i4connected Knowledgebase 5.6

Devices Management

Abstract

Check out this article to learn how to manage i4connected Devices and understand the functionality they have in the application.

The Device Management article's scope is to provide guidance to WEBfactory users regarding Devices. At level of i4connected, Devices serve as sources for the Signals and their measurements.

Devices can be managed in context of a hierarchical entity (Organizational Unit, Site or Area) by clicking the Devices tile. However, the actual list of devices will only be visible to users having at least the View devices permission enabled.

Depending on the selected hierarchical entity, the Devices tile can be displayed differently, as follows:

  • Sites - As Sites are physical business locations, the Devices tile counter displays the total amount of Devices assigned to the Site and it's Areas.

    Hence, even though a Device has been assigned to an Area of a Site, its assignment will be propagated to the Site's structure, as well.

    As some Devices can be assigned to both Sites / Areas and Organizational Units, the user opening the Site, needs to have the View Organizational Units / View all Organizational Units permissions enabled, to see those devices, as well.

    Devices_tile_of_Site.jpg

    The Devices tile of a Site panel

  • Areas - As Areas are granular structures of a Site, the Devices tile counter displays the amount of Devices directly assigned to the Area and the total amount of Devices obtained through both direct assignment and inheritance.

    Hence, the Devices tile will also count the Devices of Sub-Areas.

    As some Devices can be assigned to both Sites / Areas and Organizational Units, the user opening the Site, needs to have the View Organizational Units / View all Organizational Units permissions enabled, to see those devices, as well.

    Devices_tile_of_Area.jpg

    The Device tile of an Area panel

  • Organizational Units - Organizational Units are structural units that do not have a physical correspondent like Sites do. As Organizational Units can be structured in multiple Sub-Organizational Units, the Devices tile displays the amount of Devices directly assigned to an Organizational Unit and the total amount of Devices obtained through both direct assignment and inheritance.

    Hence, the Devices tile will also count the Devices of Sub-Organizational Units.

    As some Devices can be assigned to both Sites / Areas and Organizational Units, the user opening the Organizational Unit, needs to have the View Sites and Areas / View all Sites and Areas permissions enabled, to see those devices, as well.

    Devices_tile_of_OrgUnit.jpg

    The Devices tile of an Organizational Unit panel

By clicking on the Devices tile, of either one of the hierarchical entities listed above, the Device List panel is opened. In this view, all the Devices of the selected hierarchical entity are listed.

Device_list.jpg

The Device List panel

Devices are displayed as cards in a scroll-able list. Each device card displays the following details:

Device_card.jpg

Device card

  • The Device icon

  • The Device name or alias

  • The Device flags, concerning visibility and status:

    • Not_Visible_in_front_end.jpg - Not visible in front-end

    • Visible_in_front-end.jpg - Visible in front-end

    • Active.jpg - Status Active

    • Not_Active.jpg - Status Inactive

Clicking on a listed device card the View Device panel is opened.

The Device List Filter

The Devices List panel allow the user with possibility to search for Devices and to apply a set of advanced filters.

By typing in Name or the Alias of a Device, the list is automatically filtered to display only the relevant results.

Search_field.jpg

The Device Filter area

To reset the search field, the user can click on the X button. Automatically, the search field contents are cleared and the Devices list is updated to display all the Devices.

reset_field.jpg

Reset search contents

By clicking the Open filter button, the Object filters panel is opened. In this view, the user is provided with the following filter options:

  • Filter by Organizational Units

  • Filter by Sites

  • Filter by Areas

  • Filter by Devices

Applying the filters, will reduce the list of devices to those items that correspond to the advanced search.

Adding Devices

In order to be allowed to create new devices, the user must have the Manage devices permission enabled.

The Add button from the top menu of the Device List panel allows the user to add new devices to the Device List. Clicking the Add button opens the Select Device Type panel, allowing the user to chose which device type to create.

Add_device.jpg

The Select Device Type panel

Selecting a device type opens the Add Device panel, where the user can input the device settings.

New_device.jpg

The Add Device panel

The device settings are split up in two categories:

Default device settings (available for any device type)
  • Device information

    Device_info.jpg
    • Name - The unique technical name of the device. This field will be mandatory regardless of the selected Device type.

    • Alias - The friendly name of the device. The Device Alias will be displayed in the device card, when listed.

    • Description - The description of the device.

  • Device flags

    Device_flags.jpg
    • Visible in front-end - If enabled, the device will be listed in the i4connected portal.

    • Active - If enabled, the device will be active.

  • Device properties

    Device_properties.jpg
    • Device type - The device sub-type that can be defined by the user. The user can add/edit sub-types using the right-side buttons corresponding to the current field.

    • Manufacturer - The manufacturer of the device.

    • Model - The model of the device.

    • Hardware version - The hardware version of the device.

    • Software version - The software version of the device.

    • Site - The Site where the device is installed.

    • Area - The Area where the device is installed.

    • Organizational Unit - The Organizational Unit to which the device belongs.

  • Photos

    Photo.jpg
    • Photo - The photo of the device itself.

    • Installation photo - The overview photo of the device installation location.

Type dependent settings

The following device types require additional settings besides the standard ones listed above. These additional settings are usually focused under the Adapter category.

Note

For more details regarding each Adapter type and their specific settings, please also visit the Adapters configuration article.

  • Azure IoT

    • IoT Hub settings

      • IoT Hub name - The name of the i4connected IoT Hub. It is mandatory to provide data for this field.

      • Filter - The filters which parse the data received from the IoT Hub

      • Device Id - The identification number of the device.

    • Direct method of device

      • Method Name - The name of the method which should be called.

      • Method Payload - The JSON payload method.

      • Method response Timeout in Seconds - The timeout, expressed in seconds, for waiting for a response from the method (min: 0 / max: 300, default: 120)

      • Method Connection Timeout in Seconds - The timeout, expressed in seconds, for waiting the IoT device connection (min: 0, default: 0, cannot be more than the Method Response Timeout in Seconds.

  • CSV / Text

    • CSV settings

      • CSV source - The name of the CSV server providing the data. Filling in this field is mandatory.

  • Ewon

    • Ewon settings

      • Ewon Adapter - the name of the Ewon server providing the data. This field is mandatory.

      • Ewon name - the name of new Ewon device associated with the Ewon server.

      • Time zone - the time zone of the Ewon device. This setting will only be used if the Ewon device is not set to use the UTC time zone, in order to convert the received timestamps to UTC. Otherwise, the adapter will store directly the received timestamps, as they are already in UTC. This setting is required.

  • HMSHub

    • HMSHub settings

      • HMSHub Adapter - the name of the HMSHub server providing the data. To configure and HMSHub Device, filling in the field is a mandatory condition.

  • i4SCADA

    • i4SCADA settings

      • i4SCADA Adapter - The name of the i4SCADA server providing the data. To configure an i4SCADA Device, filling in the field is a mandatory condition.

  • Modbus

    • Modbus setings (both Modbus specific settings are required)

      • Modbus server address - The address of the Modbus server driving the device

      • Unit ID - The identification number of the Modbus unit. The field will only accept a number between 0 to 255.

  • MQTT

    • MQTT settings

      • MQTT name - The name of the MQTT Broker (Server) to which the device will be connected.

      • Topic - The device topic. This topic is a string that acts like a filter when used in combination with the signals topics.

      • Filter - The JSON filter obtaining the relevant data.

  • MSCONS

    • MSCONS settings

      • Source - The MSCONS source (server) providing the data. It is required to fill in this field in order to be able to save a new MSCONS device.

  • SQL

    • SQL Settings

      • SQL query name - The query applied to the database, retrieving the relevant information This field is required.

  • WEBfactory

    • WEBfactory settings

      • WEbfactory server address - The address of the WEBfactory server driving the device. Filling in this field is mandatory, in order to be able to save a WEBfactory device.

The Manual counters, OPC-DA and Lertes Devices only require the standard information to be added in the system. These types of devices do not require an adapter in order to manage their data.

Once the device information are provided, click the Save button to add the device to the Device List.

Device Details

The Device details panel is opened by clicking a device card inside the Device List or by adding a new device. This panel displays all the available information about a device and allows the user to perform device-related operations.

Note

The Device details panel will be displayed only for users having the the Manage devices permission enabled.

Device_details_panel.jpg

The Device Details panel

The top menu buttons provides access to the:

The main body of the Device Details panel lists the following data:

  • Device information - the name, type and other relevant device information;

  • Installation information - the site, area and organizational unit where the device is installed;

  • Device settings - the device type specific settings configured when the device was created/edited.

Device_detailed_info.jpg

The Device details panel also provides access to the device's users, signals and alarms, through the dedicated tiles. These tiles display the number of users, signals and alarms assigned to the current device, allowing the user to manage them as follows:

  • Clicking the Users tile opens the Device role assignments panel, where all the assigned users and their roles are listed.

    Device_users.jpg

    The Device role assignments panel

    Tip

    Check out the Entity role assignments article for more information.

  • Clicking the Signals tile opens the Signal List panel, allowing the user to manage the device's signals.

    Signals_of_device.jpg

    The list of Device's Signals

    Tip

    Check out the Signals Management article for more information.

  • Clicking the Alarms tile opens the Event scripts list panel, allowing the user to manage the device's alarms.

    Device_Alarms.jpg

    The list of Device's Alarms

    Tip

    Check out the Event script list article for more information.

If an Application mapping has been assigned to a Device, the details panel also displays a preview of that i4designer visualization.

Device_App.jpg

Example of Device application

Tip

For more details about the i4designer Application mapping feature please also refer to the dedicated articles here.

Additionally, to learn how to manage a Device's Application mappings please also visit this article.

Editing Devices

Clicking the Edit toolbar button from the View Device top menu opens the Edit Device panel.

Edit_Device_panel.jpg

The Edit Device panel

This panel allows the user to edit both the standard device information as well as the type dependent information.

Deleting devices

In order to delete a device, the user can click the Delete toolbar button, available in the top toolbar of the Device details panel. By clicking the Delete button the Delete device panel will be opened.

Delete_device_panel.jpg

The Delete Device panel

To proceed with device deletion, the user should pay attention to the consequences involved by this operation (the amount of deleted measurements, event occurrences, events and signals).

A confirmation code is requested in this view. In case the typed deletion code is incorrect, the system will warn the user and prevent the deletion operation.

Values_must_be_equal.jpg

The Deletion code needs to correspond with the provided one

After manually typing the correct deletion code and pressing the Delete button, the device is permanently removed.

Managing Application Mappings

The Manage Application button displayed in the Device's details panel allows users, having the Manage Devices permission enabled, to add and update a Device's i4designer Application mapping.

Manage_device_app_button.jpg

The Manage application button

Tip

For more details about the i4designer Application mapping feature please also refer to the dedicated articles here.

The Manage Application Mappings panel of a Device features the following properties:

Maage_app_mapping_panel_of_device.jpg

The Manage Application Mappings panel

  • Default Application - the application added in this section will be displayed in the Device's details panel.

    • Default Application - the Application mapping used by the current Device, that will be displayed in the Devices's details panel.

      Default_application_selector.jpg

      The list of Application mappings

      Warning

      Please note that the Application mappings list will be available when accessed from the Manage Application Mappings only for users having at least the View applications permission enabled. The list will display only Applications owned by or assigned to the logged in user.

    • Subpage path - an optional sub-page of the i4designer project. The sub-page path is given by the project's sub-page exact name.

      Note

      By setting a sub-page path the page will be by default displayed by the device application. If the field is left empty, the project's default page will be displayed.

    • Title - the title displayed by the panel, when opening the Application in view or preview mode. If no title is filled in this field, the Application panel will display the name of the Application mapping.

    • Subtitle - the sub-title displayed by the panel, when opening the Application in view or preview mode. If no sub-title is filled in the field, the Application panel will display no sub-title.

    • Panel size - the size of the panel, when opening the Application in view or preview mode. By default, the panel size is set to lg (large) but the user can decide to apply the following sizes: sm (small), md (medium), lg (large), xlg (extra large), xxlg (extra extra large), 3xlg (3 times extra large), 6xlg (6 times extra-large).

      Panel_size.jpg

      The Panel size selector

    • Navigation parameters - an optional set of parameters based on key-value mappings.

      Navigation parameters can be added by clicking the Add parameter button Add_parameter.jpg. The user needs to manually input the Parameter Name and Value. Inserted parameters can be removed by clicking the Delete button Remove_parameter.jpg.

      Navigation_parameters.jpg

      The Navigation parameters

While configuring the Default Application, the user can check the Application's display in preview mode. By clicking the bottom Preview button a separate panel is opened displaying the drill-down Application as it will be displayed in view mode.

Preview_mode.jpg

Example of Application opened in preview mode

While in preview mode, the user can asses the Application before saving and applying the settings.

Further on, the URL of the Application is displayed at the top of the preview panel allowing the user to copy it to the clipboard. The copied URL can be afterwards used to pin tiles to i4connected pages.

Copy_to_clipboard.jpg

The Copy URL to clipboard option

Tip

For more details about the Pin tiles option, please also visit the dedicated article.

Cloning devices

Oftenly, the devices of a hierarchical entity have similar or identical structure, settings and signals. To reduce the implied amount of work, the clone functionality offers a quick way to add multiple device structures with minimal configuration.

The Clone device panel can be accessed by clicking the Clone device toolbar button of the Device detailed view panel, by all users having the Manage devices permission enabled..

Clone_device_panel.jpg

The Clone device button

In this view the user can proceed with the following settings:

Clone_device.jpg

The Clone device panel

  • Name - the name of the device clone.

    Important

    The name is a unique device property, hence the user is required to manually fill in the name of the device clone.

    A validation error will be displayed on attempt to clone a device with an already existing name.

    Validation_error.jpg
  • Alias - The friendly name of the device clone. The device alias will be displayed in the device card, when listed.

    Note

    This field is not mandatory, but please note that the alias of the parent device will be reused if a new one is not added.

    As the list of devices shows by default the alias and not the name, you may have multiple devices with same alias in the list.

  • Site - the site where the device should be assigned after cloning. By default this field is populated with the source device information, but the user can decide to change he hierarchical entity assignment.

  • Area - the area where the device should be assigned after cloning. By default this field is populated with the source device information, but the user can decide to change he hierarchical entity assignment.

  • Organizational unit - the organizational unit where the device should be assigned after cloning. By default this field is populated with the source device information, but the user can decide to change he hierarchical entity assignment.

If clicking the Close button the Clone device panel is closed without creating a new device.

By clicking the Save button the clone device operation will run in background as it may take a longer time to complete. When finalizing the cloning process system displays a notification in the Background operation area of the WEBfactory global menu bar.

Clone_notification.jpg

The Device clone notification

When the cloning operation is complete, the clone becomes a separate device, even though it shares the following properties with the parent device:

  • Device description

  • Device photo

  • Device installation photo

  • Device flags (Visible and Active)

  • Deviie type

  • Device manufacturer

  • Device model

  • Device hardware version

  • Device software version

  • Device site (if it was not changed in the Clone device panel)

  • Device area (if it was not changed in the Clone device panel)

  • Device organizational unit (if it was not changed in the Clone device panel)

  • Device adapter

  • Device signals

  • Device users

  • Device alarms

  • Device external alarms

These settings can be changed at any point in time in the Edit device panel.