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That’s because the interface runs in the browser, and most web browsers adhere to open standards like HTML5, CSS3, and SVG. Using those standards without plugins, groov makes it possible to run your interface on almost anything you want to use.
Minimum operating systems for mobile: Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich), iOS 9.0, Surface Windows 8.
You can connect to Modbus/TCP devices and Opto 22 PACs directly, without requiring intermediary servers or protocol converters.
For Allen-Bradley and Siemens S7 PLCs, use the built-in Ignition Edge OPC-UA server and drivers from Inductive Automation (requires a groov Enterprise license).
For other automation systems and equipment, you’ll need an external OPC UA server like Kepware Technologies’ KEPServerEX. Check the list of drivers at KEPServerEX Drivers. (Also requires a groov Enterprise license).
The cool thing is that you can build one groov operator interface to monitor and control all the equipment you need to, putting devices and data from different sources in the same interface. You have the flexibility to design the interface you need.
groov talks Modbus to Modbus/TCP devices.
The groov Data Store API provides access for software APIs (application program interfaces) like databases, online services, and custom software. This software can read data from or write data to groov.
With OPC UA systems and equipment, groov operates as an OPC UA client. If you have a communication platform like KEPServerEX, which includes an OPC UA server, groov can talk to any driver you’ve purchased for the platform. That opens up a huge number of industrial automation systems, building automation systems, energy systems, and more.
If you have a GROOV-AR1 groov Box with groov Admin 44 or higher, you also have Node-RED built in. Node-RED is an open-source, cross-platform development environment for building IoT (Internet of Things) projects. You drag and drop pre-built nodes provided by software and hardware companies—for devices, cloud services, and APIs—and then wire them together for the result you want. Just a few examples of nodes you can use for free: MySQL databases, online weather services, and Opto 22 SNAP PAC controller I/O and variables. More information is in the groov Box User’s Guide for GROOV-AR1 and on developer.opto22.com.
Bottom line: your operators and other authorized users will be able to see pretty much whatever they need to in order to do their jobs better, save time, and keep equipment and processes in top condition.
NOTE: Node-RED is not available on the older GROOV-AT1 box, nor on groov Server for Windows. It’s available only for the GROOV-AR1 box.
If you need more time, you can stop groov Server for Windows and then restart it to reset the timer.
When you’re ready to buy, come back here and get groov. Your project will be ready to use for real.
When you buy groov, you’ll find the groov software built into the groov Box or into groov Server.
- For the groov Box: You don’t install software on your computer. Your computer and your groov Box are on the same Ethernet network, so you access the software as if you were going to a website on the Internet.
- For groov Server: You install groov Server, which includes the groov software, on the Microsoft Windows PC you will use as the server. From other computers or mobile devices, you access the software as if you were going to a website on the Internet. (If you already have the free trial, there’s no need to reinstall when you purchase; just apply your license file.)
To use the software, open your web browser on your computer—the current version of Firefox or Chrome, for example, or Internet Explorer 10 or higher—and type in a URL that contains the name of your groov Box or groov Server PC. (For example, if mygroov is the hostname of your groov Box, you’d type https://mygroov.) The software opens up, you log in, and there you are. It’s browser-based software like GoogleDocs or Yahoo mail, so the software runs inside your web browser.
The only groov software that’s not included in the Box or Server is free, optional software:
- groov View apps for Android and iOS. Recommended. An operator can run groov View in an app rather than in a browser to reduce distractions. On iOS, you can lock the device in kiosk mode (Apple calls it Guided Access) so nothing else but groov can run on it. Get groov View for Android from Google Play. Get groov View for iOS in the App Store. More about groov View apps.
- groov Find, a utility you can use on a Windows PC to locate your groov Box initially. This utility comes on a CD with your groov Box and can be especially helpful if you’re on a network that does not have a DNS (Domain Name Server) or if you’re unsure of the name or IP address of a groov Box. groov Find does not apply to groov Server. Download groov Find.
The easiest way to do this is to get the free groov View for iOS app for an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Once your interface is running on the app, use Apple’s Guided Access feature. Guided Access restricts the device to a single app, disables the hardware buttons, and keeps the device from sleeping, effectively providing a low-power, low-cost, wireless, touch-screen operator interface locked down for an intended use only.
If you’ve purchased a groov Box, follow instructions in the groov Quick Start Guide, included with your groov Box. Or watch this Getting Started video. You’ll need the Activation Key from the certificate that came with your groov Box and the Box’s serial number from the label on the Box.
NOTE: If you’re using an Opto 22 SNAP PAC controller and your groov Box and PAC are not on the same network subnet, getting started will take another step. But it’s still simple. See “What if my PAC controller is on a different network subnet than my computer,” below. Or watch the video, groov Find.
For groov Server, follow instructions in the email or printed certificate you received when you purchased groov Server. Or see the groov Server for Windows User’s Guide.
To get to groov, you type https:// and the hostname in your web browser.
Example: If the hostname on a groov Box label is opto-02-2b-a6, you open a browser and type: https://opto-02-2b-a6
Example: If the hostname of the PC where groov Server is installed is win8-server, you open a browser and type: https://win8-server
Notice that you have to type https, not just http. The “s” indicates it’s a secure connection.
You can change the hostname from the default to whatever you want to use.
- One is for administering the groov Box using groov Admin. Here you do things like change network settings or check the status of the Box. You also use this username and password to access Node-RED.
- The other is for building and viewing your operator interfaces using groov Build and groov View. Here you’ll also set up usernames and passwords for the other people you authorize to use groov.
For system security, it’s extremely important that you guard these login credentials carefully. Treat them as if they were passwords for your bank account. And don’t lose them. Since they cannot be retrieved, you will lose your work if you lose them.
For an Opto 22 system, you open groov Build in your browser and point it to two things: the hostname or IP address of your SNAP PAC or OptoEMU Sensor, and the strategy.idb.txt file.
For OPC UA-compatible automation systems, you open groov Build in your browser and point it to your OPC UA server (we recommend the KEPServerEX communications platform).
With just this information, groov knows how to connect to your system, either to get data or to send data.
For more information on networking groov, see the Guide to Networking groov.
Working with groov
- On your computer, open a web browser (Firefox, Chrome, IE10, Safari) and log into groov Build. On the left under Pages, click Add Page.
- If you haven’t added your device, choose Configure > Devices and Tags and add it now. (If you don’t have a device, you can try groov by using the included Data Simulator.)
- In the lower-right corner of the screen, open your Tags tree. Choose a tag, pick a gadget from the list, and drag it onto the page. In the upper-right corner of the screen, assign gadget properties (labels, colors, etc.) as you wish. Or you can choose the gadget first and then assign a tag.
- Click the Handheld tab to see how the layout will look on a smartphone. Move gadgets, resize them, change their properties, or stash them out of sight as needed.
- Save and switch to groov View to see and test your interface. Live values from your system default to dark blue text.
For more details, see the groov User’s Guide, online or in groov Build on the Help menu.
In addition, you can “stash” a gadget if you don’t want it to appear at all. For example, suppose you’ve added a trend that you want to show on a PC but don’t want to show on a phone. Go to the Handheld tab and drag the trend off to the white area on the right side (we call this area the Stash). It’s still there but won’t be visible when your phone users view the page.
You might also want a gadget to appear on a phone but not on a PC or tablet. In that case, go to the Desktop & Tablet tab and drag the gadget off to the Stash on the right. Same thing happens: it won’t appear to PC and tablet viewers but will still show up on phones.
Note that you’ll need groov 2.2 or higher to use this feature. If you have an older version and your maintenance is up to date, you can update now.
From a monitoring standpoint, though, if indicators on the gadget at the back are still visible with another gadget in front, stacking gadgets can work. For more information, here’s a blog post on stacking groov gadgets. Also see Chapter 4 in the groov Build & View User’s Guide for details on each gadget, including transparency (opacity) options and using images or colors to indicate values within a range.
A page can be different for operators using it on a desktop or tablet versus those using it on a handheld device, however. You can stash individual gadgets so they don’t appear in one view while still visible in the other.
You can upload images you make or obtain yourself. You can use any of the drawings in our SVG Library. If you have Microsoft Visio, you can also make a compatible image using any of our free Visio libraries. Note that images from PAC Display’s Symbol Factory are not compatible with current web browsers, so they won’t work in groov.
All users except Kiosk users can download trend data for logging. Wen you download the data, it’s for one pen over the total period of the trend. See more details in the groov User’s Guide.
Make sure you have the latest groov version so you have the most recent trending features. (Update now.)
Once you’ve activated and installed your license file, you can get updates at manage.groov.com. We’ll also notify you by email when an update is available.
For groov Server for Windows, all updates are in one file. For a groov Box, you have three possible updates: groov Build & View (called groov App), groov Admin, and Node-RED. To get Node-RED, you must have groov Admin 1.570.44 or higher. These updates are separate files because we want you to have updates for each, as soon as possible.
If it’s been more than a year since you activated your groov, make sure you renew groov Maintenance. Otherwise you won’t be able to install the update. For more information see the groov Maintenance Technical Note.
For groov Server:
- Back up your groov project; in groov Build, choose File > Backup Project to Computer.
- Double-click the update file to start the installation.
For a groov Box:
- Back up your groov project; in groov Build, choose File > Backup Project to Computer.
- Choose Configure > groov Admin. Log in.
- Click the update you want, for example Update groov App. Click Browse, locate the file you downloaded, and click Update.
- Wait for the success message. (Be patient. It may take awhile.)
If you’re connecting to a wireless LAN through a WiFi adapter in the top USB port, choose a location where the signal is constant and strong. Wireless networks can be unreliable unless carefully designed and periodically checked.
The Box can be DIN-rail mounted or mounted on a wall or equipment. Mounting hardware is included.
If you’re a machine builder or OEM and including a groov Box in your machine, the same basic ideas apply: check specs, check security, and then install. Make sure you have network access to the Box for updates.
Next, plug the groov Box into your Ethernet-based control network using the ETH1 connector. (For more help on networking, see the Guide to Networking groov.)
Now plug the power supply into the groov Box and into a standard 120 or 240 VAC wall outlet. The power supply handles 100–240 VAC, so if you’re outside North America, just use an adapter plug. We do recommend protecting the groov Box with a surge protector and a UPS for backup power.
Once it’s plugged in, briefly push the On/Off button to turn it on.
See the groov Box User’s Guide for GROOV-AR1 (form 2104) for more details. It’s on the CD that came with the groov Box.
For Opto 22 Systems
If you’re using more than one SNAP PAC and/or EMU, also add groov Plus (GROOV-LIC-PLUS) to your Box or Server. groov Plus lets you connect to any number of SNAP PACs and also Modbus/TCP devices and Data Stores, if you want.
If you want to build interfaces for OPC UA systems or equipment, buy groov Enterprise.
If you want to try it before you buy, you can do that now. In groov Build, add other devices; use their tags with your gadgets. Once you switch to groov View, you’ll have two hours to try the additional features for free.
When you purchase groov Plus or groov Enterprise, you don’t need to install new software. All you have to do is download and install the license file. There’s no disruption to your existing projects.
You’ll find the .idb.txt file on your PC in the same directory as your other strategy files. If you’re using groov with an OptoEMU Sensor, you can get the OptoEMU Sensor.idb.txt file on opto22.com.
Btw, some computers have common file type extensions hidden. Since .txt is a common file type, your computer might be hiding the extension from you, in which case you will see two files with the same name, the name of your strategy. Just select the file that does not have the PAC Control icon next to it.
groov does not work with Opto 22 FactoryFloor, SNAP Ultimate I/O, SNAP-LCSX, or other legacy controllers, or pre-9.2 SNAP PACs.
However, it’s still possible to use groov with these legacy systems by installing KEPServerEX with the OPC Connectivity Suite. Connect to your FactoryFloor OPC Server (which is an OPC DA server). Then groov (which is an OPC UA client) connects to KEPServerEX, and you can see your tags.
Normally groov references the names of I/O points in a SNAP PAC controller running a PAC Control strategy; groov does not directly access Opto 22 brains. If you have the Kepware Opto 22 Ethernet OPC Server, however, you can add tags to connect directly to I/O.