Programming

TIA Portal - Project creation and management

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Project basics

Projects contain data and programmes resulting from the creation of an automation solution. The data collected in the project includes, for example:

  • Configuration data on the hardware structure and data on the allocation of module parameters
  • Engineering data design for network communication
  • Engineering data design for equipment
  • Logs of important events in the project life cycle

Project version

The project version specifies the version of TIA Portal with which the project is compatible. A project that is compatible with the current version of TIA Portal can be found in project version V16 of TIA Portal.

You can see the version of an already open project in the project properties. To do this, select "Software in project" in the "General" tab of the properties dialog. In the table you can see all the products and their versions that you need to edit an open project.

Project hierarchy

Data is stored in the project in the form of objects. Within a project, objects are arranged in a tree structure (project hierarchy).

The project hierarchy is based on devices and stations with their configuration data and associated programmes.

For example, shared project data and online access are also displayed in the project tree.

Basic integrity check

The engineering software has a mechanism to secure the base to detect changes to the relevant data of a custom design (e.g. blocks, hardware configuration). The cause of changes to the project data could be, for example, interference outside the engineering software or defects in the data storage medium.

The configuration data test is optional on request, as it can be time-consuming depending on the scope and application, especially when using multi-user engineering. You change the default test setting in the engineering software settings.

If a change is detected during the test, contact Siemens Customer Service. You can continue working with the project data. Continue working at your own risk.

Note

Reduced operating speed when basic integrity control is activated

If you enable basic integrity checks in the engineering software settings, the speed of the engineering software is reduced.

Project protection

You can activate user management for a project and thus protect your project. If the project protection is activated, you can only log in authorised users and work with the project.

Design development

Procedure

To create a new project, follow these steps:

  1. From the 'Project' menu, select 'New'.

The "Create new project" dialog box opens.

  1. Enter the project name and path or accept the suggested settings.
  2. Click on the "Create" button.

Result

The new project will be created and displayed in the project tree.

Opening of projects

You recognise TIA Portal projects by the file name extension ".ap[version number]". The projects of the current version have a file name extension ".ap16". V16 version projects can be opened immediately. Update the projects to project versions V13 SP1, V14, V14 SP1, V15 and V15.1 before opening.

Procedure

To open an existing project, follow these steps:

  1. From the "Project" menu, select "Open".

The "Open project" dialog box opens and a list of recently used projects is displayed.

  1. Select the project from the list and click "Open".
  2. If the desired project is not in the list, click the "Browse" button. Navigate to the desired project folder and open the project file.
  3. To check whether the project has been changed without permission, tick the checkbox "Activate basic integrity check". The basic integrity check may take some time.
  4. Click the "Open" button.

If the protection of the selected project is active, the "Login" dialog opens. Then perform the following steps:

    • Select the required user type.
    • Enter your username.
    • Enter your password.
    • Click OK".

The project will be opened if the project protection is not active or if you have logged into a user account with the appropriate permissions.

If you have selected a project from TIA Portal versions V13 SP1, V14, V14 SP1, V15 or V15.1, the "Upgrade project" dialog box opens.

Checking for missing software components

When opening existing projects, an automatic check is made to ensure that the correct software has been installed for all modules used in the project. If you try to open a project with modules that are not supported by the current installation scope of the TIA portal, a message indicating that software components are missing will appear when you open the project. If the software components are not absolutely required to open the project, the project can still be opened.

If the project cannot be opened in the TIA Portal due to missing software components, you can download and install it as trial software using Siemens Industry's online support. You can then open the project. Please note that you can only use the trial software for a limited period of time.

Responding to missing software components

Unsupported project modules are handled as follows:

  • Display of modules in the user interface
    • Unsupported modules are displayed in the project tree together with all their lower-level objects. However, the modules themselves cannot be processed in the editors or the inspector window. If possible, a replacement module is used which best matches the original module. Replacement modules are marked with an exclamation mark.
    • The display of properties in the tables is limited. This applies in particular to the display of network parameters, such as the IP address.
  • Functional limitations
    • Unsupported modules cannot be printed or compiled.
    • The online connection to the modules cannot be established. Therefore, it cannot be downloaded.
    • To change the device type, the device must first be removed and then reinserted. The "Change device type" function is not supported.
    • Copying and inserting lower-level objects, such as blocks, is possible, although the device itself cannot be copied or inserted.
    • The network configuration cannot be changed using the replacement modules in the network view.
    • Links can be displayed. However, the linkages only reflect the state last saved in the project, as no comparison with the original module can be made online.
Saving projects

You can save the project at any time under the same or a different name. You can even save a project that still contains elements with errors.

Saving the project

To save the project, follow these steps:

  1. From the 'Project' menu, select 'Save'.

All changes to the project are saved under the current project name.

Project Save As

To save the project under a different name, follow these steps:

  1. From the 'Project' menu, select 'Save as'.

The "Save current project as" dialog box opens.

  1. Select the project folder in the "Save to" field.
  2. Enter a new project name in the "File name" field.
  3. Confirm your entry with the "Save" button.

The project will be saved under a new name and opened.

Note

Undoing activities

Remember that once a project has been saved, actions cannot be undone.

Closure of projects

Procedure

To close the project, follow these steps:

  1. From the "Project" menu, select "Close".

If you have made changes to the project since it was last saved, a message will be displayed.

  1. Decide whether you want to save the changes.
Removing projects from the project list

You can delete projects from the list of recently used projects. The project data is stored on the data carrier.

Procedure

To remove a project from the list of recently used projects, follow these steps:

  1. In the "Project" menu, select "Delete project".

The "Delete project" dialog box opens, containing a list of recently used projects.

  1. Select a project from the list.
  2. Click the "Delete" button.
  3. Click "Yes" to confirm the prompt and remove the project from the list.

Result

The project is no longer displayed in the list of recently used projects. If you open the project again, it will be added to the list again.

Deletion of projects

Deletion removes all project data from the storage medium.

Requirement

The project you wish to delete is not open.

Procedure

To delete an existing project, follow the steps below:

  1. In the "Project" menu, select "Delete project".

The "Delete project" dialog box opens, containing a list of recently used projects.

  1. Select a project from the list.

If the desired project is not in the list, click the "Browse" button. Navigate to the desired project folder and open the project file.

  1. Click the "Delete" button.
  2. Click "Yes" to confirm. This will start the deletion of the project.

Result

The entire project folder will be deleted from the file system.

Displaying project properties

The project properties can be displayed. Under the "General" tab in the area navigation, you will find the following project properties:

  • Project metadata

This includes the following information: creation time, author, file path, project size, copyright, project languages, etc. Many properties can be changed.

  • History of the project

The project history provides an overview of important events in the project life cycle. Here you can, for example, see the version of TIA Portal used to create the project and whether it has been updated in the meantime. If a project was created during a migration, for example, this is also indicated in the project history table along with the date and time of the migration. If a log was created for the event, you can also call up the log directly.

  • Support packages in the project

An overview of the additional software needed to work with all devices in the project is displayed. In addition, installed GSD files (device description files for other devices in the hardware directory) are displayed.

  • Software in the project

You can display an overview of all installed software products required for the project. The "Version" column shows the project version of the corresponding software in which the project is saved.

On the "Protection" tab, you specify that blocks can be simulated after compilation with SIMATIC S7-PLCSIM Advanced. To do this, select the "Simulation support during block compilation" checkbox. By default, the function is deactivated.

Procedure

To view the project properties, follow these steps:

  1. Select an open project in the project tree.
  2. Select "Properties" from the project shortcut menu.

The dialog box with the project properties opens.

  1. Select the project properties in the area navigation that you wish to display.
Use of logs

For some operations within TIA Portal, logs are automatically created in the background. These logs document changes to the project. The logs are created automatically, for example during project and programme migrations or when updating instances from a library.

The logs are displayed in the 'Common data' folder in the project tree. They are stored in zip files together with the project in the project folder and can therefore be read as soon as the project is opened, regardless of the programming device/computer used. The log can be filtered for errors, warnings and information.

In addition to displaying them in TIA Portal, the logs can also be printed.

Display of logs

To open the logbook, follow these steps:

  1. Open the folder "Common data > Logs" in the project tree.
  2. Double-click the desired log in the list.

The contents of the log are displayed in the work area.

  1. Optional: To show or hide a specific category of alerts, activate or deactivate the "Errors", "Warnings" or "Information" button on the toolbar.

Deletion of logs

To delete the log, follow these steps:

  1. Select the journal in the project tree.
  2. Press the key.

The selected log will be deleted from the project directory and removed from the project tree.

Safety of industrial plants

In addition to the numerous advantages, the increasing digitalisation of industrial automation is accompanied by increased vulnerability of industrial plants. The TIA portal and SIMATIC products already have several features to ensure the safe operation of your plant, for example:

  • Block security know-how
  • Basic safeguarding of project integrity to protect projects from tampering
  • Processor protection and security functions

Industrial safety

Industrial security goes beyond regulations and security measures in office environments. Industrial Security is a comprehensive approach to protecting industrial facilities. The approach is designed to protect against unauthorised access, sabotage, espionage and malicious tampering. Industrial security is provided by the following factors:

  • Availability

In industrial plants, availability is a top priority. Downtime must be as short as possible.

  • System and data integrity

It should not be possible for a third party to illegally modify the installation or any of its data.

  • Confidentiality

Industrial plant information and data must not fall into the hands of unauthorised third parties.

A comprehensive approach

In addition to the security functions integrated in the TIA Portal, Industrial Security requires more comprehensive measures. The following security aspects must be observed:

  • Plant safety
    • Protection of access against unauthorised persons
    • Physical protection of access to key components
  • Network security
    • Controlled interfaces between office and plant networks, for example through firewalls
    • Segmentation of plant networks
  • System integrity
    • Use of anti-virus and white-listing software
    • Compliance with maintenance and upgrade processes
    • User authentication for the machine or plant operator
    • Integrated access protection in automation components
Import and export of CAx data

CAx files are XML files that you create in the TIA portal and that you can exchange between different installations or with other tools such as ECAD systems. The files contain the following information:

  • Hardware configuration of a single device or the entire project (without parameter assignment)
  • Folder hierarchies (groups)

The folder hierarchy will be restored for the import.

  • Association of a device with a subnetwork

During the import, the devices stored in the CAx file are reconnected to the same subnet.

  • Device addresses
  • Address input and output areas
  • Profinet I/O and PROFIBUS DP master systems

Requirements

  • TIA Openness is installed.

TIA Openness is installed automatically by the TIA Portal installation programme. To do this, select the TIA Openness checkbox in the installation programme under "Options" in the "Configuration" menu.

  • The project is open.

Exporting the CAx file of a project

  1. In the "Tools" menu, click "Export CAx data...".
  2. In the 'CAx Export' dialogue box, select the directory where the file is to be exported.
  3. Rename the file if necessary and confirm with the 'Save' button.

A dialog box shows the progress of the export. If you wish to cancel the export, click "Cancel".

You can see the status of the export under "Information > General" in the Inspector window. In addition, a log file is created in the directory specified as the log file storage location under "Settings > General > Data exchange".

The exported file is given the extension ".aml".

Exporting the CAx file of a device

  1. Highlight exported devices in the project tree.
  2. Select "Export CAx data..." from the shortcut menu.
  3. In the 'CAx Export' dialogue box, select the directory where the file is to be exported.
  4. Rename the file if necessary and confirm with the 'Save' button.

A dialog box shows the progress of the export. If you wish to cancel the export, click "Cancel".

You can see the status of the export under "Information > General" in the Inspector window. In addition, a log file is created in the directory specified as the log file storage location under "Settings > General > Data exchange".

The exported file is given the extension ".aml".

Import the CAx file of the device or project

  1. In the "Tools" menu, click "Import CAx data...".
  2. Select the CAx file in the directory in the "Import CAx" dialogue box.
  3. Click the "Open" button.

A dialog box shows the progress of the import. If you wish to cancel the import, click "Cancel".

You receive information on the status of device imports, e.g. error messages, in the inspector window under "Information > General". In addition, a log file is created in the directory specified as the log file storage location under "Settings > General > Data exchange".

Permitted formats for CAx data exchange

The standardised data exchange format "AutomationML" is used for CAx data exchange. The exchange files are given the extension "*.aml". Exporting and importing files with the extension "*.xml" is not supported.

Log files generated during data exchange are given the extension "*.log". Log files with the extension ".txt" are not supported.

CAx data exchange with other applications

Connected submodules, such as bus adapters, may have a different hierarchical structure in TIA Portal and other applications. Therefore, AML files for CAx data exchange display submodules in a customised hierarchy that can be read by all programmes. During import, the submodule hierarchy in the AML file does not affect the submodule hierarchy in TIA Portal.

Note

Compatibility between different versions of the product.

If you wish to exchange files with devices equipped with bus adapters, please note the following compatibility information:

AML files created in an older version of TIA Portal can be imported with the current version.

AML files created in the current version of TIA Portal cannot be imported with older versions.

Import options in case of station name conflicts

If you want to import a CAx file and the currently open TIA Portal project contains stations with identical names, a conflict arises. A dialog box opens allowing you to set import options. Before importing the file, you choose how to combine stations with the same name. Stations from the CAx file can optionally be renamed and grouped in a new folder.

Note

Default folder name

The folder where the imported stations are located is named "ParkingLot" by default.

You can specify the name of the new folder yourself. To do this, open the settings and go to "CAx". Enter the name of the folder with "Conflict resolution settings" in the "Store name for devices that already exist in the project" field.

Optionally, you can also specify that stations causing a conflict are not to be imported or replaced by stations with the same name in the currently open TIA Portal project.

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Author of entries
Tomasz Gilewski

Hello, my name is Tomasz Gilewski. I am the author of books on the S7-1200 controller and HMI panels (i.e. Siemens hardware). I have been programming exclusively on Siemens hardware and engineering tools for several years.

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