SIMATIC WinCC OA - Basic Software

High performant due to a convincing approach

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is a SCADA system for visualizing and operating of processes, production flows, machines and plants in all lines of business. Distributed systems enable any number of stand-alone systems, from 2 to 2048, to be linked via a network. Each subsystem can be configured either as a single-user or multi-user system, redundant or not, in each case. SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture relies consistently on object orientation for process images and the database structure.

"Visualization made easy" - Technical product description WinCC OA V3.18

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Features and functions

Increase your performance with SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture

The object-oriented SCADA system SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture allows you to implement solutions tailored to specific customers. Saving valuable engineering time is top priority! With a philosophy that puts the focus on people, we offer comprehensive solutions.

Most modern design concepts are used in SIMATIC WinCC OA

The continuous object orientation sets new standards in SCADA systems. The open concept permits the integration of most different components.
Specific solutions from the automation level up to the operating control and management level are provided.

A second benefit of WinCC OA is to offer native clients for most operator devices. This includes PCs and Laptops with Windows or Linux, but also smartphones and tablets based on Android or IOS.

Object orientation

Object orientation has become a fashionable term in recent years and is used by many manufacturers as a catchword. However, a substantial reduction of implementation times can only be accomplished in practice if the object-oriented approach is implemented throughout, as in SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture.

The engineering process of SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture customers is changed by the object-oriented properties and their consistent, careful utilisation.

  • Engineering costs savings of up to 70 %
  • High degree of standardisation
  • Changed course of project from planning to start-up

  • Staff qualifications can be deployed selectively

  • Greater convenience for project engineer and user

Manager concept

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture features dedicated, autonomous program units for all key functions - the managers. A "manager" is a process that is responsible for specific tasks. For example, there is a separate manager for periphery connections, history data storage or for user interfaces.

Each "manager” is using one core on your machine. This makes sense, as you can decide to run all managers on one machine or split managers to several machines - rising the availability of your system and reducing the risk of total stop due to one stopped process.

  • Event-Manager (EV)
    the heart of a WinCC Open Architecture system
  • Process Manager (PMON)
    the Guardian of the project.
    It also enables remote connections for project administration and monitoring
  • Driver-Manager (D)
    processes are linked via any number of drivers
  • Database- Manager (DB)
    stores process changes in a high-speed database. The DB is also the connector to value based archives
  • Control-Manager (CTRL)
    is a dedicated runtime environment that processes programs written in the Control programming language on an event-driven, multitasking basis
  • API Manager (API)
    enables interfaces for common programming languages as well as for connecting to customer specific drivers
  • Archive Manager (Arch)
    helps to connect your data to store it in a filebased internal archive structure (Value Archives / VA)
  • User Interface-Manger (UI)
    takes care of graphical display of process states
  • User Interface-Graphical Editor (GEDI)
    With this graphical interface for panel creation and design it is easy to build your libraries for your solutions

Each manager has specialized functionalities and responsibilities. Beneath the named managers above other managers are available for special tasks (Redu Manager for redundancy, distribution manager for distributed systems, web server, reporting, simulation)

Running a system based on events

This minimizes the stored data. Everytime a value changes, the new value is stored and can trigger activities in your project. If a value is not changing for e.g. 10 minutes, no new value is stored in the meantime and this means a reduction of needed storage. Building a system based on this mechanism means to create an efficient way to follow trends and react on changes when needed without loads of data produced by asking every minute for equal numbers. Event orientation therefore helps to save costs and resources. and to increase performance.

  • Reduced place for storage needed
  • Get new information on time to set new activities
  • Find new possibilities to react on value changes
  • Number of expected value changes gives input to the size of the needed servers
  • Greater convenience for project engineer and user

Client-server architecture

The client-server architecture allows practically unlimited scaling of the system. SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is used from small single-site systems to distributed, redundant multi-site systems in a wide range of configurations

  • Multi-user and multitasking system
  • Modular architecture based on functional units, the Managers
  • Communication between the individual processes is based on TCP/IP
  • Functions and loads can be distributed across multiple computers
  • It is possible to mix operating system platforms (e.g. Linux) within a system
  • Completely event-oriented, telegram-based communication
  • Remote client terminals can be linked up by modem

 

 

The client-server architecture implemented in SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture allows full access to the system from remote terminals with practically no restrictions on performance.

  • The remote user interface display is the same as the display on site at the system
  • Full online parameterization options also from the remote user interface
  • Full graphical remote maintenance via TCP/IP connection

Suitable protective measures (among others IT-Security, e.g. network segmentation) have to be taken up to ensure a safe operation of the plant.

 

Fast installation of basic software
SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is very easy to install. On average industry machines the installation of the complete software package needs 10 to 15 minutes at maximum. Updates of the software are quickly installed.

It is easy to share a Desktop UI via Web Server. By sharing the recent version via WebServer, on each operator station the newest version can be granted.

Download Apps on Android or iOS directly via Google play or AppStore. The Apps will be included to regular update mechanisms on your cell phone or tablet. You can use the newest version of the app - not depending on the project version, you use.

 

Openness: Interconnecting systems and reuse of existing solutions

Due to it´s openness for operating systems it is possible to combine Windows and Linux operating systems in one project.

You can also connect projects and objects of older versions of WinCC OA to projects done in the recent version. Upgrading older projects to a newer version is done via a few clicks.

Once you have created object libraries for your solutions you can reuse them in a new project. This saves time and helps to rise the user experience. 

Functions

Being equipped with the standard HMI functionalities such as alarming, trending, reporting and remote maintenance, SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture offers further specific functions such as archiving of historical data, multilingualism and distributed systems.
Communication with the basic automation is achieved through comprehensive drivers and flexible connectivity.

Alarm handling

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture has an extensive integrated alarm concept conforming to the VDI/VDE 3699 and DIN 19235 directives for safe, reliable monitoring of sensitive equipment.

  • Multiuser acknowledgement for multiple workstations
  • Alarm via pager, SMS or e-mail
  • Definition of shared alarm properties (priorities according to importance, type of acknowledgement) in alarm classes
  • Hysteresis handling prevents unnecessary generation of alarms in the event of signal flutter
  • Automatic sum alarms
  • Web interface for alarms and system status
  • Define activities for alarm situations on come and went events
  • Split in warning and alert areas

Covenient trend display using "Variable Trend"

The graphical editor features a trend display widget that is parameterized and adapted to individual requirements with just a few mouse clicks.
Additionally, SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture offers the "Variable Trend", a convenient, general tool for evaluating system states over long periods.

  • Archive data and online data are grouped together and displayed in a trend display
  • Unlimited number of trend display curves in one trend display
  • Trend displays with time offset allow you to make comparisons between different periods
  • Sum trend, bar trend 2D and 3D, XY trend displays with and without time reference

With the aid of the "Variable Trend" the user puts together individual trend displays in mouse-driven dialog boxes in the runtime environment.

  • Selection of data points for trend display
  • Variable time ranges can be created
  • Individual display of value axes (scales) or common scales for various curves
  • Export function of trend display data in a .csv file
A new, modern Trend feature allows creating innovative and individual views on customer´s data. Using layout management and the possibilities to customize trends help to get important information at a glance. Displaying Alarm areas within trend helps to analyze and better understand changes inside each system.
With respect to layout management WinCC OA is always enhancing the possibilities to present collected data with different types of EWOs showing information to the user in an understandable way and helping to find the focus on important changes.
  • Integrated bird view 
  • Zoom on detailed timeframes
  • Customize legends, trend axis and comments on data points
  • Show Alarms and messages like guidelines in the trend
  • Set rulers for detailed information on spotted area
  • Copy to clipboard 
  • Set new curves by drag & drop

 

Web-based reporting via SOAP interface

Reporting is a key task of any SCADA system. Therefore this function is a particular focal point of SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture.
A web-based reporting using a standardized SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) reporting interface is implemented. This allows reporting tools from third-party suppliers to be used without any additional effort. Reporting is further simplified by the additional provision of BIRT templates and pre-defined reporting data.

  • Web-based Reporting Interface (SOAP)
    - ECLIPSE BIRT (Templates available)
    - Crystal Reports
    - SIMATIC Information Server (Examples available)
    - Microsoft Excel
  • Online values, history
  • Compressed data, SQL, alarms
  • Diagnostics tools
  • Audit trail

Archiving based on different platforms and requirements

Archiving is an integrated feature of SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture. It allows individual management of history data and convenient, high-performance access from all application components.

The native archiving system delivered with WinCCOA and embedded to the system landscape is file-based and focussed on value changes in event-driven environments.

 

It can be configured and changed during runtime. The internal data base is related to no further costs and can be structured regarding archive cycles, data compression, size and number of the value archives. All components and interfaces mentioned below are added to the system as separate managers in your project.

  • Any number of parallel archives can be used
  • Duration of storage, archive size, backup strategy, etc. can be set individually for each archive
  • Easy configuration of archiving
  • Definition of archives with compressed values (hourly, daily, monthly archives...)
  • Inheritance of correction values through compression levels
  • Configuration of online backups for closed archive sets
  • Value archives as flat-file structure (HDB)
  • ORACLE, Influx DB, PostgreSQL and MS SQL Archiving supported
  • Parallel archiving (Value Archives, Oracle, InfluxDB, PostgreSQL) - enables the storage of data into the local historical database and into the central database by customer´s choice. Local systems based on Oracle do not need an Oracle server installation
  • DB Logger (MS SQL, MySQL, ORACLE)
Archived values of course can be used for reporting. This needs an additional report functionality to your system. Adding reports to your archive gives all possibilities of reporting also to archived data point values
  • Web-based Reporting Interface (SOAP)
  • Reporting templates based on ECLIPSE BIRT
  • Same handling for actual values and for archived ones

Multilingual projects

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is designed for complete multi-language capability. Systems implemented over the world (China, Korea, Turkey, South America, Central Europe, Saudi Arabia...) confirm our successful language concept.

  • Use of more than 40 parallel languages per project
  • Custom site and user language within the application
  • Online language switching during operation
  • Simple integration of languages by means of language-dependent catalog systems
  • UTF-8 Support (All Unicode characters can be represented in 4 bytes)

Distributed systems

One of the outstanding features of SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is its capability of managing distributed and widely spread systems.

  • Transparent access to all distributed system data
    (history, online data, alarms, configuration, etc. )
  • Command of a subsystem can be kept local or from every connected system
  • System diagrams from connected systems can be viewed from other systems
  • The connection (modem, ISDN, LAN) between the individual systems can be permanent or temporary
  • Alarms from connected systems can also be displayed and acknowledged on other systems
  • The individual sub-systems of a distributed system can be single-site or multi-site, singular or redundant systems
  • Easy parameterization and extension of further systems afterwards

 

Configuring and maintaining a distributed system in former time required a high amount of engineering effort due to a high number of settings and configuration steps that must be applied on several systems. The Dist-Management reduces the engineering effort and simplifies the necessary settings.
The Dist-Management is based on a master - client architecture and therefore one system must be specified as master system. The master system is the only system which is allowed to modify the configuration of the distributed system. The changes made on the master system are synchronized to the client systems.
Following data can be synchronized:

  • User, groups, areas
  • DP-groups and user-defined DP-groups
  • Alert classes
  • Alert screen configuration
  • Trend configuration

Remote maintenance

The client-server architecture implemented in SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture allows full access to the system from remote terminals with practically no restrictions on performance.

Suitable protective measures (among others IT-Security, e.g. network segmentation) have to be taken up to ensure a safe operation of the plant.

  • The remote user interface display is the same as the display on site at the system
  • Full online parameterization options also from the remote user interface
  • Full graphical remote maintenance via TCP/IP connection

Discover a broad range of supported ways to connect

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is an open SCADA system with comprehensive drivers and flexible connection possibilities for other external systems. Depending on the communication protocol and the used bus physics, in each case specific drivers are used.

You can run several drivers simultaneously in SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture. These can be of the same but also of different type. Therefore, you can establish connections to a SIMATIC controller by means of the S7 protocol, by means of the IEC 60870-5-104 to a telecontrol system and through OPC DA to an arbitrary OPC server.

  • OPC UA: DA, AC, HA (Client & Server)
  • OPC: DA, AE, HDA (Client & Server)
  • TCP/IP: SIMATIC S7 Plus, SIMATIC S7, Ethernet/IP, Modbus, SNMP Manager & Agent, BACnet, TLS Gateway
  • Telecontrol systems: IEC 61850 / 61400, SINAUT, DNP, IEC 60870-5-101, -104, SSI
  • Cloud connectors: Mindsphere connector, MQTT
  • Other drivers on request or via C++ API

Multitouch

The modern and innovative operating concepts with multi-touch gestures have already arrived in the industrial environment. Thus, the system operation is more intuitive and easier. The common multi-touch gestures, as well as additional buttons in SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture contribute to a user-friendly operation.

 

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture supports following multitouch gestures

  • Left mouse click – tapping on the desired spot
  • Right mouse click – long tap on the desired spot
  • Double click – two fast taps on the same spot must be used
  • Pinching – To zoom a panel with two fingers the two fingers must be pressed on the panel background and then brought together or spread wider
  • Panning – Moving the panel is done by touching the panel background with one finger and then moving the finger
  • Two hand operation – The two hand operation can be configured in order to prevent the commands which were executed by touching the monitor unintentionally

     

 

Engineering efficiency

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture relies consistently on object orientation for process images and the database structure. This enables efficient and simple mass engineering and swift creation of projects with a number of parallel developments. Systematic and considered use of the object oriented characteristics results in a change to the engineering process. In comparison with conventional methods, savings of up to 70% can often be made on engineering costs.

As WinCC Open Architecture is designed as an online system, it is possible to modify during runtime without rebooting the system. This enables convenient ways to design your solution. Changes can be done among others to panel files, processes, data points. 

 

Engineering in SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture

  • Object-oriented databases and process images
  • Flexible plant model allows to represent your plant data points with different flexible hierarchies
  • Importing and exporting application data
  • A high degree of standardization / normalization
  • Changes and enhancements possible during normal operation
  • Creation of a particular „smart“ engineering tool
  • Implementation of extremely complex, heterogeneous systems
  • Greater convenience for project engineers and users


Creation and configuration for Data points

The flexible data point concept is a key element in SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture. External and internal variables, device data structures, user authorizations, display of system images or alarms are all handled via data points. This ensures consistent processing and at the same time also allows flexible adaptation to specific problems.

  • Data structures are organised intuitively in a tree structure
  • Individual parameterizations such as alarm handling, archiving, addressing, etc. are performed in clearly laid-out parameterization panels.
  • Mass engineering is done in MS Excel. Import and export of configuration data is completely online.
  • Data points can be generated and completely configured online. This allows you to implement the self-parameterization of objects.
  • Support of fast implementation by use of predefined importer tools and interfaces

Graphical Interface to create panel files and handle objects

A user-friendly graphics editor (GEDI) is available for creation of system images (panels). Complete parameterization and creation/deletion of graphical objects and data points is performed online during operation.
Some objects (references) can be created and adapted to individual requirements with complete freedom.
Objects are stored in clearly arranged catalogues. Symbols are selected from the catalogue and simply dragged and dropped onto a panel. When added to the panel, a parameterization dialog box is displayed which may be a standard dialog or a completely customizable individual dialog.

Enhancements via widgets and Ewos

A wealth of standard symbols for frequent system display tasks saves valuable development time. Comprehensive ActiveX support (access to properties, methods and events) makes it easier to integrate specific tasks as predefined solutions.

Integration of the current version QT5 has enabled a modern, sophisticated user experience for the operator. New features include widgets for a 3D bar, trend functions and tables. The range of supported widgets and EWOs* is increasing with every version due to higher usability for end users.
* EWO = External Widget Object – a specific way to embed external Widgets into user interfaces 

Layout management „Responsive design“
To automatically adjust the display to the screen size during operation, the responsive design was introduced, which can be implemented quickly and easily in the graphical editor. Functions like grid layout, layout inheritance and some more let you easily and simple realize 100% responsive applications.

Script Wizard
With the Script Wizard you can configure animated and Ultralight client compatible symbols (reference objects) and panels without manual scripting. The reference objects can be placed on the panels via drag & drop and linked to a data point. These Ultralight compatible panels can be displayed on any desktop PC and on mobile devices using the common web browsers. A set of preinstalled Ultralight client compatible symbols are available to simplify the engineering. The symbols can be used with the common data point types.

Support of version management systems
The Integration of SVN version management tool into the graphical editor significantly improves the usability and allows an easy project engineering in large project teams. SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture supports different version management tools which can be managed and operated in the graphical editor.

High performance programming via Scripts

In addition to simple configuration via mouse-driven dialog boxes, SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is also equipped with a high-performance programming interface that exceeds usual scripting by far.

C# API
To enhance WinCC OA with business logic from the newest programming technologies and integrate existing C# business logic, a C# API has been integrated in WinCC OA.

C# is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. C# offers a large number of .net libraries and a large developer group with C# expertise.

With the new C# API, you can read and query process values, alerts and historical data. You can also write process values and acknowledge alerts as well as manage data points, read configs and more.

With the C# facade many C# technologies have been integrated for the developer using the C# object oriented techniques in order to ensure a high degree of reuse of existing C# code.

Scripting language Control

"Control" has an easy to understand syntax based on ANSI-C and features numerous functions for all the demands of modern control technology. Control program processes data points and controls the visualization of process states.

Control is implemented as an interpreter, so that the user does not have to perform compiling or linking procedures. This means that changes can be tested immediately. Control provides optimum support for the flexible data point concept in SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture.

  • The interpreter design allows online changes during operation
  • The Control program supports multi-threading 
  • Expandable with DLLs and shared libraries
  • Database interface to relational databases (e.g. Access, Oracle, MS-SQL)
  • The integrated editor features programming aids such as syntax highlighting, function tool tips, Intellisence, syntax checking, etc
  • Extensive debugger for fast troubleshooting
     

 

Mechanisms and functions

 

The object-oriented structure, extraordinary flexibility, as well as satisfaction of the highest safety demands have made SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture the preferred solution for complex, large-scale and/or safety critical projects.

Nowadays, security becomes more and more important for vendors and operators of SCADA systems. Therefor SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture sets a high focus on this topic.


Many individual mechanisms and functions guarantee safety, security, reliability and availability of data, these include:

 

  • Secure data transfer also in public networks and widely geographically distributed architectures
  • Security functionalities (logon, authorization system, automatic logoff)
  • System stability through diagnosis functions
  • Controlled handling of overload
  • Exclusion of data tampering through logging
  • Redundancy through hot standby system
  • Distributed system through functional split across autonomous subsystems
  • Disaster Recovery System (redundant data storage in a geographically separated second control center)

 

SSL/TLS encrypted communication / Multiplexing Proxy

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) are cryptographic protocols which are designed to provide communication security over the network.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) is the common naming for the further on developed integration of SSL to gain a higher level of security due to better encryption models.
From version 3.12 SSL encryption for communication of managers to each other and to all clients is used consistently. It is implemented by default in the system.
It is implemented directly in the manager base class and active by default when creating a new project.


Main features of the Multiplexing Proxy:

  • A reduction of open network server ports (only one per system)

  • Blocking of denial-of-service attacks

  • Multiplexing Proxy may run under a low-privileged user account (different from other managers)


Benefits of SSL/TLS encryption:

  • Highest data security

  • By default implementation of SSL encryption in WinCC OA the security of communication has been extended

WinCC OA Secure - Kerberos

WinCC OA Secure is a third party authentication mechanism based on Kerberos, developed by MIT. Symmetric key encryption, no key word transfer. Absolute secure protection of internal and external communication.

  • WinCC OA Secure enables the authentication, integrity and encryption of the communication

  • No transfer of User/Password information via the network

  • Fast due to use of symmetric encryption protocol

  • Allows Single-Sign-On

  • Proven method

  • State of the Art

Hot standby redundancy

With the aid of the well thought-out redundancy concept of SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture it is possible to fulfill the demands of plant engineers and operators in terms of availability and process and data security.

  • Hot standby redundancy with dual computer systems
  • In a redundant system each user interface is linked with the active and passive system. Redundancy switching is thus smooth without impairing system operability
  • Automatic switching is performed in the tenth-of-a-second range without data loss
  • Automatic matching of process image, alarm data and history at system start-up
  • Freely configurable switching mechanisms with weighted error status evaluation
  • Additional security by means of differentiating between computer and network failure
  • Redundant network connections between different computers
  • Split mode with redundancy - Test of new configurations and parameterizations without interfering the operation.

Meeting highest requirements in availability

High availability and breakdown security are significant factors in automation technology. Even a short downtime can cause considerable costs and safety risks. The Disaster Recovery System secures the availability of the installation and data retention, even in the event of a total failure of the Master Control Center.

This system extends the single redundancy by a second redundant system, to which, in the event of a malfunction (e.g. an emission, a fire or an explosion in the building housing the primary system) one can switch over. This additional local redundancy provides the highest level of availability.

 

The Disaster Recovery System is designed as a Warm Standby System and consists of two geographically separated Hot Standby Systems, the Master Control Center and the Disaster Recovery Center, connected together by a high-availability dedicated line. In the normal operating condition, the Master Control Center is permanently connected to the periphery. In the event of a total breakdown of the Master Control Center, the geographically separated Disaster Recovery Center automatically takes over all the monitoring and control activities and activates the local periphery drivers of its own accord.

 

A further characteristic of the Disaster Recovery System is the local archive data retention in the Oracle databases of both Hot Standby Systems. This means that historical data can be accessed at all times. All database queries remain within the local network, thus requiring a narrower bandwidth. In order to secure up-to-date data in both systems, the historical data from both systems, in normal operating mode, are actively written to the specific Oracle database concerned. Synchronization of the data ensures redundant data retention.

The Disaster Recovery System is an extension of today's SCADA redundancy concept and thus reduces the probability of data loss to a minimum, guarantees faultless operation of the entire system and reduces excessive downtimes.

Physically separated LAN Redundancy

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is supporting network redundancy by using both LAN connections at the same time. Instead of switching from one line to the other one after recovery of an error taking time and leading to data loss the network intelligence can handle disconnections of one line without loss of data. Of course this means more investment on the communication network, as technically both lines are transporting equal information. Thus this invest enables working without any interruption and is highly recommended for safety reasons.

In default concepts LAN redundancy for communication is handled like this regarding switch over after fault detection:

WinCC OA can handle LAN redundancy quite different to standard design:

With this design you are able to build stable systems with focus on data transmission. This only works for physically splitted LAN connections, not for VPNs on one line. Which medium you choose to transport the packages, doesn´t matter. Be it cable, be it satellite connection or even cellphone Networks providing the needed bandwidth to run the system on each line.

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Further information

All about SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture at a glance

Support Services

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Spare Parts Services 

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