Release Notes for iFIX 6.1

If You Are a First-time User...

Run in Demo Mode to Experiment with iFIX Projects First

If this is your first time using the iFIX product, try using iFIX in Demo mode. In Demo mode, you can run iFIX applications for 2 hours. To start in Demo mode, start iFIX from command line using the parameter, like this:

Launch.exe /t

Where to Go First for More Information

Check out the Getting Started with iFIX guide first. The first few chapters of this guide contains detailed information about installing and upgrading iFIX, as well as supported configurations.

For a general overview of iFIX and the WorkSpace, refer to the Understanding iFIX electronic book.

For an overview of how to configure your iFIX system, refer to the Setting up the Environment electronic book.

Licensing on Microsoft Common Controls Installed with iFIX

iFIX installs Microsoft common controls as part of the iFIX installation. These controls are used internally by iFIX. You cannot use them directly unless you have installed a product that provides the license to these controls, such as Microsoft Visual C++ or Visual Basic or have an Microsoft Office product installed. Otherwise, you can download the appropriate distribution package from Microsoft's Knowledge Base.


Installing as an Administrator

You must install iFIX with a local Windows user account with administrator rights. See your Windows manuals or online Help for information on creating this account.


Installing iFIX

Without an iFIX license, you can run iFIX applications for 2 hours in Demo mode.

NOTE: When configured for WebSpace, none of the iFIX SCUs on WebSpace Server should be configured to start iFIX as service, as this is a unsupported configuration.

To install the product:

  1. Log in as a user with Administrator rights.
  2. Shut down any GE applications or services that run on startup. For instance, if you have Historian Collectors configured to start when you start Windows, use the Services window to shut them down.
  3. Follow the steps on your screen. For more detailed information on installing your iFIX product, see the "Installing the iFIX Software" section in the Getting Started with iFIX guide.
  4. After the install completes install your license. For more information on installing and configuring your license, refer to the GE Digital Support site:
  5. Make sure that you restart your computer after you finish the install steps.

TIP: If you get a message that a necessary Windows security update for the Universal C Runtime component is missing on this computer, be sure to install the Microsoft Update, KB2999226, and then try installing iFIX again. To install KB2999226, you may need to install other updates first. Refer to the Microsoft web site for details. If you get any other Windows error when you try to install iFIX, perform a Windows Update and then try to install iFIX again.

IMPORTANT: Be aware that if you do not already have .NET 4.6.1 installed and you choose to install iFIX, the .NET 4.6.1 install will run first. After it installs, you will be prompted to restart your computer. After the restart, the iFIX install continues. The install media must be available or connected to the target machine the entire time for the install to finish.

Installing iFIX with Terminal Services Enabled

IMPORTANT: Be aware that all Terminal Server client users should be a member of the Remote Desktop Users group.

Upgrade Notes

Before You Upgrade or Reinstall...

Before you upgrade the iFIX product installed on your computer, make sure you shut down all GE applications. It is important that no GE products are running when you run the iFIX installation program.

IMPORTANT: Direct upgrades from iFIX 3.5 to the latest version of iFIX are not supported. To upgrade iFIX in this case, upgrade to 5.8 first and then upgrade to the latest version of iFIX.

NOTE: iFIX WebSpace must be uninstalled before/after the upgrade to iFIX 6.1. Instead of iFIX WebSpace, WebSpace 5.0 needs to be installed and configured to work with iFIX.

IMPORTANT: If you are upgrading from a previous version of iFIX with failover enabled, and you want to use the Enhanced Failover feature in iFIX 5.0 or greater, there are a number of issues that you must be aware of. For detailed information and steps describing how to upgrade your failover system, see the Enhanced Failover and Upgrading" section on the New Features tab.

Save copies of your existing .INI files with your application preferences and any custom files you create; customized files may be overwritten during an upgrade. As such, you may need to integrate your custom changes into the newer versions of these files after you upgrade.

Back up your existing iFIX projects. This includes the files in your LOCAL, Config Files Backup, PIC, and PDB folders.

It is also recommended that you create a backup copy of your Alarm ODBC configuration file(s).

Export a report of your system configuration (SCU), for reference. (In the SCU, on the File menu, click Report.)

Export a report of your security configuration, for reference. (In the Security Configuration application, on the File menu, click Export.)

If you have an application created by an Integration Toolkit, Database Dynamo Toolkit, or System Extension Toolkit from iFIX 2.5 or earlier, and you want to use this application with iFIX 6.1, do not uninstall iFIX. You must install iFIX 6.1 over your existing iFIX configuration. Your toolkit application will not run if you uninstall your previous version of iFIX.

Be sure to obtain any toolkit updates that you need, prior to installing iFIX.

CAUTION: If you choose to integrate Historian with iFIX, make sure that your database tags have unique names. If both your iFIX and Historian databases have the same tag name, when you import an iFIX tag into the Historian database, the Historian tag will be overwritten with the tag of the same name from the iFIX database. For more information, see Using iFIX with Historian and Troubleshooting Historian and iFIX.

Upgrade Steps

To upgrade to the latest version of iFIX, perform the following steps:

  1. Confirm that you backed up all the applicable files. Refer to the Before You Upgrade or Reinstall... section above for more details.
  2. Shut down any GE applications or Proficy services that are running. For instance, if you have Historian Collectors configured to start when you start Windows, use the Services window to shut them down.
  3. Run the iFIX product install. A message box appears asking you if you want to upgrade your system.
  4. Click Yes to continue.
  5. Follow the instructions on your screen.

Standard Chart Upgrade Notes

Be aware that after an upgrade, if you have Standard Charts with Classic Historian data for data sources, that you may need to modify these data sources after an upgrade. When configured for use by pens in the Standard Chart, single quotes in Classic Historian data sources are not stripped out after an upgrade.

Pictures and the Upgrade

Prior to iFIX 6.1, when you opened a picture from a previous version of iFIX in the newer version, and saved it, your picture was automatically updated to the newest version of iFIX. Pictures created with iFIX 5.5 (or earlier) were created with a Logical Coordinate System, which uses logical units for screen measurements. The Logical Coordinate System allowed this automatic upgrading.

With iFIX 6.1, pictures are not automatically upgraded because this version uses the Enhanced Coordinate System for screen measurements. An expert is provided to easily upgrade pictures you select from the legacy Logical Coordinate System to the new Enhanced Coordinate System.

You can use both the Logical and Enhanced Coordinate Systems with iFIX. For example, you can edit a legacy picture before you upgrade it. By default, the Enhanced Coordinate System is enabled for new picture creation. For more information on this expert and on coordinate systems, refer to the Creating Pictures e-book

NOTE: Be aware that pictures with Enhanced Charts containing tag groups will display a message on upgrade. However, pictures with Historical datalinks and Historical animations with tag groups will not.

Due to the design of the VisiconX objects in iFIX 5.0 and greater, it is recommended that you manually replace your older VisiconX objects with the newer versions (if you are upgrading from a version of iFIX prior to iFIX 5.0).

The Database and the Upgrade

Be aware that when you upgrade to iFIX 6.1, the file size of your process database file will increase.

When you upgrade your database, the high and low engineering units (EGU) fields are converted from single precision to double precision floats. This means the degree of accuracy (the Epsilon value) changes from +/_0.00000012 to +/_0.00000000000000022. If you are using extreme ranges (very large or very low values) for your EGU limits, you may possibly experience issues after an upgrade. To resolve these issues, open the Database Manager, export your database and then re-import it. This procedure resets the block values.

DDA Drivers and the Upgrade

If you are using DDA drivers, such as ROC, BR3 or MBR, you must reinstall them after upgrade. If the driver installation files are unavailable, you can use a copy of your existing FIX.INI file to compare to the one created after the upgrade. Then, copy the missing lines from your old FIX.INI file to your new FIX.INI file.

Custom *.fxg Files and the Upgrade

Be aware that if you use custom .fxg files with iFIX and you choose to upgrade, you will need to re-register these .fxg files after the iFIX upgrade. For more information on how to re-register the WorkSpace, refer to the "Adding Files to the System Tree" topic in the Mastering iFIX e-book.

Restoring the Settings in the iFIX .INI Files

As you install iFIX, the product install program places a new version of the startup control file, FIX.INI, into your iFIX Local folder. The previous version of this file is copied to the Config Files Backup folder, along with the other configuration files.

If you configured Database Dynamos, also known as loadable blocks, or other custom programs to run as part of iFIX startup, you should compare the new FIX.INI file in the Local folder against the FIX.INI file stored in the Config Files Backup folder. If you find any changes between the two files, add the necessary lines to the FIX.INI stored in the Local path.

Additionally, you should restore other .INI files as necessary, using the same process.

Upgrading Database Dynamos

Database Dynamos, also known as loadable blocks, will require updates to work with iFIX 6.1. If you have old Database Dynamos on your system, the iFIX install program will detect them, and generate a warning message.

The GE Digital web site contains updated versions of the Database Dynamos supplied by GE Digital. To obtain updated version of other dynamos, contact the vendor of that dynamo. To obtain the current version of the Database Dynamo Toolkit, contact your local iFIX sales representative.

Upgrading Application Toolkit files

If you have an application created by an Integration Toolkit, Database Dynamo Toolkit, or System Extension Toolkit, and you want to use this application with iFIX 6.1, do not uninstall iFIX. You must install iFIX 6.1 over your existing iFIX configuration. After installing iFIX, rebuild your existing applications with the newest toolkit available to ensure compatibility with iFIX 6.1.

Supporting VBA 6.5 After an Upgrade

In VBA 6.5, certain event parameter data types are interpreted differently than in earlier VBA version. For instance, one of these data types is the VBA ErrObject. The VisiconX Data Control uses the ErrObject data type in two of its events.

If a picture created with an earlier version of iFIX contains a VisiconX Data Control, and also contains VBA 5.5 scripts added for the VisiconX Data Control's ErrorOccurred event or ExecuteComplete event, when the picture is opened in iFIX 6.1, it will generate a compiler error indicating an invalid character '_'.

This occurs because the ErrObject in VBA 5.5 is declared as type "VBA._ErrObject", and in VBA 6.5, it is declared simply as "ErrObject".

To correct the compiler problem and make the scripts function correctly, make the following changes to the event declarations:

iFIX 2.21 and earlier with VBA 5.5:

Private Sub vxData1_ErrorOccurred(pError As VBA._ErrObject)
End Sub

iFIX 6.1 with VBA 6.5:

Private Sub vxData1_ErrorOccurred(pError As ErrObject)
End Sub

iFIX 2.21 and earlier with VBA 5.5:

Private Sub vxData1_ExecuteComplete(pStatus As VBA._ErrObject, sQuery As String)
End Sub

iFIX 6.1 with VBA 6.35:

Private Sub vxData1_ExecuteComplete(pStatus As ErrObject, sQuery As String)
End Sub

NOTE: This problem may occur with other ActiveX controls and data types that GE has not directly encountered. If you see problems, you should insert the control into a new picture, go to the VBA Editor, and examine the syntax used to declare events for the control in the new picture. Use the information provided in this section to edit the event declarations in the existing picture.

Important Information for Windows Users

Accessing Remote OPC Servers in Windows

Before you can access remote OPC servers in iFIX, such as through the Discovery and Auto-Assembly Component (DAC) and the OPC Client driver, you must make sure that your firewall settings are correct, and that the DCOM settings for your operating system are correct. For detailed steps on how to do this, refer to the "Setting up for Remote OPC Server Access" chapter in the Getting Started with iFIX book.

Disabling Fast Startup in Microsoft Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, there is a functionality available in the Power Options called Fast startup (Power Options are accessible from the Settings > Control Panel). When Fast startup is enabled as a Power Option (the default) and you power down your computer or tablet, Windows will save the current state of the system. The next time you restart Windows, your previous state is restored. This is because, by default, Microsoft Windows 8 and 8.1 shuts down by logging off all users and then hibernating. In this case, any service that was running will continue to run on the next startup.

When iFIX is running as a service, you may want to avoid this "Fast Startup" functionality. To revert to the full shutdown on Windows 8.1, in the Power Options on the SCADA Server, select "Choose what the power buttons do." Select the Change settings that are currently unavailable option and then scroll down to the Shutdown Settings area, and clear the Turn on Fast startup option.

(The "Fast Startup" feature is not available on Microsoft Windows Server 2012.)

Troubleshooting iFIX Product Issues After the Install

My-T-Soft Window Display Issues

If you install the My-T-Soft on screen keyboard for use with iFIX and experience window display issues, such as the Minimize button being hidden off-screen, you can use the MYTSOFT.ini file to adjust the settings of the application.

For example, when you have the WorkSpace in Ribbon view (the default), the caption bar with the Minimize icon is displayed off screen. It's there, but you cannot view it. My-T-Soft allows you to customize where the Minimize button positions itself through the MYTSOFT.ini file located in the iFIX install folder. By changing the ButtonOffsetY=0 setting to a positive number, you can move the button down a specified number of pixels, allowing the Minimize button and caption bar to show in full screen, when in ribbon view. After this value is configured, the My-T-Soft keyboard will always display in that specified offset position.

iFIX Does Not Start After an Upgrade

Be aware that when you install iFIX over an existing version, the security privileges for the iFIX folder may allow Read and Execute permissions only. Limited permissions can cause various problems, such as the inability to open the STARTUP.LOG file or to write to the Alarm Area Database files.

To change the security permissions on this folder, follow these steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer by clicking the Start button, and pointing to Programs, Accessories, and then Windows Explorer.
  2. Locate the folder to which you installed iFIX. (For example: C:\Program Files (x86)\Proficy\Proficy iFIX.
  3. Right-click the iFIX folder and select Properties from the right-click menu. The Properties dialog box appears.
  4. Click the Security tab.
  5. Select the Users group in the top half of the dialog box.
  6. Select the Allow check box for the Modify, Read and Execute, List Folder Contents, Read, and Write permissions in the bottom half of the dialog box.
  7. Click OK.

Unsupported Items and Recommendations

Enhanced Failover and Legacy Clients

An iFIX network that contains iFIX version 5.9 Enhanced Failover SCADA nodes and also contains older iFIX client nodes may not be supported:

  • An iFIX client node, installed with iFIX version 5.5 or later, is fully compatible with iFIX version 5.9 Enhanced Failover SCADA nodes.

  • An iFIX client node, installed with iFIX version 5.1 and updated with the iFix51_Pulse10_Workspace_019 SIM (Software Improvement Module), is fully compatible with iFIX version 5.9 Enhanced Failover SCADA nodes.

  • An iFIX client node, installed with iFIX version 5.1 and is not updated with the iFix51_Pulse10_Workspace_019 SIM is not compatible with iFIX version 5.9 Enhanced Failover SCADA nodes.

  • An iFIX client node, installed with iFIX version 5.0 or earlier, is not compatible with iFIX version 5.9 Enhanced Failover SCADA nodes.

IMPORTANT: In an Enhanced Failover pair, both SCADA nodes must have the same iFIX version installed with all SIMs.

Microsoft Office Document References in the iFIX WorkSpace System Tree

You can no longer open new Microsoft Office documents (such as Microsoft Excel or Word 2013 or 2016) inside the iFIX WorkSpace. These documents will now launch separate in the associated Microsoft application, outside of the WorkSpace.

If you want to archive these Microsoft applications along with your project with Backup and Restore or Change Management, the Excel and Word documents must be saved to "App" sub-folder in the WorkSpace system tree.

Ribbon View and Unsupported Microsoft Windows Themes

High Contrast themes are not supported when running the iFIX WorkSpace in Ribbon view.

iFIX Screen Saver

The iFIX Screen Saver only supported on Microsoft Windows 7.

UNC Paths and Install

Installing the product from UNC paths is not supported or recommended.

Running SCADA Nodes on Wireless Devices

It is strongly recommended that you do not run SCADA nodes on wireless devices. Running an iFIX SCADA on a wireless device may impact performance, as most available wireless protocols fall below the recommended bandwidth requirements.

Intel Itanium Processor

The Intel Itanium Processor is not supported for iFIX on 64-bit operating systems.

Alarm Viewer

The Alarm Viewer is no longer installed as part of iFIX. If you are upgrading from a previous version of iFIX, your pictures with Alarm Viewer objects will continue to work. At the time of this release, however, the Alarm Viewer is not supported on a Windows 64-bit enabled operating system.

Migration Tools are Removed from iFIX 6.1

Migration tools are not supported from iFIX 6.1 , if ODF files exist then user must use older versions of iFIX to upgrade screens.

FIX Desktop

iFIX no longer supports FIX Desktop.

Classic Historian

As of 6.1, iFIX no longer supports Classic Historian and it has been removed from the program. Updating to iFIX 6.1 (or later) from a previous version will remove the Classic Historian binaries. Before updating, make sure you have a plan to migrate your historical data to Historian Essentials, or some other permanent storage.

Migration Tools

iFIX 6.1 does not support the FIX32 migration tools. If an .ODF files exists, that you want to convert, you must use an older version of iFIX to upgrade screens first before opening the picture in iFIX 6.1.

Historian 4.5 and Earlier

Historian 4.5 and earlier are not supported.


Historian for SCADA

Historian for SCADA version 4.5, 5.0, 5.5 are not supported with iFIX 6.1. Users with Historian for SCADA 4.5, 5.0, 5.5 will be required to upgrade to Historian Essentials.

Speedstep Technology

SpeedStep technology is not supported and must not be enabled.



FIX does not make use of any IPv6 functionality.

If you disable IPv6 to use WebSpace, make sure that your local HOSTS file does not contain any IPv6 references. For example, remove the "::1 localhost" lines from the HOSTS file, and replace them a line that references the IP address and the local host name (if necessary).


Unsupported Windows Operating Systems

The following are no longer a supported operating system for iFIX:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Microsoft Windows 2003

  • Microsoft Windows XP

  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded

  • Microsoft Windows 2000

  • Microsoft Windows NT

  • Microsoft Windows Vista

Drivers and Operating System Compatibility

Be sure to check with the vendor of your driver software to confirm that your driver supports the operating system you want to run it on.

DAC and Operating System Compatibility

Be sure to check with the vendor of your driver software to confirm that your driver supports the operating system you want to run it on. If your driver is not supported on the specified operating system, you may experience issues with the Discover and Auto Configure (DAC) tool since it interfaces with the driver.

OPC and Running as a Service and on Some Operating Systems

If you want to run the OPC Client driver as a service, iFIX must also run as a service. Likewise, if you want to run iFIX as a service, the OPC Client driver must run as a service. You cannot run one as a service, without the other also running as a service.

If you want to run the OPC Client driver on a specified operating system, be sure to check with the vendor of your OPC Server software to confirm that your OPC Server supports the operating system you want to run it on.

It is recommended that you install the latest OPC Core Components from the Downloads section of the OPC Foundation web site: The latest OPC Core components are designed for use on a 64-bit OS.

Backwards Portability of Alarm ODBC Configuration

Once you open or create an Alarm ODBC configuration file in iFIX 6.1, you cannot open that file on a node running iFIX 2.6 or earlier. Opening the file on a node running iFIX 2.6 or earlier will cause unpredictable results. It is recommended that you create a backup copy of your Alarm ODBC configuration file before installing the latest iFIX version.

Backwards Portability of Process Databases

To ensure a secure signing environment, GE Digital strongly discourages editing an iFIX 6.1 process database on an older-version node. If you open a 6.1 database on an older-version node, such as 2.6, you cannot add or modify individual tags, although it is possible to modify the database, such as to delete and duplicate tags. Do not do this.

Backwards Compatibility of 5.9 Pictures

The iFIX 6.1 pictures are not backwards compatible in earlier versions of iFIX, such as iFIX 5.9, 5.8, 5.5, 5.1, 5.0, 4.5, 4.0, 3.5, 3.0, or 2.5. If you try to open an iFIX 6.1 picture in an earlier version of the iFIX WorkSpace, an error message appears stating that you need to upgrade your software to the newer release, and the file does not load. If you use multiple versions of iFIX, store your pictures locally or use a separate shared pictures path for each version of iFIX.

OPC Servers that Require an Access Path

The iFIX WorkSpace does not support OPC servers that require an Access Path, such as RSLinx. To use an OPC Server like RSLinx with iFIX, configure the server so that it does not require a value for the access path. In order to do this with RSLinx, use the following syntax: [topic]item.

Mission Control's Datascope Screen with 7.x Drivers

The Datascope screen in Mission Control does not work with version 7.x drivers. If you select a version 7.x driver in Mission Control, you cannot use the Datascope button.

Using the Virtual Keyboard to Enter Large Amounts of Data

The virtual keyboard is designed for password and data entry. Avoid using this virtual keyboard for entering large amounts of text in Windows, as unexpected behavior may result. Certain combinations of keystrokes may cause the virtual keyboard to display incorrect characters. The virtual keyboard should behave as expected if you restrict its use to entering passwords and other data entry.

Using iFIX Objects in Other Applications

iFIX ships with several objects that are for internal use only. Please refrain from using these objects in external applications. Some examples of these objects are:

  • iFIX Alarm Summary Control
  • iFIX Color Button Control
  • iFIX Expression Editor Control
  • iFIX WorkSpace Expression Editor

Modifying the ExpertGlobal.fxg or ExpertGlobals2.fxg

It is strongly recommended that you do not modify ExpertGlobal.fxg or ExpertGlobals2.fxg. If you do modify either of these files, you may experience problems installing a subsequent SIM. If the modified ExpertGlobal.fxg or ExpertGlobals2.fxg file has a newer date than the one in the SIM, the SIM installation will fail. You will either need to remove the modified file or rename it to successfully install a SIM.

Instead of modifying the file, you can copy any of the experts from this file and incorporate them into your own custom toolbar.

Data Bound Controls

Do not use Visual Basic Data Bound controls with iFIX. These controls are not supported by VBA.

Quit Method's SaveChanges Parameter

The SaveChanges parameter for the Quit method is not supported at this time. Regardless of the parameter you enter, you are prompted whether or not you want the option to save changes. If you select Yes, you are prompted to switch to the Configure environment to save changes. If you select No, the WorkSpace closes without saving changes.

Find and Replace Object Outside of the WorkSpace

The Find and Replace object is not accessible from clients that reside in a process outside the WorkSpace. Any programs you create using Visual Basic will not support the Find and Replace feature.

VisiconX and Large Databases

Caution is advised when using VisiconX and large databases. VisiconX controls do not perform well with really large databases.

Microsoft Windows Related Issues

Updating Root Certificates

If you are unable to run My-T-Soft, install the update for the root certificates. For more information and for the update, see Microsoft knowledge base article KB931125.

Incorrect Icons Appear in Start Menu or Desktop Shortcuts

Windows saves a cached copy of all icons. If the icon cache becomes corrupt, incorrect icons may appear.

To fix this issue, display hidden files in Explorer, delete the icon cache file, and restart Windows. This action restores the icon cache.

iFIX WorkSpace Related Issues

WorkSpace Startup

After starting the operating system, the first time the WorkSpace is started, you may notice that it takes longer for the WorkSpace to start up. Subsequent WorkSpace startups will not experience the delay. The delay is related to the number of pictures in the picture folder, so smaller projects may not experience the delay.

Print to File Option Not Working Properly For Pictures or Schedules

From the iFIX WorkSpace, when you open a picture or schedule and then click Print, the Print dialog box provides a "Print to File" option. If you select this check box, the file is not created. A dialog box does not appear requesting a file name. And, the file is sent to the printer, even though you selected the Print to File check box. There is no known workaround for this issue.

Changing the System Year to 2038 Causes Unpredictable Behavior

If you change the system year to 2038, the iFIX WorkSpace may behave unpredictably and shutdown. This is a C programming language Y2K issue and is caused by the standard time library in C. There is no known workaround for this issue.

Clicking the Calendar Control Shuts Down the WorkSpace

If you double-click a calendar control in the iFIX WorkSpace configure mode, or if you single-click it in WorkSpace run mode, it may shut down the WorkSpace. The Microsoft Calendar control causes similar issues in other Microsoft Office products. This is a known Microsoft issue.

A Picture or Dynamo Appears Distorted in Logical Coordinate System

It is possible that when a picture or Dynamo set is created with the Logical Coordinate System at one resolution, it will appear distorted when viewed on a monitor with a different resolution. This may occur because the default display properties of Windows are causing the autoscale function of iFIX to function improperly, or are making a VBA form that prevents the picture or Dynamo from updating properly.

To correct this problem:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click the Appearance and Personalization link.
  3. In the Personalization category, click the Customize Colors link.
  4. Click the "Open classic appearance properties for more color options" link. The Appearance Settings dialog box appears.
  5. Click the Effects button.
  6. Clear the Show window contents while dragging check box.

NOTE: The TrueColor graphic display option also distorts some Dynamos. We recommend that you avoid using it.

Guidelines for Using the iFIX Cross Reference Tool

Avoid Missing References in your Pictures

When you use the Cross Reference Tool Report Wizard to generate a report on a .GRF file that has a missing reference, an error message appears in the background, and the Cross Reference Tool report generation is halted.

The report generation remains halted until you click on the Cross Reference Tool. This causes the following message to appear: "An action cannot be completed because a component (iFIX WorkSpace (Configure) is not responding. Choose "Switch To" to activate the component and correct the problem."

Use the Switch To button and acknowledge the several dialog boxes that appear. To avoid this problem altogether, check for missing references before running the report wizard.

Close All Dialog Boxes in the WorkSpace Before Running the Report Wizard

If you try use the Cross Reference Tool Report Wizard when certain dialog boxes are open in the WorkSpace, such as the User Preferences or the Find and Replace dialog boxes, an error may occur.

For instance, the following message may display: "The Cross Reference application could not export VBA script files. Your ExpertGlobal may be corrupted. Cross Reference is exiting."

Click OK to acknowledge this message and allow the Cross Reference application to exit. To prevent this message from occurring in the first place, close all dialog boxes in the WorkSpace before you run the Report Wizard in the Cross Reference Tool.

Avoid Running the Report Wizard with Read-Only Files

When you use the Cross Reference Tool Report Wizard to generate a report, the following message appears if one or more of the files is read-only: "An action cannot be completed because a component (iFIX WorkSpace (Configure)) is not responding. Choose "Switch To" to activate the component and correct the problem."

When you switch to the WorkSpace, this error appears: "Error number -2147211306. The file you are attempting to open has been renamed outside the WorkSpace. Please make sure you have write access to the file and try again."

Once you clear these messages, run the report again. Additionally, you can also use either of these techniques to resolve this issue:

Remove the read-only attribute - Identify all files being searched for that have a read-only attribute. Remove the read-only attribute.

Upgrade the file - Upgrade the file if you choose to leave the read-only attribute. To upgrade the file, remove the read-only attribute on the file, open the file in the WorkSpace configuration mode, and close the file. The file is automatically upgraded. You then have to add the read-only attribute to the file.

Working with Other GE Products

Using Historian with iFIX

Security Considerations

If security is enabled for Historian, and you do not have the necessary security group memberships, you will not be able to use Mission Control to start or stop Historian collectors. To give the iFIX WorkSpace and Mission Control access to the Historian collectors, configure a user name and password in one of the following Historian dialog boxes:

  • Configure the Historian Server(s) Access this dialog box by clicking Configure Historian Server on the Historian toolbar.
  • Historian Administrator Login Access this dialog box by opening the Historian Administrator and clicking Main.

Be sure to read the Historian IPI (Important Product Information) document for tips about using the product in general.

Please refer to the KB web site,, and look for article ID:15129 for authentication information for WebSpace and Historian

Regional Settings Considerations

The iFIX Scheduler and charts can use Historian data that supports Daylight Savings Time. However, before allowing automatic Daylight Saving Time to be used in a production environment, you should test your application under each of the following scenarios for proper behavior:

  • While in Standard Time.
  • While in Daylight Time.
  • During the transition from Standard Time to Daylight Time.
  • During the transition from Daylight Time to Standard Time.

Working with iFIX Drivers

Using the PowerTool after Installing iFIX

Each 7.x driver has a PowerTool. If you want to run the PowerTool configuration program of a 7.x driver without running iFIX, you must have an iFIX key installed.

Starting 7.x Drivers Automatically in iFIX

The startup list in the SCU typically has the /A command line parameter in the IOCNTRL.EXE program. The /A parameter is used to start all I/O drivers identified in the SCADA configuration of the SCU.

Use the Advanced tab of the PowerTool dialog box to set the Auto Start for each driver. If you do not use the /A parameter and:

  • the Auto Start setting in the PowerTool is set to On, 7.x driver starts automatically.
  • the Auto Start setting in the PowerTool is set to Off, 7.x driver does not start automatically.

Issues with Remote OPC Servers and the WorkSpace

When remotely connected to some OPC servers, the iFIX WorkSpace does not shut down after exiting. You may experience this issue with the following drivers:

  • ABR
  • GE9
  • M32
  • MBE
  • OPC
  • SI5
  • SL4
  • SI7

Refer to the GlobalCare web site for software downloads for I/O driver updates:

Using Third-Party Products with iFIX

Upgrade Older Versions of Third-Party Controls

Be aware that using an older version of some third-party controls, such as AMOVIE.OCX, may cause memory overwrites. These overwrites may in turn cause iFIX to perform unpredictably. To avoid problems with third-party controls, be sure to use the most recent version of all third-party controls.

Use the MSFlexGrid Control Effectively

If you use the MSFlexGrid control in an iFIX picture, you may encounter slow performance when you try to open or save your picture, or when you try to switch environments. To resolve this issue:

  1. Open a new picture.
  2. Drag and drop the MSFlexGrid control from the old picture into the new picture.
  3. Delete the MSFlexGrid control from the old picture.
  4. Save the old picture.
  5. Drag and drop the MSFlexGrid control back into the old picture and re-save it.
  6. Delete the new picture.

Licensing Issues with MSFlexGrid Control

When inserting an MSFlexGrid control into the WorkSpace, you may receive an error message indicating that you do not have a license to use this control. If this occurs, you need to either install Visual Basic on the computer where you are running WorkSpace, or add the licensing keys to the registry.

For more information, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 318597.

Register Third-Party OPC Data Sources Properly

Certain third-party OPC servers do not support the ValidateItems call. If you try to connect to items in that third-party OPC server through the iFIX Animations dialog box, you will get an error for items that exist in your OPC server: "ItemName Source does not exist. Create or Use Anyway?"

To eliminate this error, you need to make the following registry change for the OPC data source.

  1. Add the string value "ValidateItemsNotSupported" to \HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FIX32\DataSources\OPCSERVERNAME key.
  2. Set the string value to "true".

For example, if your third-party OPC server is installed as SOMEOPCSERVER, then you would add the string value "ValidateItemsNotSupported" to \HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FIX32\DataSources\SOMEOPCSERVER key, setting the string value to "true." This change verifies that data items on OPC Servers not implementing the ValidateItems call can be read.

Optimizing iFIX Performance

Activate Duplicated Tags by Reloading the Database

When you duplicate a tag in Database Manager, the new tag will only return a value once, unless you save and reload your database. For example, if you have a link in a picture that monitors the current value of an AI tag connected to a SIM register, you can duplicate this tag, rename it, and add a link to the picture that monitors this new tag. However, after the first read, subsequent reads will not work until you save and reload the database.

For More Tips on Optimizing iFIX...

Look up "optimization, introduction" in the online help Index. This link brings you to an Introduction in the Optimizing Your iFIX System guide. This guide lists tips and strategies you can use while developing pictures, writing scripts, and implementing your iFIX system.

iFIX VBA Tips and Tricks

Visual Basic for Applications, or VBA, is the standard scripting language built into iFIX. VBA can be used to customize and extend the functionality of iFIX. Use these guidelines when creating applications in the Visual Basic Editor from iFIX:

  • Refrain from using punctuation marks, pound sign (#), and VBA reserved words within VBA file names.
  • Avoid generating a script within a script, that is currently executing. This causes unpredictable results.
  • Do not use the WM_CLOSE SendMessage to close a user form; the object does not get destroyed properly. If you must close a form with a script, use the WM_DESTROY SendMessage.
  • Avoid referencing the Intellution iFIX Find and Replace Mechanism v1.0 Type Library in your project. It causes an error when you compile your script.
  • Be aware that a script based on an object's event should not call the DestroyObject method on the parent of the same object. Doing so causes unpredictable results.
  • If you are using any of the iFIX subroutines to write data back to the database, use the F_CV field as the data link. Using the A_CV field may cause unpredictable results.
  • Do not use the DblClick event when you configure a Data link for "In-Place" data entry. If you do, the DblClick event does not execute.
  • Do not access class modules that are declared as PRIVATE in an out of process environment, such as user.fxg, expert globals, or any Global pages. This is not allowed.
  • Be aware that when you change a source tag in iFIX, an automation error displays if you do not allow iFIX enough time to establish the new connection before you read the InputValue property. The wait time depends on the scan time of the event object source tag.
  • If you set a tag with a static value as the source tag twice in a row, you will cause an automation error.

For more information on using VBA in your iFIX projects, look up "summaries" or "scripting, in iFIX" in the online help Index.

Code Example: Checking for a Null Value with the iFIX RealTime ODBC Driver

The iFIX RealTime ODBC driver was built to allow NULL values to be returned. For example, when checking iFIX real time data for a tag that does not exist, a value of NULL is returned when the tag is not found. In some instances, it may be helpful to check for the NULL value so that it is not counted as one string returned. The following is an example of code that will allow you to check for the NULL value:

If Record.ID "" Then
MSG = "A valid record exists"
MSG = "A null situation exists"
End If
MsgBox MSG

Code Example: Creating a VB Client Application Properly

Creating a VB client application that accesses the WorkSpace.Application object through early binding causes unpredictable results. For example, the following sample script, which uses early binding, causes the WorkSpace to terminate unexpectedly:

Private Sub Form_Load()
Dim iApp As CFixApp
Dim iSystem As Object
Set iApp = CreateObject("WorkSpace.Application")
Set iSystem = iApp.System
End Sub

To avoid this problem, replace the second line in the above sample script with the following line:

Dim iApp As Object

Uninstall and Reinstall Issues

If iFIX is used by multiple users, and you uninstall and then reinstall it to a different folder, you may experience issues with some users. These user issues can also occur in other versions of iFIX.

For example, say UserA installs iFIX to C:\LocationA, and then both UserA and UserB make use of iFIX. If UserA uninstalls iFIX and then reinstalls iFIX to another location, say D:\LocationB, without deleting C:\LocationA, UserB may experience issues. Although UserA will be able to use iFIX in its new location without any problems, UserB will see several error messages if he tries to launch iFIX or the SCU, since his registry paths still point to C:\LocationA.

As a workaround, open the Windows Registry and delete the HKEY_USERS\USERID\Software\Proficy\iFIX\ProjectPaths key which contains the old paths. For example, deleting the HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-3882306234-4042192530-3641380709-1028\Software\Proficy\Proficy iFIX\ProjectPaths key would alleviate this issue for a user with an ID of S-1-5-21-3882306234-4042192530-3641380709-1028. After updating the Registry, be sure to restart iFIX.

IMPORTANT Add/Remove Information for Historian

If you choose to remove Historian from the Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel, do not remove Microsoft system files if prompted to do so. This could cause critical operating system issues.

Company Name References

All references to the entity formerly known as GE Intelligent Platforms or GEIP now refers to GE Digital.

Important Notice

You do not have the latest version of iFIX! You are missing out on the newest capabilities and enhanced security.

For information on all the latest features, see the iFIX product page.

For more information on upgrades, contact your GE Digital sales agent or e-mail [email protected].

For the most up-to-date documentation, go here.