PLC Datasource

In this section will demonstrate the configuration set up of the PLC Datasource. For more information, please visit the PLC Datasource section of the System Documentation.

Creating a PLC Datasource

Select the appropriate Connector in the I/O Model and right-click. Select Admin  New  External Interfaces  Datasource from the context menu. In the Create Object wizard, enter a name for your Datasource and, optionally, an Object Description. Click Next.

Select a Name and description for the datasource, (providing a name is mandatory and should have a unique path within the system, it can contain some technical attributes of the server if desired.

The Common Section of the Create Datasource Wizard
Figure 1. The Common Section of the Create Datasource Wizard
Select the Server Type

On the next page (Server Type page) of the wizard, click on the drop down menu and select PLC . Click Click Create to create the Datasource in the I/O Model.

Selecting PLC as Server Type
Figure 2. Selecting PLC as Server Type
Select the Device Type

Currently the PLC Datasource only has native support for Siemens S7 controllers.

There are two types of Siemens S7 devices that can be configured:

  • S7-TCP/IP TIA uses symbolic addresses when browsing

  • S7-TCP/IP uses absolute addresses when browsing

More details about device types and what these classifications mean can be found in the system documentation.

Selecting the PLC Device Type
Figure 3. Selecting the PLC Device Type

The different device types require different configuration options:

  • S7-TCP/IP TIA:

    • The connection type specifies how inmation identifies itself when connecting to a PLC.

    • Host Name or IP address of the PLC CPU. (Mandatory field)

    • Remote Port for the PLC connection.

For this example we will configure an internal PLC datasource of this type.

Setting the Host Name or IP Address
Figure 4. Setting the Host Name or IP Address

The mandatory field for this configuration is the Host Name or IP of the PLC. Enter the IP address of the PLC into the Host Name or IP field and click Create.

Once created, if the Datasource is in a good communication state, it will have by the green-green light combination in the I/O model).

Afterwards, right click on the PLC Datasource and select Admin  Advance Function  Browse Once from the context menu to browse the Datasource.

plcdatasource objects
  • S7-TCP/IP: to configure this type of device the mandatory field that must provided as a standard type of configuration is the Host Name / IP. In an opposite case this are the fields you must pay special attention:

    • Host Name or IP: enter the hostname or IP for the PLC.

    • Port: Remote Port for the PLC connection, in this case we will use the default, 102.

    • Rack: The number of the rack, to which the PLC is connected to, the default number 0.

    • Slot: The slot number occupied by the PLC, in this field we will use slot number 2.

    • Type: and the type of device for this example will be S7-300/400

This configuration will look like this in DataStudio:

Device Type S7-TCP/IP
Figure 5. Device Type S7-TCP/IP

Click Create to create the datasource in the I/O model.

An absolute address comprises an address identifier and a memory location. In regard, a symbolic addresses make you program easier to read and simplify troubleshooting if you assign symbolic address.

Browse functionality is currently not available for this type of device, therefore objects under this Datasource will have to be created manually.

Slowly Starting PLCs

PLC Datasources can connect to PLCs before these are fully ready to deliver data, which may result in the system collecting invalid data (e.g. zeros). To avoid this, the subscription to a PLC can be postponed for a defined amount of seconds after establishing the initial connection.

To do this, navigate to the Server Type > Client Options subsection of the Datasource object properties and set the Subscription Pause property to the adequate number of seconds for this PLC.

Setting the Datasource Subscription Pause
Figure 6. Setting the Datasource Subscription Pause

The Remaining Subscription_Pause property is for information only. When a new connection to this PLC is established, a count-down of the time remaining before the subscription starts is displayed.

_Remaining Subscription Pause_ for a newly established connection
Figure 7. Remaining Subscription Pause for a newly established connection_