Extracting 800xA graphics using the Assyst tools

As of DBDOC 10.5.1, new support has been added for building in 800xA graphics extracted using tools provided by Assyst. This support is for PG2 graphics; to build your VB graphics into your DBDOC project, please see Making a backup of 800xA AFW files.


Installation of the Assyst tools

  1. On an 800xA engineering station, run the installer. This should create the folder "AssystBin" inside "C:\DBDOC".
  2. You can use the installed "Assyst Tools Controller" (linked in "GMCL DBDOC" in your Start Menu, and by default automatically opened after installation), or you can follow the manual instructions below.

Using the Assyst Tools Controller

The usage of the Assyst Tools Controller is detailed below; if you have any issues with the functionality or other bugs, or think of a feature or function you wish it had, do not hesitate to contact GMCL.


Assyst controller tab1.png

The first tab allows for licensing the Assyst tools. You should start by running the Info program, which will generate an Info.txt file. After filling in the handful of fields at the top of the file (to the best of your ability), send the Info.txt file to GMCL. GMCL will send back a license file for the Assyst tools, which you should place in the Info directory (opened by the corresponding button).

PG2 Setup

Assyst controller tab2.png

  1. If you know where the GraphicsKernel.dll file installed as a part of 800xA is located, you can enter the path manually. Otherwise, the auto-detect should find it. Click on the "Save Location" button.
  2. The PG2 extractor version is roughly determined by the release date of your 800xA version, namely "10" for ~2010 and older, "11" for ~2011, and "12" for ~2012 and newer. if you've completed the previous step, the "Guess PG2 Version" should do a reasonable job at selecting the right version based on what we've found from existing clients, but if the version it selects doesn't work you can set a different version and try that. Most clients have seemed to need version 12, so it will default to that.
  3. Once you have both the path and version set, or if you've changed either, you can hit "Copy" to put the extraction utility and license in the right place, behind the scenes. If this is successful, it will automatically tick the "Copied" checkbox, and the next time you load the Controller it will default to the next tab. Conversely, to make it open this tab again next time, you can manually uncheck the box.

PG2 Extraction

Assyst controller tab3.png

Once you've licensed and set up the PG2 extraction utility, you can run it from this tab.

You can also schedule a task from here, or delete it if you want to schedule a different one. This uses the task name "AssystPG2Extraction". If you'd rather set your own task, you will need to append the argument "-mode=auto", otherwise the PG2 extraction utility will open on schedule but merely wait for a user to press the Start button.

From this tab, you can also view the Readme, open the base directory containing both "AssystBin" (the programs) and "Graphics" (where the "AssystInfo" and "AssystSnapshot" folders with the extracted graphics are located), or automatically zip up the extracted graphics (which will create a .7z file in the base directory).


Assyst controller tab4.png

On the Log tab you can check the current session's log for explanations if anything has gone wrong, or open the full log file to view previous errors or debug messages. By default, this log is located in C:\DBDOC\AssystBin\launcher.log. This does not contain any errors encountered by the Assyst tools themselves.

Manual Instructions

STAGE 1: Info for Licence

  1. Run the "800xA_ASSYST_Info.exe" program in C:\DBDOC\AssystBin\Info, or "800xA_ASSYST_Info_V6.exe" if you are running 800xA version 6.0.
  2. Fill in the empty fields at the top of the resulting Info.txt file
  3. Send us the "Info.txt" file

At this point we'll send you back a "800xA_Assyst_License.txt" file. You may want to do a backup with 800xA Backup And Ghost, just in case, although we have no reason to expect any issues.

STAGE 2: Extraction of PG2 Graphics Data

 1. You need to grab the right version of the Assyst PG2 extraction tool from "C:\DBDOC\AssystBin\PG2 Version ##". These are
  - 800xA_ASSYST10.exe for ABB 800xA Version 5.0 SP2 with process graphics PG2
  - 800xA_ASSYST11.exe for ABB 800xA Version 5.1 with GraphicKernel.dll Version 2011
  - 800xA_ASSYST12.exe for ABB 800xA Version 5.1 with GraphicKernel.dll Version 2012 or later
  - 800xA_ASSYSTV6.exe for ABB 800xA Verison 6.0

 2. We will be including what version we believe you to have (based on the Info.txt) in the email that supplies you with the license file. So copy the three files ("800xA_Assyst_License.txt", and the corresponding 800xA_ASSYST##.exe and 800xA_ASSYST##.exe.config for your PG2 version) into whichever of the following paths exist for you:

 C:\Program Files\ABB Industrial IT\Operate IT\Process Portal A Graphics\Bin
 C:\Program Files\ABB Industrial IT\Operate IT\Process Portal A\Bin
 C:\Program Files (x86)\ABB Industrial IT\Operate IT\Process Portal A\Bin
 C:\Program Files (x86)\ABB800xA\Base\Bin 

 3. Run the 800xA_ASSYST##.exe program from the directory you've copied it to. This may take quite some time (it will show the progress numerically).
 4. The output will be saved to C:\DBDOC in two folders, "C:\DBDOC\Graphics\AssystInfo" (containing encrypted information about the graphics) and "C:\DBDOC\Graphics\AssystSnapshot" (containing what are essentially screenshots of the current states of the graphics).

STAGE 3: Development Data for GMCL DBDOC

While you can now build in your data by choosing the "C:\DBDOC\Graphics" folder in the BuildPlus database selector, GMCL would appreciate data from as many systems as possible to ensure that our 800xA PG2 support is solid, as well as any feedback you might have.

  1. Zip up and upload the entire "C:\DBDOC\Graphics" folder to us, and if possible an AFW backup; see http://gmcl.com/upload-overview.php or, if you encounter issues or have a different preferred method of getting the zip file to us, contact us and we'll work it out.
  2. Call or e-mail us to let us know that you've uploaded the extracted PG2 and/or VB graphics.