Configuring the web server and calling up machine data

Configuring the web server and calling up machine data

You want to make your machine data available centrally on a web server? We have a simple solution for you.

In this article we show you how to activate and configure the integrated web server of the DataSuite in order to subsequently gain access to your machine data in the form of HTML web pages.

Advantages and functions of the integrated web server

In this article we explain what the DataSuite’s integrated web server is and how to use and configure it properly. To follow all the steps, you will need the DataSuite software, our versatile software for collecting and processing machine data. At the end of the article, provided you have followed all the steps, you will be able to use your fully configured web server. We will then show you how to access the web pages of your data.

We have shown you why you should convert machine data into HTML files and how you can upload them to the web server in the article “How to provide machine data as HTML files“.
 
Here, however, we will deal with the activation and configuration of the integrated web server. As already mentioned, you need the DataSuite software for this. Please note, that you need the DataSuite Pro licence for the web server feature. If you have not yet purchased a licence, you can test all features free of charge in the 30-day trial version.
 

How does the integrated web server work anyway?

Once you have converted your machine data into HTML files, they can be opened on any device with a web browser without additional software. To avoid having to send this data around, you can simply upload the HTML files to the integrated web server. This means that files can then be called up locally via a specific link.

But what is a web server anyway?

What is a web server?

A web server, also called an HTTP server, is used to store web content. Such a web server simplifies and standardises communication on the web. In principle, it is a mixture of website and application, which can be operated and called up from outside. Since the web server is integrated in the DataSuite, no additional software is needed here.

The great advantage of a web server is good accessibility to your data and software. With the DataSuite’s integrated web server, you can easily upload machine data in the form of HTML files to make them accessible locally on all devices. Coupled with the Rest API feature, you can operate DataSuite on an industrial PC without software, for example to execute a trigger or communicate with the PLC. This saves time and helps you to store your data clearly in one place. We will show you how to use the Rest API in another article.

Not only are you not bound to any licences, but you can also make your data more accessible from the outside on the integrated web server. This works simply, quickly and without compromise.

You can also upload your HTML files that you have created using DataSuite to an external web server. For this, however, you need much more extensive expertise, as this must first be created. We have shown you how to create and use an external web server in the article “Link follows”.

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Configure the integrated web server correctly

Now we will show you how to configure the integrated web server of the DataSuite correctly. To do this, first go to “Web server and rest API” in the menu on the left. This item is only displayed if the corresponding feature is included in your licence.

Activate web server and set port

In the upper area of the configuration page you can see the current status of the web server. Below this you can activate it and enter the desired port. Please note that all changes only take effect after saving. Once you have activated the web server, it starts automatically every time you start the DataSuite.

Encryption

Communication with the web server and the rest of the API is always encrypted (HTTPS/SSL), unencrypted communication (HTTP) is not possible.

A self-signed certificate is used for encryption in the standard configuration. Some browsers then display a warning when opening the website that a self-signed certificate was used. You can either simply acknowledge this warning and the website will open normally or alternatively import your own SSL certificate.

To do this, select the certificate file (e.g. *.pfx) and enter the certificate password. To create a certificate, please contact your local IT department.

Using a self created certificate
Use of a certificate file

Authentifizierung

With authentication, you can protect the access to the web server and the REST-API. So in principle it is about securing access with a user and password.

At this point you have two options:

• No authentication: A connection can be established without authentication without authentication.

• Basic authentication: A user name and password must be entered to access web pages and to use the Rest API. You can freely select the user name and password in the settings.

Enable access to individual resources

In the last section of the configuration, you can set access to individual resources (PLC connections, triggers). You can grant access with a simple click.

You can set for each trigger individually whether it can be started via the Rest API.

For each PLC, you can select whether the variable values can be read (read access) or whether they can also be written to the PLC (read and write access).

This allows you to operate the DataSuite remotely from another PC or from another software. 

If you try to access a non-released resource via the Rest API, you will receive the error code 403 (Forbidden).

Call up web pages

Now we will show you how to call up your HTML web pages that you have previously created from Excel files. To be able to do this, you must first upload the converted machine data to the integrated web server. There you can also define a name (URL) for the website.

All websites can always be reached under the following link:

https://localhost:22722/sites/{name of the page}

As you can see, we have converted an Excel file containing machine data into an HTML file that can be accessed via the browser. This means that you do not need any software on the systems to open the file.

We have shown you an example here, but you can do the same with your real Excel files. You can repeat these steps as often as you like to upload all your machine data to the integrated web server or save it in the file system.

Further DataSuite functions and customer support

 

DataSuite offers numerous other functions, for example, you can use it to generate PDF or Excel documents from machine data and automatically write machine data to a database. You can find the article on this in the DataSuite Tech Blog.

You can find much more information and setting options in the DataSuite software manual, which is included in the download. There you will find detailed instructions with screenshots.

Further information and assistance free of charge from our experts:

Phone: +49 2742 72927 80
E-mail: [email protected]

 
 

Conclusion

DataSuite helps you bridge the gap between production and the web. Using the local or an external web server gives you the possibility to make your machine data more easily and specifically available in the company without having to rely on other software licences.

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Notes on data protection(Required)

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