When you use the Main Driver Sheet in InduSoft Web Studio SCADA software, the runtime driver automatically creates several communication groups according to the protocol specifications in the background and starts the communication with the PLCs.
If you are in Runtime mode, you will see the little Driver Runtime icon on the right corner of your Windows Taskbar. Once you right click on it, you will have the option that says “Virtual Read Groups”.
Once you click on it, you will have a window showing the groups that were created in the background, and that are communicating with the PLC. These are called Virtual Read Groups and they show the messages that are being exchange with the PLC.
For drivers that communicate with PLCs and PACs that use tags and variable names debugging the driver communications using the Main Driver Sheet can be tricky, since it is difficult to know for sure in which virtual groups the tags are. You can see an example of it below:
So, for advance debugging, you have the option to dump the Virtual Groups created by the Main Driver Sheet into the Standard Driver Sheet files format. Once you have that, you can open them and see the tags that are in each read group.
In order to do that, all you have to do is
– open your project file that has the extension .APP using a text editor (Such as Windows Notepad),
– look for the [Options] section,
– add the entry DumpDriverSheets=1
As you call the runtime, whenever the Main Driver Sheet creates Virtual Read Groups, these groups will also be dumped into the project WebDump folder, with the extension .DRV.
From there, you have 2 options to see what is inside each one of these DVR files:
- On the Development Environment, use the Open Project File command, navigate to the project WebDump folder, change the file filter to Driver files *.drv and you will see the list of the files that you can open:
- As you open the files, you can see them on the familiar Standard Driver Sheet format, and it will allow you to browse and search for the tags that you are looking for:
- Another option, would be to temporarily copy all the *.drv files from the Project’s WebDump folder to the Project’s Config folder. As you reopen the project, you will see these files on the Project Explorer TreeView:
Then, you can use things like X-Ref, to help you finding the tags within the Groups.
Ideally, you would remove these files from the Config folder once you are done debugging your project.