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Version: 8.1

SFC Designer Interface

The SFC module features a unique user interface within the Designer. For starters, the SFC Interface has a Welcome tab that allows you to create two types of charts: Callable and Run-Always. Each chart type is basically a template to help you get started creating your system function chart. Once you select a chart type, enter a name, and press 'create', and the specific chart template will open. You will have some of the necessary elements displayed in the chart workspace to begin designing your chart. The SFC Welcome tab will show you any recently modified charts along with the date it was modified and who modified it. You can even double click on a recently modified chart and open it.

The SFC Welcome tab provides a quick way to create new charts and update existing charts.

Chart Workspace

The main workspace of a chart features a grid, and is where your elements will be placed and selected.

Design View and Monitor View

Initially the SFC interface is in Design View, which means new elements can be added, repositioned, or edited. This is similar to the Design Mode in the Vision module.

When monitoring charts, the interface switches to Monitor View, allowing the Designer to view the current state of any running charts. You may switch into Monitor View by double-clicking a chart in the Chart Control list, or by selecting a chart and clicking the Monitor icon. Once ready to make changes, the "Return to design view" link will revert the workspace back to Design View.

Right-Click Menu

When right-clicking on an Action, Assertion, Begin, End, or Enclosing block, a popup menu will appear with the following options.

Toggle Breakpoint

Applies a breakpoint to a block, which will pause the chart when flow reaches the block in Debug Mode. Below we see that the S2 element has a breakpoint applied

Begin Here

Starts a new instance of the chart at the specified element. This is similar to using the Custom icon under Chart Control, in that you can potentially set the value for any parameters.

Element Blocks

Provides a single location to drag and drop elements into the chart. The various blocks are listed under the SFC Elements page.

Element Properties

This panel provides a way to interact with selected elements. The contents of the panel change based on which element is selected. See SFC Elements for more details.

Chart Design

This section of the interface provides helpful diagnostic information. The section will state if a chart is valid.

In the following example, the link after S1 is broken. You'll notice a Chart Invalid icon appears. And if you click the Show Errors checkbox, the error is annotated with a red triangle in the chart.

Chart Control

The Chart Control section allows you to Start or Stop charts, as well as view any running charts.

Chart Control has the added feature of displaying information about any running charts, including the current state, duration, and instance id. Double clicking on a chart in the list will cause the interface to monitor the chart, similar to clicking on the Monitor link.

StartStart the chart that is currently viewable in the main workspace (selected tab at the bottom of the workspace).
CustomStarts the current chart, but allows you to manually pass values into any chart parameters.
DebugStarts the current chart, but stops at the first breakpoint. Allowing you to examine properties on the chart.
MonitorSwitches from Design View to Monitor View, allowing you to monitor a running chart.
PausePause a running chart, allowing you to later resume the chart.
ResumeResumes a previously paused chart.
StepWhile halted at a breakpoint, moves the chart towards the next step. This icon is only available in Debug Mode.
ContinueContinue and break at the next defined breakpoint. This icon is only available in Debug Mode.
CancelCancels the selected chart.

Chart Monitoring

This section is inactive in Design View, but becomes active while in Monitor View. Displays any properties associated with the running chart.

Chart Recording

This section populates with past chart executions, and allows you to replay them from the Monitor View. Only recordings that have finished running may be examined. By default, chart recordings are disabled. You can enabled recordings in the Gateway settings.

Gateway Settings

There are several settings on the Gateway that impact chart recording for SFCs. By default, chart recordings are disabled. You can enabled recordings in the Gateway Config section under Sequential Function Charts > Settings.

Chart Recording Settings

Chart Recording EnabledWhen enabled, every detail of chart execution is recorded on disk, to aid in later analysis and debugging. Default is false.
Recordings Per ChartThe maximum number of recordings stored for each chart. Default is 5.
Prune AgeThe maximum age of recordings stored on disk. Recordings will be deleted after this point.
Prune Age UnitsUnit of time for the prune age. Options are: Milliseconds, Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, and Years. Default is Day.