ICC 2017–Final Thoughts 9/21/17

Well… ICC 2017, Transform, is in the books.  After 3 days of sessions, networking, fellowship, food and libation–yours truly and the rest of Team Intellic is pooped.  We had an amazing time with the community and thank Steve Hechtman and the rest of the Inductive Automation team for putting together an awesome conference.  A special shout out goes to our Sales Rep, Vannessa Garcia, for all of her hard work coordinating the various meetings we scheduled with clients, IA staff and other members of the community–thank you!!

My final thoughts:

  1. Ignition 8.0 (Perspective) is going to completely change the game… Inductive Automation is working on opening up the entire suite of web browser and mobile functionality to the Ignition Platform… next year, the show is going to sell out in a week… we have been waiting for many years for the announcements we heard from Colby and Carl on Wednesday and we can’t be more excited
  2. Security enhancements are coming… and all Ignition developers should start working advanced level security architectures into their projects
  3. This was the first show where many of the presentations got down and deep into the details–this is a welcome change and one that will help to drive up attendance in future conferences
  4. This was also the first show, since 2013, where so many of the attendees were first-timers.  There are several new Integrators–created in the past few months, from Europe–who made the trek to ICC in hopes of getting guidance building their business models.  I spoke personally with more than 300 of the attendees and was struck by how many were attending for the first time.  This is awesome!
  5. OEE 2.0 from Sepasoft and the Azure Injector from Cirrus Link were the two hot-topics of this year’s show.  We’ve had an opportunity to work with both modules in the past month and they are game-changers
    1. Effective development in OEE 2.0 will require a knowledge of object oriented programming (Classes and/or UDT style development) and greatly increases the performance and utility of MES development
    2. Effective development using the Azure Injector will require a knowledge of Azure IOT Hub and Data Lakes.  This new module opens up an entire world of possibility… a fact, I personally feel, has not been realized by most of the community.  I can’t wait to see what people do with Azure Injector over the coming year
  6. I’m impressed with how the community continues to develop… the projects get better and this is a good thing for all members of the community.  I am a firm believer that the Ignition market is not a zero-sum game… as more integrators join the community, the existing members of the community all win
  7. A lot of folks asked me why is it that Intellic doesn’t present at ICC.  The simple answer is time.  The presenters at ICC dedicate a lot of time putting together useful, top-notch presentations for the community.  Unfortunately, we just have not had any discretionary time to dedicate to such an endeavor.  Like many members of the community, we are growing at a phenomenal pace (400% growth year over year from ’16 – ’17).  In addition, we are currently developing and have released several products to market that require extensive marketing and integration efforts and this chews up a lot of our time.  The good news: we have identified a way where we can contribute to ICC and will dedicate our efforts over the coming year to add to the experience of the show.  Stay tuned…
  8. A list of projects and/or products that I found interesting and will definitely work into our development over the coming year
    1. OEE 2.0
    2. Azure Injector
    3. Kepware/PTC Thingworx (proper, and manufacturing apps)
    4. Canary Labs historian
      1. We use this already and would like to see a connector between Ignition and their historian–we may have to develop this ourselves in Q4
    5. Sequential pick list project from Brown Engineering
      1. Powerful functionality for manual assembly and QC processes
    6. 3-D Charts from Perfect Abstractions (awesome, awesome, awesome)
    7. And of course, the full suite of Cirrus Link IIOT modules for Ignition… next year, I predict, the discovery gallery will be overrun with projects that utilize MQTT in some capacity…


ICC is my favorite time of year… and this year did not disappoint.  If I could sum up my thoughts from ICC in just one sentence, it would be…

The future is now!



ICC 2017–Day 3 Developer’s Panel 9/20/17

Colby and Carl with the future of the platform.

  • Year in review–Ignition Edge and the distributed use of Ignition; most of the advancements from 7.8.5 to 7.9.5 have been fixes rather than features
  • 7.9.4–Named Queries create top level resources with advanced security rather than text based queries all throughout the project; Client Security Settings
  • Version 8–Brand new visialization system called ‘Perspective’.  HTML, CSS and JS support; Mobile-First Responsive Design (yay!); High Performance, Highly Scalable; Built from the ground up to be completely poll free; New Components and Interaction including multi touch gestures; Tag Performance Improvements; Security Enhancements (see my earlier post); Version Control (yay!!); Improved Script Authoring; Document Based Storage Support
  • Beyond 8.0–Improvements to tag history system; V2 of EAM

Lively question and answer… watch the video!

ICC 2017–Day 2 Highlights 9/19/17

Day 2 of the Ignition Community Conference was typically long and filled with a lot of amazing presentations.  We capped the evening off with the reception and dinner at the Palladio and then headed off to the Fat Rabbit for libations and fellowship.  Yours truly stole away some time to celebrate my wife’s birthday (she is a real trooper with all my travel) and then reviewed all my notes from the presentations and one-on-one discussions I attended.


  1. There were no major announcements during the keynote–on the development side, Colby and Carl punted the roadmap discussion to Day 3 and the developer’s panel session.  I’m hoping to hear more details about 8.0 (Blaze?) — Ignition’s HTML5 efforts.
  2. Travis Cox did announce a new program called Ignition Onboard.  Ignition Onboard is a program where hardware companies will be packaging Ignition (likely Edge) on their hardware solution.  Opto22 and Hilscher are the first two members.  You will know by the Ignition Onboard sticker on the box.


  1. Carl Gould announced the future security developments coming down the road during the Security session.  For security… this really was a great session and I highly recommend anyone who missed it to watch the video once it is posted by IA. The highlights are below and should be taken into account for all future development in Ignition.  I did ask Carl what effect the pen-testing would have on the release of both the Ignition builds and the module builds… and he said that is still to be determined.  For those that aren’t familiar with 3rd party pen-testing… it is when software developers pay a 3rd party to try to hack their software and then report on vulnerabilities.  This will be an added step in the development process and will likely slow down the release schedule a bit.
  2. Security Enhancements coming in future releases of Ignition:
    • Better unidirectional gateway support
    • Secure by default
    • Multi-factor authentication and federated identity support
    • 3rd party pen-testing of Ignition builds
    • Auditing and 21CFR11 Tools
  3. I had an opportunity to set up a Skype Session with Perfect Abstractions and one of our clients to demo the 3-D Charts module.  Nick has done a great job with the development and our client is excited to get the module installed for some 3D representations of O.D. measurements and time series representations of AQP and OEE.
  4. Brown Engineering has a really slick solution on display.  Using Ignition and an external sensor–over serial–they have developed an application that builds sequential pick lists and then tracks the operators selections.  It is a very cool implementation and has many applications in manual assembly, QC and inventory management.


Day 2 was an impressive showing all around.  From Sepasoft’s presentation of OEE 2.0 (phenomenal improvements) to the IIOT discussions to Security Improvements… and capping the day off at the Palladio with a spectacular farm to fork dinner.  Inductive Automation has not disappointed.

Intellic comes to the show every year… I am, personally, here every year… and ICC 2017 is shaping up to be the best yet.



ICC 2017–Ignition Security 9/19/17

Carl Gould presents about SCADA security, Java security and the Ignition road map for version 8.

Road Map for Version 8:

  • Better unidirectional gateway support
  • Secure by default
  • Multi-factor authentication and federated identity support
  • 3rd party pen-testing of Ignition builds
  • Auditing and 21CFR11 Tools


ICC 2017–Notes from Keynote Address 9/19/17

  • Steve Hechtman–what’s next?  In 14 years went from 1 employee, 1 customer and 200sft of floor space.  Today, 100 employees,  thousands of global clients, 22,000sft of floor space.  The future means continued growth under Ignitions core values.
  • Colby Clegg and Carl Gould–two groups of people…long-time community members and new members.  Reiterate the vision and values that drive their direction on software development of the platform.  Discussion about new features will take place tomorrow.  Platform Primise: Security, Stability, Consistency, Speed.

  • Don Pearson–a review of the themes of the past 5 conferences.  Highlighting Industry X.0 and how this will drive the transformation of the market.
  • Travis Cox–state of the ecosystem.  The evolution of the products and solutions being provided in the market.  Integrators, industrial organizations, third party module authors, press and industry analysts, consultants, collaborating companies, strategic partners and Inductive Automation work together to build a flourishing, collaborative ecosystem.  eg. IMDC is on github–opensource  Ignition community.  Announcement: Ignition Onboard is a new program where hardware companies will be packaging Ignition on their hardware solution.  Opto22 and Hilscher are the first two members.  You will know by the Ignition Onboard sticker on the box.



    ICC 2017 — Day 1 Highlights 9/18/17

    Day 1 of this year’s Ignition Community Conference is in the books… and what a fabulous day it was!  There were several exciting take-aways from our first day at the conference… most of which will be covered in the Day 2 post after we hear the keynote address.  Intellic attended 1 workshop and several industry meet-ups.  Yours truly attended the manufacturing and power/utilities meet-ups and will be referencing these meetings in this mornings post.


    1. It doesn’t sound like there will be any major reveals at the conference this year.  8.0, Blaze (Ignition’s HTML5 offering that has been in development since 2016) is likely not to release until Q3 of 2018–or so the rumor is.  I’m hoping to hear more about this today.
    2. IIOT/MQTT by Cirrus Link and Sepasoft’s OEE 2.0 modules are the hot topic this year.  OEE 2.0 addresses many of the issues with performance and flexible data modeling that developers/end-users have wanted to see fixed for a couple years now… and Sepasoft’s new offering doesn’t disappoint.  Intellic was part of the beta testing and we have kicked off a major OEE 2.0 implementation within the past couple of weeks… we have been happy with the new module and are delighted to hear that the community is receiving it well too.  The Azure Injector module by Cirrus Link is generating a lot of buzz as well… we have recently completed an implementation using a Raspberry Pi, Ignition Agent, Ignition Controller, Azure Injector to Azure IOT Hub and have been very happy with the functionality.  Cirrus Link continues to push the envelope at a break-neck pace with their IIOT/MQTT module offerings.  MQTT is a powerful, lean protocol… and it is here to stay.  I’ll have a future post that demo’s our implementation to help explain the value proposition better to those who are just getting started with IIOT.
    3. Canary Labs historian is one of our favorites.  I heard through the grapevine that a connector is currently in development that will serve Ignition tags to Canary’s historian for analytics using Canary’s powerful front-end.  This is an exciting development and one we are looking forward to.  At CSIA earlier this year, we pitched this idea to IA along with Canary and are happy to hear something may be coming of it.  (fingers crossed)
    4. Perfect Abstractions has released a new module this week.  3-D Charts is a powerful tool for building 3 dimensional charts and graphs in Ignition.  I am especially happy to see the surface chart–which will serve as a nice solution for plotting profile gauge data in extrusion and steel processes.  Check out the quick video below I captured with Nick Mudge.

    Day 1 was exciting and did not disappoint.  Today, we will be attending sessions across all industries while spending quality time with friends–old and new.  Tonight is the reception and dinner at the Palladio and then off to the Fat Rabbit for some drinks (ICC tradition).  I will likely be live blogging the sessions I attend today–assuming wi-fi cooperates.



    ICC 2017 — A Preview 9/18/17


    Intellic Integration has returned to Folsom, CA to attend our 2nd Ignition Community Conference.  This is my 5th conference in total but only my 2nd since I founded Intellic.

    As is typical for us, we have brought several members of the team to support the conference.

    This year we brought the following team members (from right to left):


    • Tonya Reynolds
      • Chief Operating Officer
      • Tonya has 10 years of project management experience in higher education–most notably with Cornell University.  She runs our day to day operations and is the point person for most direct contacts with Intellic Integration.  She celebrates her 1 year anniversary with Intellic this Tuesday–September 19 (which also happens to be her birthday!).  If you see her around, please wish her a happy birthday and work anniversary on Tuesday!
    • John McCloud
      • Director of Sales
      • John joined Intellic in June of 2016.  He brings 30 years of sales and account management experience to our organization and does a phenomenal job of qualifying prospective clients and managing existing accounts.  At Intellic, we focus on finding the right relationships to build–this is how we set ourselves up for success and deliver for our partners.  John is the gatekeeper here.
    • Walker Reynolds
      • President and Founder
      • Yours truly… reading this blog or watching our videos is a really good way to find out what makes me tick, what motivates me to build a completely different type of Systems Integrator and what my values are.
    • Gina Logue
      • Software Developer
      • Gina has been with Intellic since April of 2016.  She and I have been working together for several years.  She is a top level developer who supports our on-site engineers from our office in Dallas, TX.  Gina’s background is in Geographical Information Services and has developed into an awesome Ignition SME.


    Today, we will be attending 1 workshop and 3 industry sessions.  We look forward to spending time with the community–visiting with friends old and new.

    I will be blogging the conference throughout… so subscribe or check back for updates.



    Our Core Values: Expertise

    I have believed in four core principles for nearly my entire life.  When I found my faith… those four core principles were validated–and a fifth was added.  These core values are the foundation upon which Intellic Integration is built.  This post is part 4 of 5… to explain what our values are and why they matter.

    1. Authenticity
    2. Transparency
    3. Humility
    4. Expertise
    5. Faith-Based Servant Leadership

    You can view the explanation of our core values here.


    Drives us to maintain our expert status through training and continuing education. We build teams of Subject Matter Experts so our clients don’t have to. The ability to select more complicated projects preserves a work environment that is challenging and exciting. Intellic is viewed as the team who pushes technology to the edge!

    What Is Expertise?

    1. We are all experts in a discipline of Engineering and/or Software
    2. We put our experts forward
    3. We share our expertise with our colleagues and our clients

    Why Does It Matter?

    1. Expertise is what we are known for… this drives us to live up to our reputations–with great knowledge comes great responsibility
    2. Building teams of subject matter experts is the best way to ensure that our clients leverage technology to do more with less–this is how we help to keep good paying, middle class manufacturing jobs here in the United States

    Intellic Integration was born out of a need we observed in the Systems Integration market.  The typical systems integrator has 1 or 2 rockstar engineers/developers and then a host of contractors and junior engineers.  The rockstar engineers are put forward during the sales phase but are rarely used during the development phase–primarily because they are busy working on application engineering and sales.  It is left to contractors and junior engineers to do the development.  We have observed this approach time and time again in the marketplace.

    There is an inherent flaw in this model… it has created a vacuum in the market–one that we set out to fill.

    The client is sold a bill of goods based on the expertise of the rockstar applications engineer and then delivered a sub-par project by the still developing contractor or junior engineer… this sets the project up to be oversold and underdelivered.  It is pure economics that drives this model… and leaves the client and project wanting.

    Early in my career I developed a team building model that allowed us to staff our entire organization with subject matter experts while still being able to afford to offer the most competitive rates for our clients.  This model, known as the T-Based team, has given us an opportunity to build a reputation as being the only systems integrator that guarantees the rockstar subject matter experts will be delivering solutions to our clients at the same price or less than integrators utilizing the more traditional model above.

    Our engineers and software developers are the highest paid in the industry… they are the rockstar subject matter experts… and they are the reason we have developed the reputation as being the systems integrator you call when all others have failed.

    Thanks for reading!



    Our Core Values: Humility

    I have believed in four core principles for nearly my entire life.  When I found my faith… those four core principles were validated–and a fifth was added.  These core values are the foundation upon which Intellic Integration is built.  This post is part 3 of 5… to explain what our values are and why they matter.

    1. Authenticity
    2. Transparency
    3. Humility
    4. Expertise
    5. Faith-Based Servant Leadership

    You can view the explanation of our core values here.


    Teaches us that while we are an elite team it is impossible to know everything. We welcome the opportunity to learn through and with clients and employees.

    What Is Humility?


    1. We all have strengths
    2. We all have weaknesses
    3. We admit our strengths
    4. We admit our weaknesses
    5. We offer support
    6. We accept support

    Why Does It Matter?

    1. Humility keeps us from making promises we can’t keep by not accepting projects we aren’t equipped to deliver
    2. Humility reminds us we are here to offer support to those who need it and accept support from those who are better qualified than we are
    3. Humility reminds us to work with our colleagues, clients and peers (sometimes called competitors) and NEVER against them
    4. Humility makes us more than the sum of our whole by leveraging each individuals strengths while shoring up the weaknesses

    Growing up, my father used to repeat many maxims to my siblings and me–many of which will be repeated on this blog.  The one I remember the most was first told to me when I was 8 or 9 years old.  I was working on my first group project in school–a science experiment for our Science Fair.  I was struggling… our group wasn’t working together well, we were behind schedule and, honestly, completely without direction.  I complained to my father that I was going to end up with a bad grade on this assignment because my group wasn’t carrying their weight.  In a moment of Zen he said–‘Walker, to be successful in life you have to know two things: What you are good at and, more importantly, what you are not good at.  Surround yourself with the people who are good at the things you are not and then you will find success.’

    I followed his lead and asked myself what strength I brought to the team, what were we missing and then found the members of my group who could shore up my weaknesses… we hit our stride and got an A on the assignment and medaled at the Science Fair.

    That lesson has stuck with me nearly all of my life… and it has become a core principle at Intellic Integration.  We admit what we are good at, we admit what we are not so good at and then we organize the team to strengthen our weaknesses. That is the crux of humility… we use our strengths to shore up our team’s weaknesses.

    Humility matters… 

    Thanks for reading,


    Our Core Values: Authenticity

    I have believed in four core principles for nearly my entire life.  When I found my faith… those four core principles were validated–and a fifth was added.  These core values are the foundation upon which Intellic Integration is built.  This post is part 2 of 5… to explain what our values are and why they matter.

    1. Authenticity
    2. Transparency
    3. Humility
    4. Expertise
    5. Faith-Based Servant Leadership

    You can view the explanation of our core values here.


    Inspires us to genuinely care about our employees, clients and their customers, society, and human kind. Our approach in all that we do is to consider the wider impact; we want to save and create middle-class jobs.


    What Is Authenticity?

    1. We are all human
    2. We all put our pants on one leg at a time
    3. We all have successes
    4. We all make mistakes
    5. We are our authentic selves, always

    Why Does It Matter?

    1. Authenticity connects us to our colleagues and our clients
    2. Authenticity means we can be who we are… we don’t waste energy on being someone we are not
    3. Authenticity means we can react to challenges with our native gifts–this makes us efficient, engaged and successful
    4. Authenticity gives our colleagues and our clients the freedom to express naturally

    Authenticity is the idea that we celebrate all of the nuances that make each individual on our team and in our portfolio unique.  When we are free to be our authentic selves,  we are freed from the constraints of being someone we are not.  When we celebrate the nuances of the individual we celebrate the strengths while acknowledging the weaknesses.  This gives Intellic the ability to build truly dynamic teams where members are free to be themselves.  This is efficient, refreshing and plain good business.

    Authenticity matters… 

    Thanks for reading,