Moravian instruments
Search
Main menu
Main page
About company
Software Download
Documents download
Products
The Control Web System
VisionLab Machine Vision Software
DataCam Cameras and DataLight Lighting Units
DataLab industrial input/output system
Scientific cameras
Price list
Services
Custom-made Solutions
Technical support
Control Web Examples

Hlavní stránkaControl Web ExamplesControl web Documentation

Working environment

The application of the Control Web runs in the technology in Control Web Runtime — the version of Control Web that is designed to support the application at runtime. What is sufficient for running is insufficient for comfortable design, development, and debugging of the application. Therefore, there is the Control Web development version, whose tools and application editor enable creation of control and/or visualization application programs.

Which principles of creation of the application can be found in the Control Web?

  • Composition of basic units into larger units. Simple components (with rich properties) form functional blocks, the functional blocks form an application module, and the application modules may (but need not) form a secure redundant distributed system.

  • Uniform setting of parameters of objects (instruments and data) by a simple table editor. The table form of displaying and editing of properties has the unique ability to display all aspects of the element at once without wasting time with a lot of buttons, windows, tabs and lists.

  • Regular availability of information — even if it is documentation or a summary in the actual setting of objects. You will find Help at all levels of editing.

  • Possibility of selecting the way of settings the parameters. If the colors are to be modified, you select either the color editor or the color table (with parameters), if you modify an instrument, you select either the parameter table or source text editor.

Such easy editing of the application is possible in the Graphics Editor that is the main space for creation in the Control Web. Nevertheless, because the application in the Control Web is stored in the text form, you will also meet the text editor. Both editors, graphics and text, cover a deeper duality of approaches to the creation of an application in the Control Web; at present it is sufficient to know that such a text editor exists.

The graphics editor is offered in the development environment by default after the installation of the Control Web. It is possible to switch between text and graphic editor using a pair of tabs.

Main tabs of the development environment

Main tabs of the development environment

If the graphics editor is not activated (its tab is not selected), it is activated using the mouse by clicking its tab.

Application composition workspace

It is possible to imagine the graphics editor as a container which is filled with building elements from the offer, where each such element can be repeatedly modified without restrictions. The offer summarizing all present building elements is called Instrument Palette. The instrument palette is opened by a button in the tool bar.

Tool bar with button to open the instrument palette

Tool bar with button to open the instrument palette

Instrument Palette

Instrument Palette

Instrument Palette

The Instrument Palette is a fundamental part of the development environment, therefore, it contains a lot of information. First of all, the palette is divided into the left part with instrument categories displayed in tree and the right part offering individual instrument classes. The left part (tree) offers two ways to organize components (instruments) — it is possible to choose the preferred view using the combo-box above the left pane.

Combo box with the option of a view of instruments

Combo box with the option of a view of instruments

The following views are offered:

  • Instrument categories, a view created according to the importance and the function of individual instruments. Instruments of similar functions are grouped into categories, inside these categories instruments are sorted according to imaginary complicacy. Because the Control Web offers two principally different manners of visualization (2D and 3D), two of the main categories are Flat instruments and Spatial Instruments. Executive instruments are all instruments that are not visible (they do not serve for visualization), System Instruments are internal instruments and instruments used only for calling system functions.

  • Instrument libraries, a view constructed according to the classification of instruments into program libraries.

The right part of the instrument palette summarizes individual instruments.

The left part of the selection palette influences the area with instruments, the more submerged you are in the tree, the more precisely the group of instruments will be restricted and, therefore, the area will contain a smaller number of (exactly specified) instruments. In the end, at the level of one highlighted instrument in the tree of the palette, a quick display of possible appearances of instruments (if the instrument offers them) will be offered in the area of the instrument.

The palette with the meter instrument selected in the tree and its forms in the area of the instrument

The palette with the meter instrument selected in the tree and its forms in the area of the instrument

Views with possible appearances of instruments can also be displayed faster — it is enough to double-click the selected instrument in the area with mouse.

Selection of a suitable instrument by means of the palette is the first step (often repeated) for the creation of an application. After it, there is the second step, which is inserting the new instrument into the application. This operation in the Control Web is direct — by dragging the mouse. It is enough to click on the selected instrument and drag it into the suitable place of the graphics editor.

Graphics Editor is a target for instruments

There are several suitable places for the dropping of a new instrument in the graphics editor. In particular, it is always possible to drop the instrument in the area of the visual editor.

Dropping of the instrument in the area of the visual editor

Dropping of the instrument in the area of the visual editor

Of course, you can drop in the visual editor only visible instruments, if you try to drag from the palette into the visual editor, for example, the program instrument the Control Web will prevent it by notification of error:

Incorrect insertion of the instrument into the visual editor

Incorrect insertion of the instrument into the visual editor

Another (second) suitable place where it is possible to insert a new instrument are trees with instruments. In the Graphics editor, trees with instruments are located on the left or right beside the visual editor (depends on the setting of the development environment).

Instrument Trees

Instrument Trees

It is possible to insert into the tree Visibility or into the tree Timing either into one of the roots (Visible, Invisible, Timed, Not timed), into some of the node instruments (panel or timer), or behind an already existing instrument. All these possible insertion positions of the instrument are displayed in the development environment by highlighting.

Marked target of insertion of a new instrument.

Marked target of insertion of a new instrument.

The development environment does not allow to insert the instrument to an incorrect place, nevertheless, some checking is performed at the moment of release the mouse button (at the moment of dropping of the dragged instrument). This may also cause an error.

Insertion of a new instrument into the incorrect panel

Insertion of a new instrument into the incorrect panel

The last tree Selected Instrument cannot be used for insertion of new instruments because the tree only displays details of already existing instruments.

Editing in the Graphics Editor

Each newly inserted instrument is automatically selected by the selecting frame (it is the default behavior of the development environment that can be modified). This is because of the fact that only a selected instrument can be modified and edited. In addition to such an automatic selecting of newly inserted instrument, it is possible to modify any other instrument if it is selected.

In the development environment it is possible to select the instrument directly (by mouse) or indirectly (during editing using hotkeys). Selecting of the instrument by mouse is easily carried out by clicking either in the visual editor (on some instrument) or in the tree (again on some instrument). If you click by mouse outside the instrument, the selection is canceled. If during selecting in the visual editor in addition to clicking by mouse on another instrument you press the <Shift> key, the development environment will select this instrument additionally. Both instruments will be selected, i.e. the group of instruments will be selected. It is possible to select an arbitrary number of instruments and, moreover, if you click (while holding the <Shift> key) on an already selected instrument, the selection is canceled.

Instrument selected by the selection frame

Instrument selected by the selection frame

The selected instrument is automatically highlighted where it is useful. For example, the instrument selected in the visual editor of the development environment automatically highlights also in the instrument trees and vice versa.

Instrument selected in the instrument tree

Instrument selected in the instrument tree

The instrument (or the group) selected in this way in the visual editor can be arbitrarily relocated or enlarged or minimized by mouse (or keyboard). In this case, it is always necessary to drag the selection frame at some of the dragging points. Using the keyboard (by means of cursor arrows), the selecting frame (and the instrument) can change only the position (not size).

Each selected instrument (or group) can be arbitrarily modified by hotkeys or by means of the main menu of the Control Web or by means of the context menu which is opened over the selected instrument when clicking with the right mouse button.

Context menu

Context menu

Operations by means of the context menu are easily accessible. The first item of the menu Instrument Inspector... is for the Control Web crucially important. The Instrument Inspector is the basic way to modify the properties of instruments.

Instrument Inspector

The instrument inspector is a uniform tool which modifies the properties of any instrument. Its functions are divided into independent tabs.

Tabs of Instrument Inspector

Tabs of Instrument Inspector

Each tab offers for a modified instrument (or group of instruments) a slightly different viewpoint. The following tabs are important.

Properties

Probably the most used tab. It offers a view in table form (in hierarchically sorted tables) of all data of the instrument. It is possible to open and close tables (by clicking on plus and minus signs) and edit them by clicking on the fields of the table.

The Instrument Inspector in the tab Properties

The Instrument Inspector in the tab Properties

The inspector automatically distinguishes the states of parameters by colors, so parameters are displayed in three colors: black (indicates the default value of the parameter that always has some value), blue (indicates the parameter that has the value other than the default), and red (indicates the parameter that was changed during the currently performed changes). Not filled parameters (the column Value is empty) are not defined in the instrument.

Parameters which may repeat in the instrument (for example, they define more courses of graphs) are displayed by the inspector also in the form of a table, however, this table has the last row indicated by an asterisk and cells in this line are prepared for adding a new item (in <add> cells). If values are written in such a line, the inspector automatically creates a new item of the parameter (and prepares a new empty line by adding the next new item).

Table of repeated parameter with the last line prepared for adding a new item

Table of repeated parameter with the last line prepared for adding a new item

The inspector offers for editing of most parameters a special editor, so it is not necessary to edit data directly in the active selected cell. The parameter editor is opened by means of the drop-down button located in the right edge of the edited cell and is closed (with confirmation or rejection of changes) by means of buttons in the right upper corner of the parameter editor.

Editor of parameter font

Editor of parameter font

By the way, the principle of confirmation or rejection of changes uses the Instrument Inspector as a whole (see the next text of this Chapter).

Remark:

If the inspector is opened above the group of selected instruments, only such parameters are offered for modification in which instruments are identical. Therefore, if you open the inspector, for example, above a pair of instruments meter and control you will always see a smaller quantity of parameters than the parameters meter and control really have.

Colors

Tab used for coloring of the instrument. Each instrument allowing coloring offers its colors in two sets in tabs Normal and Alternate. The sets of colors in both tabs are identical and differ only by the moment of use — normal colors are used if the instrument is not blinking, alternate colors are used if it is blinking.

Instrument Inspector in tab Colors

Instrument Inspector in tab Colors

Clicking the color (in any list) shows this color in the palette:

Selected color

Selected color

On the contrary, modification of the palette of colors (either by simple clicking on visible colors or by definition of colors by means of functional buttons) automatically results in the change of the color selected in the list.

Source text

The tab offering a comprehensive view of all set parameters and procedures of the instrument. In the editor inside this tab it is possible to modify the instrument, the disadvantage of editing of the instrument in this tab is that not all (i.e. not defined) parameters are offered.

Instrument Inspector in tab Source text

Instrument Inspector in tab Source text

All modifications performed in the inspector remain prepared up to the moment of their confirmation. As was described above, such prepared, not yet confirmed parameters are drawn by the inspector in red. As long as modifications performed in the inspector are confirmed, they are not reflected in the edited instrument. Therefore, it is possible to reject any modifications. In the Instrument Inspector the buttons in the tool bar serve for confirmation (use) or rejection (closing).

Bar Instrument Inspector, buttons Accept, Accept and Close and Close

Bar Instrument Inspector, buttons Accept, Accept and Close and Close

It is possible that during the modification you type some of the parameters incorrectly (for example, you mistype in the name of the variable). Such an incorrectly typed parameter (and therefore whole instrument) cannot be used, so the inspector prevents its accepting by error message, and, at the same time, the list of all ascertained errors is displayed in the bottom part. The list of errors is active and after double clicking on some line (or pressing the <F4> key) the inspector selects the cell in which the error is located. After the correction of all errors it is possible to accept all the modifications again (and the inspector can find the other possible errors).

Instrument Inspector with the list of errors

Instrument Inspector with the list of errors

So, all instruments in the application of the Control Web are modified in a uniform manner by means of the Instrument Inspector — the right mouse button, by means of the context menu the inspector above the instrument is opened, necessary actions are performed in the inspector and in the end these actions of operations can be “accepted” and reflected back in the application. It is simple.

Data editor

The application (and the instruments in it) needs to achieve technological data (either for the demands of visualization or for the demands of control). Similarly, somewhere it needs to store the calculated states and internal values. Therefore, it is necessary that some data in the application and in the Control Web are represented by various types of data elements. There are many data elements, but all data is defined and modified in a uniform manner. However, since in the Control Web there are data elements of various levels (global, instrument and procedural), they are edited at various levels (in a uniform manner).

Global data elements, i.e. elements which are visible and accessible for the whole application and all its instruments, are modified in the main tab Data Inspectors of the development environment.

Tab Data Inspectors

Tab Data Inspectors

Similarly as in the case of the palette with instruments, Data Inspectors are divided into a left part (with a tree) and a right part (with editing tables). The tree contains all available settings of the application (including system parameters, user rights, etc.), but at now only its branch Data Elements is interesting for us.

The sub-tree Data Elements summarizes all sections (data elements are in the Control Web associated into sections), and it is possible to expand each node in the tree up to the level of an independent element (of course, if in the application no elements are defined, there is nothing to expand in the tree). The tree with elements can be edited, so the basic operations with elements (adding, removing or renaming) can be done by means of the context menu (it is opened after clicking with the right mouse button). It is also possible to add a new element in all places of the tree where <add data element> or <add section>.

Editing of a data element in the tree

Editing of a data element in the tree

It is possible to narrow the structure of the tree (similarly as in the palette of instruments) by the combo box in the title of the tree. Using the option All it is possible to display the original, all-containing tree.

Let us point out that when you select individual levels in the tree, you modify the appearance and the content of the tables in the right part of the editor. The tree and tables correspond to each other — for example, if Data Elements are selected in the tree, the table contains an offer for quick adding of all types of elements, if a section is selected in the tree, the table contains the properties of the section.

Table with the list of data elements of the section

Table with the list of data elements of the section

Properties of data elements (attributes) are defined and modified in a very similar manner to parameters of instruments — by mouse (or keyboard by means of cursor keys or with pressed key <Alt>) you select the cell and modify the parameter in it. Here, the development environment offers editors for comfortable editing of some parameters. Compared with the instrument inspector, in the data inspector the moment of use of the modified parameter is different — whereas the instrument inspector overwrites the modified setting to the instrument at the moment of pressing the Accept button, the data inspector uses the modified setting at the moment after leaving of the editor in the cell (for example, if you click by mouse on another cell). If you want to abandon already performed modifications (and you do not want to reflect modifications in the parameter), it is possible to terminate editing (not to use it) by pressing of the <Esc> key.

Editor of the attribute colors of the color data element

Editor of the attribute colors of the color data element

Removal of the data element is possible in two ways — either by means of the context menu in the tree or by means of the button in the toolbar.

Association of data elements into sections is in the application of the Control Web a very powerful tool which you can see in the next text of various chapters. In this place it is possible to mention at least the basic principle — what is common for more elements should be associated or separated at a higher, common level into the data section. Example — if you connect a group of channels to one PLC, it is good to create for such a group (or PLC data block) a data section and to indicate common properties ( e.g. driver, direction or timeout) only in the data section. It is not necessary to set these parameters for individual elements inside the section because the elements take them from the setting of the section.

Such taking of the value of parameters (attribute) of the data element is in the table of the data inspector well evident because the value of such a parameter is drawn in gray.

Example of parameters taken from the setting of the section

Example of parameters taken from the setting of the section

So the use of data sections:

  • simplifies the orientation (in one place it manages to modify at once the properties of all nested elements)

  • minimizes the code of the application (common parameters are written only once in the section and they are not reproduced into each individual element)

  • increases the security of the design (one definition of parameters contains fewer errors than one definition repeated and reproduced by hundred times)

Remark:

It is possible to switch between the Graphics Editor and the Data Inspectors without restriction, it the application is not damaged by some of the editing actions — for example, if you remove a variable the development environment need not be able to switch to the graphics editor because the removed variable may be missing for some instrument. Then, it is necessary to correct such an error in the text editor and then to switch back to the Graphics Editor or to the Data Inspectors.

Documentation

As has already been mentioned, documentation in the development environment is available in several places, always according to what is offered at the moment or what is being worked with.

The other two ways of opening the documentation are offered by Instrument Inspector and the development environment itself. Documentation opened by the inspector always concerns a currently modified instrument, and for easy orientation it is opened only in the form of the text of documentation (without other control elements). Of course, if you start to modify another instrument and you open from the inspector its documentation, a new window is not opened, only the content of the already displayed window is replaced. For the opening of the documentation of instruments from the inspector, buttons in the tool bar are used, one for jumping to the description of parameters and the other for jumping to the description of instrument procedures. The shared window with instrument references remembers its position and size, so in the case of repeated use it is opened in the position you left it.

Buttons of the inspector for opening of instrument reference

Buttons of the inspector for opening of instrument reference

Reference description of the instrument in the independent window

Reference description of the instrument in the independent window

The development environment, covering all development possibilities, offers complete documentation (including documentation for spreadsheet InCalc). The documentation is wide-ranging, so the Help menu of the development environment offers several fast options for various parts of the documentation (including contents and index).

Menu Help of the development environment.

Menu Help of the development environment.

In addition to the last two commands in the menu, there are all references to the documentation and some of them directly open the document, the others set the control tab in the window with the documentation:

Contents

displays the tab Contents, it does not open any document

Integrated development environment

opens the document with reference description of the development environment (hotkeys, etc.)

Search...

displays the Search tab, does not open any document or dialog window

Index

displays the Index tab, does not open any document

Instruments reference...

opens the document covering references to instruments (list of individual instruments)

Drivers reference...

opens the document covering references to drivers delivered with the system (list of individual drivers)

The window with documentation, which is opened by means of one of the described commands, has more information than the window with the instrument reference. This relates to extended options — you may create a favorable tab, globally search in all texts of the documentation and, of course, print.

The component which is used for display of the documentation in the Control Web (described windows with documentation) is not part of the Control Web, so its appearance (and also language) may change according to the version of your operating system. For example, it is probable that in the English operating system windows with documentation will be in English.

Window with documentation

Window with documentation

Summary

  • Applications of the Control Web are developed in the Graphics Editor of the development version. The Graphics editor is divided into individual areas and tools.

  • All available components — instruments are offered in the Instrument Palette from where they are dragged by mouse into the application.

  • All instruments in the application are modified by means of Instrument Inspector. Modifications performed in the inspector are reflected in the instrument at the moment of their use.

  • For typing and modification of data elements, Data Inspectors are used. To simplify recording and increase orientation in applications, it is recommended to use data sections.

 
 | About company | Products | Technical support | Software Download | Documents download | 
Moravian Instruments, Masarykova 1148, Zlin 4, CZ-76302, Czech Republic