I like ArchestrA, but...

There are just so many bugs, and annoyances that it makes me want to tear my hair out on a continual basis.  I'm not a full time software engineer, but I code enough to know that so many of these things could be fixed with relatively little effort.  Here is a list of things that really get my goat, and if some Schneider code monkey ever sees this then please feel free to sort them out.  Or, just send me a link to the repo and I'll send you back some pull requests (as if that would ever happen!).

  1.  Opening objects in the IDE is painfully slow, and can only be done one at a time.  If you open objects too quickly one after another then the frame sizes (attribute list and attribute settings) get all messed up.
  2. Buffered attributes are a great concept but they have so many subtle bugs associated with them that they are unusable.  They cause alarms that can't be acknowledged following subsecond value changes, the times in the alarm database for these attributes are all in UTC and not local time like the rest, and they don't always initialize correctly when they also have the inverted flag set.
  3. Plain weird shit happening/object corruption.  Like this:aabugs1The attributes in the above image are all boolean tags, have nothing to do with voltage, but somehow I am getting random events from other attributes mixed in with these ones.  In this case the problem was solved by un-logging the attribute in the template, redeploying, and enabling the logging again and redeploying but there is no way that this sort of stuff should ever happen, and I could see it leading to some very expensive mistakes by operators.
  4. Failovers barely ever work well.  The only times I have ever seen a AppEngine failover work properly is when it was graceful, ie I asked the engine to failover via the SMC.  If I simply restart the machine, all hell breaks loose.  Objects only half work, alarms going off that were never configured, some objects get corrupted and need to be recreated from a galaxy dump.
  5. There is no where to report bugs.  There is nowhere to make suggestions.  The forum is great, but I sometimes my question can only be answered by someone that writes the code or at least has access to it.
  6. Deploying objects takes over the IDE.  In fact lots of basic operations (think import/export objects) do this.It would be nice to be able to deploy objects in the background and continue working on other objects, then show the outcome in the status bar or something so I can get on with other things in the mean time.
  7. When deploying half the time it appears the deployment has failed, when it has actually completed successfully.
  8. Multiple monitor support in InTouch is about as useful as the tits on a bull.  I mean I got it to work quite well, but holy balls it took a quite a bit of custom code, testing, and more testing.  I am very much looking forward to the next release which I understand has proper multimonitor support. (UPDATE: have beta build, and it has mult-monitor support by way of a new view container, intouch remains the same.)
  9. Renaming attributes in both graphics and in objects will break in either animations (for graphics), or will reset your IO references (in objects).  This creates an aversion to creating good naming conventions, because if you try to correct an error after you have created many instances you are in for a crap time.

Lets hope the System Platform 2017/Omni addresses some of these.

| November 30th, 2016 | Posted in SCADA |

2 Responses to “I like ArchestrA, but...”

  1. Henrietta Says:

    Wow this post was in 2016 and I can still experience some of these issues. Did you write another article like this about your experience with migration to SP2020?

  2. Raggles Says:

    we never migrated to SP2020... although I did quite a bit of testing on it. There were so many issues with System Platform that we threw it out and changed vendors completely!

Leave a Reply