Many COPA-DATA Partners & System Integrators are facing the same challenge. They have to support the projects of various end customers. Most of the time these projects are maintained in different zenon versions.
For the engineering interface – the zenon Editor – that’s not a challenge because it is able to load any older project backup downwards to zenon Version 5.50 (Already mentioned in my Blog entry from the 31/10/2013).
What happens in detail when a zenon project in the Editor is upgraded to a new Editor version?
The process always follows the same steps, independent of the zenon versions. Option A: A project backup from previous versions is restored into a new zenon version.
- The Editor recognizes a zenon project backup from previous versions; this information is stored in the project.ini file of each project.
- The user is asked to adjust the project version to the new Editor. This is necessary because there might be changes in the database backbone of the Editor, like a new version of the MS SQL Server.
- Afterwards the user is prompted to enter a target folder for the restored project. It is recommended to use a new folder rather than the project folder of the original project. The default folder for zenon projects is always C:\Users\Public\Documents\zenon_Projects.
- Afterwards the project conversion is complete. The original backup file remains unchanged so it is always possible to go back to the previous zenon editor version.
Option B: Via the Option “Insert existing project …” a project of an older version is inserted into a workspace.
- Again the Editor recognizes the previous project version and asks the user for confirmation of the conversion.
- The only difference to option A lies in the fact that the zenon Editor automatically generates a backup of the project in the previous version before the conversion takes place. This backups are easily recognized, there naming uses the following Syntax: “before converted to …”
How to convert a project from version 5.50 into zenon 7?
In principle, the same steps are necessary. Only that for projects of Version 5.50 a two-step conversion is necessary. First from zenon 5.50 into any zenon 6.xx version and then into any zenon version of generation 7.
But how can I handle the Runtime systems and how can I test my project locally on one and the same physical environment?
In principle the answer is easy. The various zenon versions can be installed in parallel on the same system. The zenon setup sees that every version gets its separate folder / registry keys etc. For the operator, we deliver the zenon Startup tool in which all the zenon versions are automatically included. Just select the appropriate version, start the registration process and run the corresponding Editor or Runtime.
The Editor offers a setting for the compiler through which the engineer can choose for which Runtime version the zenon project should be compiled. The compiler then automatically creates the Runtime files in the correct version.
Can I also only convert parts of my project into a new Editor version / a new zenon project?
The best way to only convert parts of an existing project into another is to use the XML export / import interface of the zenon Editor.
- This XML interface is kept compatible with the various zenon versions. This means one can export his tag list or screens out of an older version like generation 6. Afterwards, simply import the XML file into an Editor of generation 7. zenon sees that everything is converted correctly.
- The XML files can be used as a kind of external database / library which is version independent.
- The zenon import / export interface is designed in a way that with a new version there are only new objects or attributes added to the XML format. The old items are kept and always readable for a newer generation of the Editor.
- The same strategy is followed for example with the zenon API (the programming interface) -> it is always kept compatible.