Ergonomics of Sustainability, Innovation and Continuous Integration (part 2)

The first blog post of this series gave some background information about compatibility of diverse zenon versions.

When we talk about a zenon version we need to be precise and need to name exactly what we mean by it. This graphic outlines the different components involved and their respective version.

  • zenon Editor
  • zenon Runtime
  • zenon project runtime files
  • zenon Runtime data (version independent)

Runtime data is all the data created by the zenon runtime, like *.aml, *.cel, *.arx, *.bin and so on.

zenon_product_version_connectivity_-09 zenon_product_version_connectivity_-11

The versions of the zenon Editor and the zenon Runtime are usually known by system integrators and end customers. What is less well-known, because it is hardly visible from the outside, is that compiled Runtime project files also carry a dedicated version for which they are compiled. Runtime data is basically version independent.


A zenon project, no matter what version it was created with, can always be converted to the very latest zenon version. This effectively makes zenon a safe haven for your investment into a project.

In order to improve your zenon project with the latest features you must convert it to the new zenon version. Ideally, upgrade to the most recently released zenon version in order to benefit from the very latest developments and new features.

How to convert even very old zenon projects, to the very current zenon version is explained in detail in the Online Help, see “Manual -> Project Conversion”.

The current zenon version offers a direct restore for zenon projects of versions 5.50 SP7 and newer.

HINT: Mind that for an optimum conversion from 5.xx projects, the 32 bit version of the editor should be used.

ATTENTION: Always check what differences between versions are important to consider for your project before executing a conversion.

Always check the following sources:

  • Release notes of your new version
  • Documentation & Online Help ( F1) -> Manual -> “Project Conversion”
  • Knowledge Base on Service Site for known Issues tagged with “Compatibility” or “Conversion”

Before a project can be changed in a zenon Editor it must always be converted to the exact version of the zenon Editor. This is done automatically on loading it for the first time into the zenon Editor. Please bear this in mind when restoring a backup of an older zenon version in the Editor of a newer zenon version. The project can also be loaded from the existing projects in the database, and this also follows the same sequence. Conversion takes place on a project basis which means that, when restoring a workspace backup containing multiple zenon projects, it should be done project by project.


The project from a newer zenon version cannot get loaded to an Editor of an older zenon version, neither through a backup nor through opening an existing project! If you attempt to do this, a message box appears. This shouldn’t ever be a problem, since zenon project files can be compiled for older zenon Runtime versions (thanks to zenon’s Editor compatibility).


As mentioned before, conversion takes place at the point a zenon project using a former version is opened in the zenon Editor of a newer version. During this process, for safety reasons, a backup of the former version remains stored in the zenon backup folder, so the original project can always be used if required.
Everything you create remains available to you.

The Runtime project files can get compiled (F7) anytime from the zenon Editor project files.

Before we start, I would like to underline two important points to consider:

  1. Always make sure you have the updated license details for the new zenon version available.
  2. Test first – always carry out a first test with your project, during the upgrade planning phase, on a test environment rather than on the live system.

In the next blog article, I am going to focus on the first upgrade sequence option.

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