This lesson is part of the Perspective Pages, Views, and Containers course. You can browse the rest of the lessons below.


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Perspective Workstation


The Perspective Workstation is a single application that acts as both a launcher and desktop “wrapper” for Perspective Sessions. Perspective Workstation allows you to run your Perspective applications as first class desktop applications designed for HMI's, panel PCs, and dedicated workstations.

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[00:00] In this lesson, we'll take a look at perspective workstation. Workstation as a standalone application, designed to launch perspective sessions using an embedded web browser. To begin with, we'll have to make sure perspective workstation is installed. Starting with ignition version 8.1 you can get perspective workstation directly from the gateway's web interface. So here I have my gateway open, I'm on the home section here, and there's this little perspective workstation area. I'll go ahead and click the download perspective workstation button, which takes us to a separate page. From here there should be a big download button which will download an installer that you can run, which will install perspective workstation on your local system. And again, this is very similar to the designer launcher. So I won't show you the installation steps. You can just run through the installer or check out the designer launcher video if you wanted a walk through. But we'll skip over that for this lesson here. And instead you can see that I do have perspective workstation. Already I have a desktop icon ready to go.

[01:00] So let me double click to open this up. And once you finish installing it on your end, you should see a window that looks something like this, though more appropriately, you won't have these applications already. So I'll go ahead and edit. Let me delete these here. We'll add them back in. So yours probably looks something like this on a fresh installation. Now you might also get a prompt asking you if you wanted to add applications from available gateways, which you can go ahead and opt into. In my case, I'll go ahead and click the add application button here, where you'll see a separate window appear. And from here, we can see a list of all of the detectable gateways that workstation can find. And we do have some tabs at the top here. So if you've been adding applications from other gateways, you'll see them in this previously used list, or you can just type in the URL for the gateway if you wanted to go to a specific one that wasn't being broadcast for some reason. Now in my case I'll go ahead and stick to my local system here. I'll select that gateway and click the select gateway button. And then we'll get a project listing from all the available projects on that gateway. I'll just add both of these and click add applications.

[02:02] And there we are. We have our two applications now, or however many you added. If need to add more applications later, the add applications button is in the lower right hand corner. If you wanted to launch one of these, you can simply select and then click open application or just double click on the little box here. And we can see it's opening up and there we are. We're now running in our session. So let me resize this a little bit. And there you are. So we can see that we have a Perspective Session running inside of its own window. It's not using some of your more consumer grade or common web browsers, right? So it's not using like Chrome or Firefox or anything. So this is ideal if you wanted to run a perspective session on a plant floor and you didn't want to have all the normal trappings of a web browser like bookmarks and plugins and the address bar that anyone could type into stuff like that. Looking at features here. So I do have a couple of buttons. I went ahead and I put together before this recording. So, let's go and take a look at the full screen button. If I press that, then workstation goes full screen. If I click on windowed, it goes back to a windowed mode.

[03:04] And then of course I have toggle. So I can kind of dance back and forth between the two. Now to actually talk about what that's doing here, I'm going to switch over to my designer. And I have the view we were just looking at open here. If I were to start deeply selecting down into these buttons here, and we would take a look at what's going on on the events side of things. So I do have a scripting component event here. And if I scroll down here, we can see I'm using this system.perspective.workstation toKiosk function. So workstation does get its own special functions. That's why it has the extra workstation at the end there. So if you try to call this in a perspective session that isn't running in workstation so just one that's running in a browser or the mobile app, these functions won't work. So this script here is using the toKiosks function, which puts workstation into a full screen mode. While the windowed button here is using the toWindow function, which puts workstation back into a windowed mode. Now this toggle button down here, which I'll switch over to and start deep selecting down.

[04:02] If we take a look at this, instead of using a script action here, I'm actually using a workstation mode. So there's a new action we added here, which more or less gives you the same thing. Allows you to switch between the full screen and the windowed mode, or in this case I have it set to toggle. So it just kind of bounces back and forth every time it triggers. Now the next thing I did want to talk about here is this link. So I have this Link component up here. And it's actually set to tabs. So the idea being when a user clicks on this, it opens a tab. Now as you saw from earlier, workstation doesn't really have a concept of tabs. There weren't any tabs running in there. So what happens in this scenario? So let's go ahead and launch it again so I can take a look. And if I click that link, you get a whole lot of nothing. So in this case, nothing's happening, but that's actually intentional. So if we take a look at the application that was added into workstation here. I'll go ahead and click on the little kebab or triple dots there. And I'll click on manage. And over here, we have this tab slash window links property.

[05:05] So this determines what should happen if the user does something that would normally open a new tab in their web browser. So in this case, we can block it. But we do have some options. So we can do in window, which means, okay, go ahead and just navigate to that from within workstation. We also have system browser, which would instead open up the native or the default browser on your operating system and look at that address. So if I were to try that out real quick. And if I try that again. Looks like Firefox is opening. And you can see it's navigating to that page. So you do get some flexibility in regards to what you want to do when we try to, or when the user tries to open up a tab. Now let's take a look at the managing these applications again. So going back to the application, click the kebab menu, we'll go to manage. And I'll switch over to page configuration. And from here, you can set the application to run in a sort of a multi monitored mode, if you will. Not really a mode, but you can actually have multiple windows open up when you launch this application.

[06:09] Now heading back into my designer here, I switched back to the landing page or the homepage here. You can see that I do have a separate page setup, a page2, in addition to the default or the root page. So what we could do, just because this is kind of hard to demonstrate when I'm only recording a single screen here. How about display one here? We'll go to page two, so I can do a "/page2". And then display two, we'll just go to that root. So just slash. Now you can figure out, which display is what. There is an Identify Displays button here, which when I press it, we can see that you are looking at my display 1. And you're also seeing three displays here because workstation does detect how many screens or displays are available. So it just so happens that the system I'm recording on does in fact have three displays. But we won't do anything with that third one. So I'll go ahead and click okay, here. We'll double click the launch. And notice that has a little multi-monitor icon there just letting me know that this application is configured to run with multiple displays.

[07:11] All right, so we see, we have one instance here. We have that second page. Let me switch over. And you can see, here we are. We have that first one we were looking at earlier here. So you can have an application configured in such a way that when you run it, it does open up onto multiple displays, which is very, very useful. All right. And that about wraps up the workstation video. As again, it's very similar to the Designer Launch if you've used that before, but it does have a couple of unique configurations, like the multi-monitor capability, as well as the built-in sort of support with the component actions and the system functions.

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