PanelBuilder vs. RS View Studio ME (student help!)


Thread Starter


Hi all,

Not having taken a RSView Studio or RS Logix 5000 course (simply know the basics, tagging, some FBD etc., simple HMI building) I need some clarification on the major differences between PanelBuilder vs. RS View Studio ME. Everything that I seem to read off AB website is all greek and I dont clearly understand what it talks about.

My instructor has said things like
- RSView allows a PanelView Plus to be able to do complex equations
- Networking capabilities with RSView

From my understanding Panelbuilder is more for simple displays? I don't really know any other detail.

Some ideas as to the differences spoken in terms I could understand would be very much appreciated.

Bob Peterson

For the most part, a Panelview Plus is just an updated Panelview. There are few functional differences.

Studio has some advantages over Panelbuilder, the biggest being the ability to run the application within the development environmnet.

Trevor Ousey


Panelbuilder32 is for configuring Standard Panelviews whereas RSView Studio is required for Panelview Plus. Although both are referred to as Panelviews, that is really where the similarity ends. The Standard Panelview is an older style operator panel that AB are intending to wind down and replace with Panelview Pluses. Panelview Pluses have gained some features from their SCADA/HMI packages in the form of datalogs and trending, improved graphics and more complexity available in the graphic objects. But they also have lost some of the simplicity that Panelbuilder and Standard Panelviews have. Panelview Pluses are also based on Windows CE, not exposed as it is in VersaViews. Also communications have changed as Panelview Pluses use RSLinx Enterprise, or other IO Server packages (RSLinx or Kepware), and has the ability to OPC browse direct to the tag/address in the PLC without the need to create a tag database.

Thanks a lot for the responses, very much appreciated. Can anyone elaborate on what the benefits and features of having Windows CE on the PanelView are?

Trevor Ousey \(list\)

I guess the advantage of Panelview Pluses having Windows CE embedded helps RSView Studio to become a common development platform for SE, ME, Versaviews and Panelview Pluses. With the Panelview Pluses you don't have access to Windows CE but in Versaviews you do and can run CE applications.

Bob Peterson

I can't think of any real advantage for the average user other than not having AB have to pay to develop their own OS for the platform.


The choice to run embedded CE is one of the need to run a "stripped" down version of Windows that will run in a small footprint. It is the only choice for small footprint OS that also allows compatability with the bigger picture OS used for HMI develpement that most customers use and understand (except Curt W.) Please no Curt rants.

The main reason for PV plus is the desire from the "masses" to have the same development software package to program HMI and Panelviews.

Dave Ferguson

Michael Griffin

In reply to DAVE FERGUSON: MS Windows CE is a different operating system from regular MS Windows. They have certain similar APIs, but sharing the "Windows" name is just for marketing purposes.

A software developer from one of the other major vendors told me (at a product launch exhibit) that they had been sold on the idea of a common code base for both their embedded panel and PC based MMI products, but it didn't work out in practice. The two operating systems were just too different. More importantly, the operating environments (RAM, disk, CPU speed, screen size and resolution, means of operator interaction, etc.) were also very different. The best they could do was to get two different products that shared some code components.

I understand that the Microsoft salesmen sold the idea to the company's product managers (this was supposed to result in big cost savings in software development) who based their plans on it. However, it seems the Power Point presentation glossed over a few things. By the time the plan filtered down to the people who actually had to implement it, it was too late to change course (and too many important people would have lost face). The products got shipped eventually, but it took a lot longer and cost more money than had been planned on. Their initial enthusiasm for MS Windows CE seems to have waned since that experience.

I can't comment on Rockwell's product decision without knowing more about the background for it than I am ever likely to know. I thought I would mention this story though in case it might help someone else avoid a similar mistake. People can evaluate MS Windows CE on its own merits, but it's not a magic bullet for making embedded system development problems disappear.
I hate to correct all of you folks but have you not noticed the marketing dept. got involved... it is now:

FactoryTalk View ME

FactorySmack as I like to call it... the whole integrated architecture thing... it's not that it works great together... it just has to appear that it does so people will buy it.

Curt Wuollet

I don't rant Dave :^), that's merely your perception of the voice of reason. To say that the status quo is what people "want" is like saying they "want" the product of their local electric monopoly, no matter what it costs. Yes, it does beat being in the cold and dark, but if they could get power for 90% less, most would choose to do so. Some of us here are old enough to remember when a long distance phone call was a pretty special event, and very expensive. If the monopoly prevailed, my Internet access would be in the same category and I suppose you would be much happier. :^)

Once we change who controls the conduits through which service is provided, the rest follows quite naturally, and at some point you won't think twice about picking the best choice for a job rather than making the best of the only choice you have. And convincing yourself that it's what people "want". Verticals don't last forever.



Dave Ferguson

But my comment stands that it is or was the only stripped down version that would run in the smaller footprint. Versus the separate OS in the Panelview that was a one-off.

The purpose was and is to get rid of the multiple software packages and be able to use one development software in the Rockwell environment. If you do not like the Rockwell environment, then by all means use multiple software packages to program your main HMI and your "portable terminals." If you want to step up to a full blown field PC type of environment then you have many other choices. This person is SPECIFICALLY asking about a Rockwell solution.

They are attempting to reel in some of the issues between multiple development teams within their own company also. The Panelview stuff was done in Cleveland and was an AB thing and the RSView stuff came out of Dynapro in Vancouver I believe and RSI formerly in West Allis.

Customers (Rockwell customers) were asking why 2 packages for graphics. This is a solution, take it or leave it. Not debating the virtues of the OS or anything else. Just trying to answer the student question and not tie him/her up in a debate.

Dave Ferguson