What Is the Difference Between RSView & FactoryTalk?
By Vivek Saxena
RSView 32 and its more advanced sibling, FactorTalk View SE, are Human Machine Interface, or HMI, software suites from Rockwell Automation. Such programs provide a visual representation of an industrial monitoring system. They typically reside on a Windows desktop and work alongside a programmable automation controller, or PAC; a programmable logic controller, or PLC, and a distributed control system, or DCS.
HMI trend charts display historical information regarding industrial processes in a convenient graphical format. Trend objects are a collection of such trend charts. RSView32 supports two types of Trend objects: a native trend object and a modern TrendX object. FactoryTalk View deprecates the native trend object, but adds the capability to use the remaining TrendX object to customize trend charts on individual computers during runtime.
Memory tags allow RSView and FactoryTalk to store information, such as a display's name, a user's name or the results of a calculation. With RSView32, memory tags are stored locally, while with FactoryTalk View SE, they lie on a centralized server that may be accessed by any client. This permits administrators to access data directly from any location without having to set up a separate, localized tag database for each client.
In both RSView32 and FactoryTalk View SE, an Events component closely monitors events and triggers certain reactions as defined in an Events editor. Unlike RSView32, however, FactoryTalk runs the Events component on a single HMI server and only processes server-side commands. To trigger events on a client computer, administrators must now utilize VBA code. Though this may seem disadvantageous at first, it actually results in more efficient communication with higher-resolution timestamps.
RSView32 and FactoryTalk feature the capability to log data to either a local log file or an ODBC data source, such as an Oracle database. While both utilize the same ODBC format, FactoryTalk View SE upgrades from the .dat local format to the .dbf format. This format uses less disk space and runs faster, but it is neither compatible with RSView32 nor any third-party database tools.
Vivek Saxena has been a full-time freelance writer since 2004, contributing to several online publications. Prior to becoming a writer, Saxena studied computer technology at Purdue University.