0001 defaults to a 16-bit signed Integer data type. This
will require the Item name to have an “@datatype” suffix added to the name to tell TOP Server to send back
the data in the datatype to match the setting in the Raw Type area in Historian. For example;
R0001@WORD will return a 16 bit unsigned integer. In a Modbus driver you may want to read holding
register 400001 as a real. This would require the Item Name to be 400001@FLOAT. If you wanted to read
this as an unsigned integer you would use simply 400001 in the item name because the Modbus driver by
default treats all “4” registers as 16 bit unsigned integers or Words.
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Once the Acquisition dialog is complete, fill out the Storage dialog as needed and click the Finish button.
Figure 20: Tag Configuration - Storage
Commit Pending Changes in Historian
It’s now time to commit the configuration changes in Historian. Now, highlight the Configuration Editor.
Figure 21: Tag Added to Console Tree
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Right click then select Commit Pending Changes. Historian must be stopped to commit changes.
Figure 22: Commit Pending Changes
Once Commit Pending Changes is selected the Confirmation dialog below will open. Once the
Confirmation dialog appears choose Commit to commit the changes or Display to check the changes make
then Commit them after you have verified them.
Figure 23: Commit or Display Changes
You will then get a confirmation that the changes have finished and now it’s time to start collecting data.
Figure 24: Change Commit Confirmation
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Start Data Collection in Historian
You will first need to start Historian. Highlight the Status or Management Console item in the Console tree.
Figure 25: Historian Status
Right click on this and choose “Start Historian” from the context menu that appears.
Figure 26: Start Historian
Click on the OK button. You can see the data collection engines starting in the Status Window.
Figure 27: Start Historian Confirmation
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When the data collection items move to green you can then highlight Data Acquisition in the Console Tree
as shown below.
Figure 28: Data Acquistion Monitor
If the connection has been made correctly you will see the item as highlighted below.
Figure 29: Data Monitoring
If the item with ServerMain does not turn green, completely stop Historian and start it again. If you continue
to have problems go to Step 8 to check the TOP Server.
Verify Connection in TOP Server
The first thing to check is if a connection has been made from Historian to TOP Server and the number of
active tags in TOP Server. This should be done first with the OPC Quick Client shut down. Verifying the
connection is done by looking and the bottom right of the TOP Server as shown below.
Figure 30: Active Client and Tag Verification
The image on the left above shows the server without a connection, the image on the right above shows the
connection completed from Step 4. The number of Active tags should match the number of tags that are
configured in the Historian project. This is a good way to verify all your tags are connected.
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If there is any difference or there is no connection made check the TOP Server Event Log as shown below.
Figure 31: Event Log
The Event Log shown in this example has no errors. If there is a syntax error in the Topic or the Item field
in the Historian configuration errors will be shown in this log. These need to be resolved in order to get
consistent quality data from all tags. If the error was in the syntax of the Topic or the item field has an
invalid address for the device type the error will say, “Failed to add FastDDE/SuiteLink item…” This could
prevent the connection from being made if there are not correct items. This will need to be resolved before
you will be able to get the green icon in the Data Acquisitions section from Step7.
if there are no errors in the TOP Server Event Log and no connection to the server is made, the problem is
either in the Historian configuration or with the installation of the Wonderware common components. First
verify all the steps in this document.
If the configuration seems correct, then you may want to consider a reinstallation of Historian if that is
feasible. You may also want to involve your local Wonderware distributor support staff and ask them to
contact us and work with us on any TOP Server questions. We can work with your local Wonderware
support team to help get things working.
Also, once you have reached this point please contact us at support@softwaretoolbox.com for additional
help in checking your configuration. Please send the following files in a zip file along with any other
information that would help us to understand your configuration and application requirements.
- Servermain.log - found at \Program Files\Software Toolbox\TOP Server
- Servermain.ini - also found at \Program Files\Software Toolbox\TOP Server
- Your TOP Server project *.opf file
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This guide has demonstrated the basic steps for configuring a SuiteLink connection from System Platform
to the TOP Server using the Simulator driver. This guide is also applicable in configuring SuiteLink
connections from System Platform to all of TOP Server’s other 90+ available device drivers.
If you do not have TOP Server but would like to evaluate what TOP Server can offer in terms of robust,
reliable device data acquisition, you can download a free two hour demonstration of TOP Server at
http://www.toolboxopc.com/wonderware. This demonstration version is fully functional, only requiring that
you restart it at the end of the two-hour demonstration period.
TOP Server also fully supports OPC and DDE client connections in addition to SuiteLink. For tutorials
demonstrating connecting InTouch or InSQL to TOP Server please refer to our Wonderware Users
Resource website by clicking or copying the following URL into your Internet browser:
If you have further questions or need assistance, our experienced staff is here to assist you. We can be
contacted in the methods outlined below.
Contact Us
If you have any questions or are seeking further information and help:
Online Support:
Email Support:
Phone Support:
+1 (704) 849-2773
+1 (704) 849-6388
Mailing Address:
Software Toolbox, Inc. 148A East Charles Street, Matthews, NC, 28105 USA
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