Entry type: FAQ, Entry ID: 28531852, Entry date: 04/01/2011
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What are the solutions offered for working with different versions of WinCC flexible?

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Configuration Notes:
Normally, you cannot install different versions of whatever software on a system at the same time.
Furthermore, not all branches allow updating of a target just like that. They specify defined versions of the software.
Taking WinCC flexible as an example, we will look at the following questions in more detail.

  1. What are the options for working with different versions of WinCC flexible at the same time?
  2. How can you edit old projects without having to save them in the new version of the software?
  3. Can you save a newly created project as a specific version of the project?
  4. What should you pay attention to when upgrading a system (project transfer to the Panel or PC Runtime)?  

Notes:

  • Always make a backup before you edit an old project.
  • If you open an old WinCC flexible project with a more recent version of WinCC flexible, a backup file is created automatically (see Entry ID: 21896449):
  1. What are the options for working with different versions of WinCC flexible at the same time?
No. Options
1 Using a second configuration computer.
You are using multiple configuration computers with different software versions.
2 Using a dual boot system.
There are multiple boot partitions on one PC, on each of which a different version of the software is installed.
3 Using a ghost image.
Depending on the version of the software that has to be used, the relevant image file is installed on the PC.
4 Using a "virtual machine" (e.g. VMware Workstation).
With this software you can use multiple operating systems at the same time on one computer by virtualizing.
The relevant version of the software is then installed on each "virtual machine".

Note:
Use of the SIMATIC software in a "virtual machine" has not been system tested. SIEMENS AG provides no support for use of the software in a "virtual machine".
The relevant terms of license of the Microsoft company apply for using "VMware".

  1. How can you edit old projects without having to save them in the new "version of the software"?
No. Procedure
1 If you open an old WinCC flexible project with a more recent version of WinCC flexible, you first get a message indicating that the current configuration has been created with an older version of WinCC flexible.
After acknowledging this message, the project is converted automatically to the latest version. A backup is also made of the "old version".
You can then edit the configuration and save it via the menu item "Project > Save as version". More information is available in Entry ID: 33934262 .

Notes:

  • You can only save the configuration by one version lower (n-1) than the project file. No "(n-1)" Runtime file can be generated and transferred to the target device.
  • If you use functions that are only supported in the new version, then you cannot convert these functions.
  • To transfer the (n-1) version to the panel, you need a WinCC flexible "n-1" installation that you use to open and generate the "saved version".
  1. Can you save a newly created project as a specific version of the project?
No.  Procedure
1 You can save newly created projects via the menu item "Project > Save as version".
Note that you can only save the configuration by one version lower (n-1) than the project file. No "(n-1)" Runtime file can be generated and transferred to the target device.
  1. What should you pay attention to when upgrading a system (project transfer to the Panel or PC Runtime)?  
No. Procedure
1 Operating system update (Panels):
Depending on the version of WinCC flexible used, there are predefined versions of the image file (operating system version) for each operator panel.
Before a configuration is transferred to an operator panel, the system checks whether the right version of the operating system is on that operator panel.
If the image version on the operator panel does not match the version of WinCC flexible used, you receive a message telling you that you must first update the operating system.
How to do an OS update is described in Entry ID: 19701610
An overview of the matching image versions of WinCC flexible and the various operating panels is available in Entry ID: 21742389.

Notes:

  • An OS update overwrites all the internal user data on the Panel
    (recipes, passwords, licenses and OS settings).
    If you have changed/edited recipes or passwords online on the panel, you can save them using the "ProSave" software and then transfer them back to the panel after the OS update has been completed.
    Use the "Automation License Manager" to backup licenses.
  • By transferring the right image version you can always adapt the operator panel to the relevant version of WinCC flexible.
2 Operating system update (Panel PCs / PC Runtime systems):
There are no special image files for Panel PCs and PC Runtime systems.
For these systems you must install the appropriate WinCC flexible Runtime software in each case. Furthermore, you must change the Runtime license for each version accordingly.
3 General notes:
  • Machine downtimes:
    Remember that an OS update can take several minutes (depending on the panel) and the subsequent transfer of the configuration takes longer the first time.
  • Settings on the panel:
    After an OS update, you must reset various settings, e.g. Transfer settings.
    You should calibrate Touch Panels.
    (Control Panel > OP > Touch > Recalibrate)
  • Cables required:
    Check beforehand which cable connection your panel supports
    (see Entry ID: 19109408)
    If you are using a version of VMware, it is not possible to connect via a CP5512 or CP5611 (the CPs are not supported by the VMware).
    In this case you must transfer the configuration via a serial cable, a USB cable (see Entry ID: 19142034) or an Ethernet cable (crossed cable) (see Entry ID: 23800567).
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