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HMIs + SQL Databases


What is SQL?

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a powerful tool for accessing and manipulating data in Relational Database Management Systems (RDMS), two of the most prominent examples being MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server.

HMIs allow you to connect to SQL Databases wherever they may be hosted: locally, off-site, or in the cloud. With Maple Systems SQL Database Integrations, you get streamlined storage, collection, and organization of operations data in a standardized SQL format.
Why use SQL?
By logging your time-series controller data, events and alarms, and recipe parameters into a SQL database, you add redundancy to your existing data backup solutions, while making process data available to IT Administrators and other key decision-makers in your company.

With your HMI syncing to a SQL Database, you also gain access to new tools for performing advanced monitoring, analytics, and reporting:

  • SQL Queries (short commands issued to the database) permit:
    • Conversion between different data formats,
    • Filtering by any number of conditions, and
    • Linking information together from different tables to create new “views” of your data.
  • With free database connector tools (namely, ODBC drivers), you can also:
    • Synchronize SQL data into Microsoft Excel worksheets which refresh automatically anytime the database is updated, and
    • From these Excel worksheets, generate custom reports and create new visual representations of your data.

Enterprise IT organizations rely on relational databases like MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server both for internal use as well as for customer-facing, public applications. In the Industrial Automation world, however, adoption of these technologies has been lagging.

Traditionally, without a central database, operations teams had to copy, transfer, and later merge together process data files one at a time for each system they managed. Now with Maple Systems HMIs you can quickly integrate operations data into existing IT workflows with MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server to better stay ahead of the competition.

How do I link up my HMI application with a SQL database?

Connecting a Maple Systems HMI to a SQL database involves just three main steps, with one additional, optional step. Here is the outline of the process:

  1. Install MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server on a Windows PC and create a Schema in which to store HMI data.
    1. Or, if your IT Team already has a server configured, request access and login credentials.
  2. In EBPro, create a new connection using the Database Server Object.
  3. Configure any Data Sampling object, Alarms/Events, or Recipe Database to sync to the SQL database either based on a trigger, or periodically (automatically; on a given schedule).
  4. OPTIONAL: Set up synchronization between your database tables and a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet using an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver.

In our online Support Center, you can find free SQL Quick-Start Guides and Sample Projects to help you hit the ground running. With the Offline Simulation mode in EBPro, you can even test the SQL Integration feature before you buy a Smart HMI.
Whether you have one machine or hundreds on a line, our SQL Integrations will save you money and time.

Visit our HMI Series page for more information on our Smart Solutions, or contact us at sales@maplesystems.com.

Maple Systems SQL Database Integrations:
Your Robust Record-Keeping and Analytics Solution

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