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Thread: What is ViewPoint?

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    Administrator Shawn Tierney's Avatar
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    What is ViewPoint?

    Many clients have asked me, "What is ViewPoint?"

    Simply put, ViewPoint is an extension to FactoryTalk View Site Edition and the...

    Click here to view the original article on The Automation Blog
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    Administrator Shawn Tierney's Avatar
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    UPDATE: In version 8.10, ViewPoint went from being a Microsoft Silverlight application to being a HTML 5 application. This change improved compatibility with browsers, operating systems, and devices that do not support Microsoft Silverlight.
    That said, many users complained ViewPoint 8.10 was extremely slow, and one of the major features of ViewPoint 9.0 was a 50-70% speed increase in page loading on mobile devices.
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    Member AndyLadbrook's Avatar
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    Remote Access

    Is it possible to remotely access the viewpoint server via the internet? if so, any pointers as to how would be great.

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    Administrator Shawn Tierney's Avatar
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    Good morning @AndyLadbrook,

    IMO, you're best solution would be to install a VPN so you could remotely connect to ViewPoint over the internet.

    When the predecessor to ViewPoint first came out, I put a demo server on the Internet and from that moment on it was constantly being attacked and hacked.

    In over a decade since nothing has changed, so I never recommend connecting anything directly to the internet, but instead always recommend the VPN route.

    If you needed the ViewPoint information to be public, you could install a firewall between the internet and your single ViewPoint PC, opening only the ports needed to expose ViewPoint pages. The problem is you may find this is still a security risk if hackers find a vulnerability in your OS, Firewall, or ViewPoint, which is why a VPN with strong passwords is better imo.

    Hope this helps!

    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor at www.TheAutomationSchool.com
    Looking for affordable automation training? If you are, check out my courses at TheAutomationSchool.com!

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    Member AndyLadbrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Tierney View Post
    Good morning @AndyLadbrook,

    IMO, you're best solution would be to install a VPN so you could remotely connect to ViewPoint over the internet.

    When the predecessor to ViewPoint first came out, I put a demo server on the Internet and from that moment on it was constantly being attacked and hacked.

    In over a decade since nothing has changed, so I never recommend connecting anything directly to the internet, but instead always recommend the VPN route.

    If you needed the ViewPoint information to be public, you could install a firewall between the internet and your single ViewPoint PC, opening only the ports needed to expose ViewPoint pages. The problem is you may find this is still a security risk if hackers find a vulnerability in your OS, Firewall, or ViewPoint, which is why a VPN with strong passwords is better imo.

    Hope this helps!

    Shawn Tierney,
    Instructor at www.TheAutomationSchool.com
    Many thanks for the response and suggestion.

    I don't believe that VPN is a good route for this instance. I have redundant servers running the FTVSE project and this is displayed via FTVP on a remote industrial pc on the same LAN. The client also wants the ability to dial in FTVP from and external source. The issue with VPN is that its only the servers that are connected to the outside world. I guess i would need to setup port fowarding on the internet router to establish the connection from WAN to the server in order to view FTVP.

    Andy

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    Administrator Shawn Tierney's Avatar
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    Good morning @AndyLadbrook,

    You could definitely allow him to "dial into" your FTVP server, but does he really have a phone modem?

    If he did, he could view the Viewpoint screens assuming he had a fast connection - I had one customer tell me I was at fault because I didn't tell him ViewPoint wouldn't work over extremely slow 1G phone connection lol!

    In any case, today I think VPN's really replace Dial-up modems, and in most plants if you can get a phone line to the ViewPoint Server, you'd likely be able to get an internet or cell connection.

    Some companies I've used in the past for dial-up, cellular, and VPN access are below - if you find a product that looks like it will work for you I'd recommend you ask them for a Try-Before-You-Buy to be sure it works the way you want it to ;-)

    https://www.ewon.biz/
    https://www.prosoft-technology.com/L...e_Connectivity
    https://www.spectrumcontrols.com/pro...ort-solutions/

    Hope this helps,

    Shawn Tierney
    www.TheAutomationSchool.com
    Looking for affordable automation training? If you are, check out my courses at TheAutomationSchool.com!

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    Member AndyLadbrook's Avatar
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    Shawn,

    My bad use of langauge. When i said 'dial in' i meant connect via a pc over the internet.

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    Administrator Shawn Tierney's Avatar
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    Good morning again @AndyLadbrook,

    I kind of thought you did. It really is no problem to pull up ViewPoint on mobile devices inside the plant (assuming the plant has wifi,) but to connect safely from the internet would require a VPN imo, something which is supported on mobile devices these days.

    Please let us know what you end up deciding to do?

    Thanks,

    Shawn Tierney
    www.TheAutomationSchool.com
    Looking for affordable automation training? If you are, check out my courses at TheAutomationSchool.com!

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