The HMI Software Agent Server (I/O Server) is the real-time database that handles the real-time scanning from devices, interaction between Agents, logging and alarming of data


Adroit Ignite HMI is a product with “Open Automation Technology” built into its core, which is realised through the various open interfaces of the HMI Software Agent Server (I/O Server), Ignite Server and Operator components.

In a control system, users want data everywhere and all the time. With this in mind, the various open interfaces, built on known software standards, mean every property of every object can be exposed to 3rd party applications and components running on computers anywhere that have secure access to a suitably licensed HMI Software Agent Server (I/O Server) or the Middleware Layer the Ignite Server.

Supporting Web-Services, OPC, OLE DB, Scripting and other entry points make Adroit Ignite HMI into an ideal OEM machine builders' HMI or an enterprise-level shop-floor visualisation solution that will support any vision for a connected enterprise.

Agent Server Architecture

In Adroit Ignite HMI, the I/O Server part of this architecture is called an Agent Server. Being object-oriented, Adroit does not deal in primitives but delivers value from the start through the concept of intelligent objects called Agents.

The HMI Software Agent Server is the application that handles the data acquisition, logging, alarming and data processing and manipulation.

All these tasks are performed by software objects named Agents and all interlink around a “central management service” called the Agent Server.

Agents are intelligent objects because, in addition to containing "state" information, as do conventional database records, they also embody "behaviour".

The Agent Server
Agent Server


The HMI Software Agent Server is responsible for scanning data, pre-processing or manipulating data, logging and alarming and interacting with external systems such as databases and third-party applications wishing to use the data available from the plant.

Other sources of data can be included in an Adroit system and include data from Web-Services, OLE DB databases, IoT platforms etc.

Agent Server (I/O)

The HMI Software Agent Server, in automation terms, is also known as the real-time I/O server. It is essentially a collection or repository of intelligent objects known as Agents. It is important to understand that most HMI systems talk of Tags but the object architecture of Adroit Ignite HMI Software adds a layer of intelligence to this legacy approach.

Agents are called “Agents” because, instead of only containing data like simple database records or Tags as used by many other vendors, they also usually contain the ability to operate or act on their own data, driving its values and to read and write to other objects, and so influence them. Making Adroit Ignite HMI Software very flexible to the user.

Agents are classified by function into a number of Agent types which can be used to implement a wide variety of system-related, as well as application-specific tasks. For example, the Analog Agent type is used to handle the signal conditioning and alarm checking requirements of a process variable and results in over 32 available “Tags” in Adroit Ignite HMI. Every one of those Tags can be used in other Agent Slots or displayed or interacted with on the User Interface.

For each Agent type, there may be zero, one or many Agent instances, (Tags). Each time you add a Tag you are creating a new Agent instance, however, Agent instances are simply referred to as Agents, whereas the Agent + Attribute is to Adroit Ignite HMI a Tag.


HMI Analogue Agent

Agent Servers provide consistent mechanisms for creating and destroying Agents and efficient means of accessing the information contained within them. There are also no practical limits to the number of different Agents, nor indeed types of Agents, that can be contained within an Agent Server.

Adroit Ignite HMI is sold where the license is the number of Agents you wish to use in your solution, not the number of I/O being scanned from a PLC.

The HMI Software Agent Server database or .WGP file stores almost all of the data and configuration of the Agent Server, including the added Agents, their values and their alarming, logging and scanning configuration. Configuration of the HMI Software Agent Server is done online and live and, for this reason, it is essential that this file, along with the other Adroit Ignite HMI project files, be frequently backed up to ensure the integrity of this data is preserved.

  • .WGP files provide the following two additional features to assist with their regular backup:
    Automatic backup of WGP file on each save: To further ensure that changes made to the WGP file are safeguarded between the regular backups, WGP files can now be automatically backed up each time they are saved.
  • Version information saved in the WGP file: In addition to providing an audit trail of changes for debugging and troubleshooting purposes, this versioning information can also be used to assist in locating the required backup file when recovering lost changes.

Agent Servers allow clients to connect to them by using TCP sockets over and above the legacy named pipes:

  • Sockets give you better performance when a remote client (running on another computer), connects to an Agent Server.
  • Named pipes give you better performance when a local client (running on the same computer), connects to an Agent Server.

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