Nick Mudge Ignition Software Consulting & Development

Every two or three months a new production version of Ignition comes out. Thankfully upgrading Ignition is usually a pleasant, easy and quick action.

The main thing to know about upgrading Ignition is that it is exactly like installing Ignition. You download the latest production version of Ignition and install it as if you were installing it for the first time on your server. This action upgrades your current Ignition installation. All your projects and configuration remain the same but your Ignition becomes the latest version. This is very nice.

It is good practice to make a gateway backup before upgrading. Inductive Automation provides instructions for installing Ignition on MAC OS X, Windows and Linux.

Ignition uses 3 numbers to indicate it's version. The current version of Ignition is 7.7.2. The first 7 is pretty static and hasn't changed since Ignition was first released in 2010. The second 7 is the major number. It indicates significant changes and significant new functionality compared to the prior major number. The 2 is the minor number. It indicates bug fixes, improvements and new functionality.

Upgrading Ignition from a minor number (for example upgrading from Ignition 7.7.1 to Ignition 7.7.2) is the easiest thing. It is free so no licensing changes are needed and the upgrade does not affect the current license.

Upgrading Ignition from a major number (for example upgrading Ignition from 7.6.5 to Ignition 7.7.2) requires a license change. This is because there are significant improvements and significant new functionality between major numbers. Before upgrading it is a good idea to upgrade your license so that it will be compatible with the new version of Ignition. Upgrading from a major version costs money to upgrade the license. Inductive Automation offers something called upgrade protection which can reduce the cost of major number upgrades.

I prefer and recommend to use the latest production version of Ignition in all projects. The reason is because the newest production version is almost always better than earlier versions.

Sometimes the changes between a minor number and the next minor number can actually be significant. The difference between Ignition 7.7.1 and Ignition 7.7.2 is such a case. Ignition 7.7.2 introduced a brand new, very powerful component called the Template Canvas. For the first time Ignition has a built-in tool for dynamically, programmatically creating instances of templates in Ignition. This means programmers can write Python programs to create screens dynamically (for instance based on data in a database) -- instead of designers creating everything up front on screens in a static fixed way.

Every Ignition version release has a changelog so it is possible to see what the new changes are. Here's a link to the changelog for Ignition 7.7.2: Ignition 7.7.2 Changlog.

Inductive Automation also releases development versions of Ignition. These are new versions of Ignition that are not ready for production but that you can download and try out. You can also report any bugs or problems with it to Inductive Automation to help them get it production ready. Also, if you can't wait for new functionality in the next version of Ignition, you can use a development version. For example you could use a development version of Ignition in your own development and use the production version of Ignition when it comes out for your production version of projects.

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