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Database Configuration (26)

Restore option converts an archived configuration file to a viewable project and save/upgrade it under the current version of Sinolta. Restore is the opposite of archiving.
Retrieve uploads (read) a copy of the online configuration from the online folder to the Offline folder. Retrieve is the opposite of Publishing.

You can do this in four different ways:
You can select multiple objects from the tree view and drag them to the main window. From the Column chooser, you can expose any number of columns and then edit the content of the main grid by copying and pasting large selections.
You can use the advanced search to select a set of points that meet your search criteria. A temporary window shows the result of the search. You can copy and paste these objects into the main grid and edit the grid in bulk.
From the Right-click menu on each branch, export the branch into a CSV file. Make the necessary changes and then from “File” menu options, import the CSV file back. All changes are highlighted in orange and ready for validation.
From “File” pulldown menu options, select “Export” to export the entire database into an excel or a CSV file and make bulk changes. You can then use the “Import” option from the “File” pulldown menu to import your changes.
Please note that for the above items a and b, you can increase the number of rows in the main grid from the pulldown menu options.

From Database Builder, go to the File menu and “Save As” your current project. When prompted for the new project name, enter a name for your new project.
Note that when using “SaveAs,” the Historian primary and secondary logging folders will automatically change to reflect the new project name.

Open the Link Object table. From the Tree view, drag and drop various objects to the source or destination columns.
You can also use copy and paste from an excel file.

Mapping tables are the means to identify which device or Class the points belong to.
Sinolta allows each point to be mapped to the data collection (Masters/Client) applications only once but can be mapped to multiple data reporting (Servers, Slaves) applications multiple times.
When a point is mapped to a Master or Client device, the point becomes the child of that device, and the device becomes the parent. All points that are mapped to a Master/Client device are considered mapped points. Other points that may be mapped to reporting applications are considered orphan (with no parents) until they are mapped to a Master/Client application.
When mapping points to a Class, we are using mapping tables to link the points with Classes.

Sinolta has a unique feature to allow users to set up personalized user notifications during the runtime without any need to change the database. User notifications can be sending large number of notifications at certain hours of the day or weekends. User profile provides the information necessary for the User notifications to send email messages and also to know when to send the messages. For example, I would like to receive user notifications only from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday to Friday. You can set up someone else to receive the user notifications outside of those periods.
User profiles can also be used for resetting passwords via emails.

Create a template out of your database class. Templates contain the entire Class configuration inside a single template file. You can then copy the template files to all your projects. As soon as they are copied to their corresponding folders, database builder for each project will recognize them as a template.
You can then create instances of the template to create new classes for all your projects.
I have created 20 Classes by creating instances from one of my templates. Now I need to add a new point to all 20 instances. How do I do this?
Add the new point to your template and refresh the template. The new point will automatically be added to all template instances.
I want to update all of my template instances. When refreshing all instances, the system overwrote some of the properties that need to be unique to each class. How can I prevent the system from overwriting those properties?
There are certain properties that Template refresh will overwrite. When clicking on refresh, you are presented with a list of properties that are not mandatory, but you can select them to be forced to get new values from the Template.
If this does not work for you, you may want to create a new Template with different values and link new instances to this new template.
The last option is don’t use Template. Have classes not instances of classes but use Search and replace to change all similar properties.

Each device has its own set of generic alarms that are updated and controlled (can not be removed) by their owners. These alarms are created automatically without any user intervention; however, users can modify their behaviour and presentation for a more logical use that is suitable for their project.

Generic Alarms are very similar to digital limit alarms; however, they have a few unique characteristics that are designed for speciation situations.
Generic Alarms are meant to have their messages and setpoints change quite more frequently. This allows users to use a single generic alarm point to handle a large number of alarms by having a different message.
Generic alarms are meant to be used in association with Logic points in the automation. So you can create alarms that are driven from a more complex logic.
Please note that from automation API, you can create and remove Generic Runtime alarms that they are created and removed during the runtime without any footprint in the database configuration.

Each Task has its own set of generic alarms that are updated and controlled (can not be removed) by their owners. These alarms are created automatically without any user intervention; however, users can modify their behaviour and presentation for a more logical use that is suitable for their project.

The UPS service monitors an attached UPS system and can shutdown and restart projects on a server based on defined power reserve levels.
From Tools pulldown menu options, select the UPS service configuration to set up the necessary thresholds. Note that you want the system to have enough power and time to gracefully shutdown the projects and store all in-memory data before the computer goes to sleep mode.
You also need to connect your UPS to the computer (via USB) and set up the thresholds for your computer to go to sleep mode after the project shutdown.

SINOLTA Tag names can
be up to 256 characters
be any combination of alphanumeric characters
have any one of these characters: ` ~ @ # $ and . ! _ ^ + = – [ ] : < > |
Contain spaces
SINOLTA Tag names can NOT
Contain any of these characters: % * , ; “ ‘ { } / \ ? ( )
Start or end with spaces (leading and trailing spaces are automatically trimmed from Tag name )
Be only numeric
Begin with these characters = + –
Use it at your own risk!
When SINOLTA’s “Relax Tag name Validation” option is set, you can use ( ) characters as part of the tag name.
What are the differences between tag name and Point name?
They are referring to the same thing. Historically some systems use the point name, and some systems use Tag name.

Absolute è Classname.DeviceName.PointName.SubobjectName.PropertyName
ThisClass è ThisClass.DeviceName.PointName.SubobjectName.PropertyName
ThisPoint è ThisPoint.SubobjectName.PropertyName
ThisDevice è ThisDevice.PointName.SubobjectName.PropertyName
Aliasing è ClassName.DeviceName.Pointname.SubobjectName.PropertyName

HMI Builder:
Supports %xxxxx% for Substitutions
Supports Absolute and Aliasing

Automation Builder Regular Modules:
Supports Absolute and Aliasing

Automation Builder Logic Point Modules:
Supports Absolute and Aliasing
Supports “ThisClass” for Point Logic Trigger Schedule and inside the Logic Point Modules
Supports “ThisPoint” to the trigger field

Timer Object Trigger fields in Database Builder:
Supports Use Absolute and Aliasing
Supports “ThisClass”
Link Objects in database builder:
Supports Absolute and Aliasing
Alarm Message Substitution (%xxxxx%):
Supports Absolute and Aliasing
Supports “ThisPoint”
Supports ‘ThisClass”
Supports “ThisDevice”
Alarm Message Shortcuts

Care must be taken when deleting a point in any one of the three builder applications (HMI, Database and Automation) as they share the system points.
You can remove points from the point right-click menu option.
After deleting a point, run validation to detect if any point was used in Automation or other parts of the database.
You also need to check HMI screens to ensure the deleted points are not used in the HMI builder.
If you have unused points in the Automation Builder, during the validation, Automation Editor will inform you and gives you an option to delete the remaining points.
I have deleted and recreated the same point in the database builder, but I still get a validation error that the point does not exist in the Automation Builder. Why?
You most likely have created a new point with a different data type. Automation is still referring to the old point with the original data type.
Why do I have to always save and then publish a configuration?
The Database, HMI and Automation builders save their configuration in the offline (or staging) configuration folders.
The runtime server uses the configuration that is stored on the online folders.
We use Publish to copy the offline configuration files to the online folders. This allows the server to continue running while making configuration changes.
When I am publishing a configuration, I am asked if I want to merge databases. What is the purpose of merging when?
Sinolta uses Online or runtime database files during the runtime. If users make changes to the database configuration or when the system is reading real-time values form the field devices, these real-time and configuration values are also stored in the online database files.
When system integrators make changes to the offline database, and at the same time, users make changes to the online database, merging allows the two databases to be synchronized so we don’t lose any data.
When publishing offline to the online database, the Database builder compares online and offline databases and grabs all the changes from the offline and apply them to the online database.

HMI changes do not require restarting the system. Just publish the HMI configuration and either restart the real-time viewer or click on the refresh button to get the latest HMI changes
Automation logic changes can be published module by module from the module top menu options or right-click menu options.
Downloading a module replaces the module and continues the execution of the module while all other modules are running.
Automation also allows you to republish the entire Automaton logic to the server and will go through an automation restart after publishing the automation logic.
Some of the database configuration changes can be done from the real-time tabular views while online with a running system. Some of the changes take effect immediately, and some require a restart of the system. For example, user password, protocol polling intervals, scaling, simulation, object descriptions, units, and alarm properties can be changed during runtime without any need to restart the system.
Other properties such as Historian logging properties can be changed during the runtime but will not take effect until restarting the Historian task or the entire system.
You cannot create or remove objects during the runtime.
An exception to the above are:
You can use Automation API to create, update and remove runtime alarm objects without restarting the system.
How do I backup my entire configuration?
From the Database Builder “File” pulldown menu, sect Archive to store the entire copy of the project (both offline and online folders) onto a single file.
How do I make sure all my automation data and report templates are saved in the Archived file?
Sinolta stores all configuration files in their correct space.
Some sensitive datasets that are required to be used as part of the project operation such as excel files, reports templates, etc. should be stored under the offline Automation\Data subfolder so they are kept with the Archived files.
The Historical data should be kept in separate folders; otherwise, they will make the size of the archived file unreasonably large and challenging to manage.
I am getting a warning for assigning too many points to a Data logging group. What does it mean and how do I get rid of it?
When configuration historian, each point can be configured to be stored in a Data logging group.
You can think of the Data logging groups as tables.
Sinolta Historian creates a separate Historian database file for each data logging group until it reaches the configured maximum size or period specified in the Historian task configuration.
For example, setting up the maximum number of records for the Historical Trend database to 100,000 records causes the Historian to create a separate file for every 100,000 records.
Now, if you have 100 points that are configured to log every 5 seconds, it will take Sinolta Historian to store 100,000 records in a single file within 5000 seconds (or roughly about 83 minutes).
Generally, the larger the data logging files get, the slower the query results may be. On the other hand, the smaller the files are, the more frequently they have to be logged, which will make both hard drive and Historian very busy and also slows down the system.
Based on our experience, on average, we should try to configure our logging groups that can store 100,000 records and are not being filled any faster than one hour.
To calculate how fast each data logging group fills up, multiply the number of points by their logging interval for that group. This calculation works when the dead band is 0. If dead-band has a value, the amount of stored data for each logging file will dramatically drop. The actual number of records will depend on the frequency and the size of each change for each point. You can only calculate this by examining the frequency of the creation of each logging file that is stored in the Historian primary logging folder.

What is the difference between offline and online configurations?
The offline configuration is used by the Sinolta database, HMI and Automation Builder applications offline.
The Sinolta Servers use the online database folders to run from.
In order to make offline changes and use them during runtime, save your offline configuration and then publish it to the Local server. The publish function copies the offline configuration files to the online folders.

Timer points are part of the database and can be used to trigger other processes based on an event. For example, when you send a control command, you may want to reset a Timer point to wait for a response. You can then build logic in the Automation Logic to check for the expected feedback to evaluate the control command success.
For simple configurations, one can use Timers and Control feedback points within the automation to trigger other automation modules; however, this approach required a periodic module to constantly check when a timer has expired.
Using Timer objects, there is no need to set up period modules to examine timers to evaluate returned feedback values.
In a more complex system, using times and logic points as part of a Class or template helps us creating portable and self-contained data structures (Classes) of points that mimic both points and behaviour of a device or an equipment

Right-click on a class.
Select the Mapping tab in the Class configuration Wizard dialog.
From Tree view, expand Points branches and browse through to find your target points.
Drag and drop the points from the Tree view to the Class mapping tab.
Validate and Save.

Quite often, it is helpful to copy specific object properties to another object.
Link Object table provides a means to map the values of certain objects or properties to other points.
While this feature can be achieved by using Set function block in the automation, it can translate to a large number of functions blocks and modules just to transfer values from one object to another.
“Link Object” allows you to do this by simply putting the object and property names in the source and destination columns.
For example, in order to log certain properties of non-point objects or other point properties of point beside the CurrentValue, you can use Link Object to map the desired property to the current value property of a different point. You can now add data logging or alarming to this point to store this information.

Similar to most of the office applications, when making changes in the database builder, Automation or HMI builder, all changes are kept in memory. You must click on save to store the configuration changes on the hard drive.

When making changes to the database or automation configuration, you can see an orange icon highlighting all objects that are modified. You can save and publish these changes, but the changes cannot be published until they are validated. Once the changes are validated, the orange mark will be removed from the modified objects.

Restore is the opposite of Archive. You can use the Restore function to recover an archive file.

Each project configuration is stored based on the version of the Sinolta used at the time of saving or archiving the configuration.
When you upgrade Sinolta, the old configuration files remain intact on the hard drive under the old version. After Upgrade is completed, the system only shows the list of the projects that are saved in the current version.
So, after installing a new Sinolta version, you may see the sample projects but will not see the other projects.
In order to use the projects that were saved or achieved with the older version of Sinolta, we use Upgrade to convert the older version to the new versions.
After the upgrade process has completed, the project configuration will be listed in the list of available projects for the current version.

Sample projects provide clear examples of how to set up a project using basic or advanced configuration tools performing similar functionalities.
They are included as part of the Trial Installation.

Like the Sample projects, Tutorial projects provide clear examples of how to use Sinolta tools. They are more structured and cover Sinolta tools in a more systematic order.

Sinolta configuration files are stored under
\\Sinolta Projects\\configuration\\….
The version number corresponds to the version of Sinolta at the time of saving the project configuration. This basically means that when Sinolta saves its configuration, it keeps it under a folder that is specific to that version.
After upgrading Sinolta, the older version of configuration will remain in the old subfolder, and when you upgrade the project, it copies the old configuration into the new folder under the current version dn then performs the conversion.
Every time you upgrade Sinolta, you will leave a copy of the project configuration for the old version of Sinolta.
When you try to delete a project, Database Builder is showing you a list of all versions of your selected project.

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