RSLogix Opinions


Anthony de la Rosa

Dont forget the issue of speed, I have a P-II 300 96 megs ram Thinkpad 600, Windows NT4 and my old T3200SX 386-16 luggable with A.I. can assemble edits a tad faster the RSLogix 5 with all this computing power behind it.
I beg to differ!!!

I have used AI extensively, and now have started using RSLogix500. I have found that Logix500 has (so far in use) all the capabilities that AI had with the exception of Comparing programs. I happen to fully enjoy the use of Logix, and yes there could be some improvements, but all in all it's not worse that AI, if anything I find it to be more familiar (windows based) and VERY easy to use. I'm very happy with it, and in fact, I've found that using Logix has been much more productive for me.

Anthony Kerstens

Speaking of punching in long programs. I had a rather ingenious grad working for me on a project. He noticed that a cut rung from RSLogix would paste as text in Excel. He hammered out some basic logic, cut it, had all descriptors and addresses laid out in Excel, pasted the logic into Excel as text, and did spreadsheet text handling formulas down several thousand rows.

The resulting text was then cut out of Excel and pasted into RSLogix, with a CSV import for the descriptors. WOW!!!! Not to pump-up RSLogix too much, but there's not much that can be done like this with DOS based programmers.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.
You've got to be joking! MS Word was a quantum leap from day one in functionality. Its only problem was its unfamiliar feel when it was
introduced. AI is still capable, after a few years of RSLogix, of outperforming it on several fronts. If you don't believe me have a look at
the back of your filing cabinet. See if you can find any old documents you produced in Wordstar.


Pierre Desrochers

Hi all-

We program PLCs from Mitsubishi, Modicon, Omron, Telemecanique, Siemens and of course AB. RSLogix is for us a very nice GUI. We always prefer any DOS base programming software because they are less likely to hang our laptop... and because we all hate to use the mouse.

The most frustrating aspect of RSLogix is to us, the fact that new versions are coming out wath looks like every months... Of course every time we find new features and are pleased to get them but the trouble of keeping up with the upgrades is superior to the small improvements we get every time. Maybee they could limit the rate of upgrading this stuff to once every year... or two.

Since we feel that a good program is somehow related to the clarity of the comments and archiving functions, RSLogix gives us more than we need and gives us the ability to supply our customer with a printout which is unsurpassed by other (maybe Modicon Concept is just a little better...).

We always wonder if the folks producing these new versions at this rate are only justifying their salary ?

Pierre Desrochers
Integral Instrumentation Inc

I can respond to this - at least partly!

Last fall I received a 'demo' Steeplechase package, which I loaded and played with. This was an evaluation exercise, and there was no intent to hook it up to any I/O.

Steeplechase is intuitive, and its tech support was excellent. I used the flowchart program, as opposed to RLL.

I found it interesting that I stayed more closely focused on the program structure, because I often make tasks into subroutines, which are very easy to manage as stand alone modules.

What really hooked me is the built in diagnostic (decision) block, which I liked so much I've begun to simulate it in RLL programs! Add to that
the capability to link machinery failure direct to brouser-accessed URLs, there's sure an enormous potential!

This is bad news for Modicon and Rockwell!


Daniel C. Rozok

I would disagree. This kind of "mass production" of code has been happening on a daily basis within the various companies that I have worked for over the past 15 years with either AI or 6200. In fact, if you look at the early versions of RSLogix, this was not even possible!

Daniel C. Rozok
It amazes me how many people continue to complain about the product performance, pricing, support, and who knows what else re: Rockwell/AB. With so many better, more cost effective (and truly open) offerings in automation available today, quit complaining and go look at some of these technologies. Between third party networking cards, OPC servers, et. al, communicating to your existing AB installation is not an issue anymore. Maybe it's time to go look at some new,truly innovative products. There certainly is a vast array of them out there. I hope Ken's new "open" foray may help some of these folks do more than just stick their toe in the water.
As long as you have customer requirements, you'll have complaints. It's not as simple as going out and looking.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.

I agree whole heartedly. I did a project using the FrameworX software from GE-Fanuc - very intuitive, very easy to use, HTML based help, context sensitive right-click menus. Everything's drag and drop. Really integrated control and MMI development. The ladder logic development system is just too easy. You create a branch by just clicking where you want it to start and dragging to where you want it to end! You map I/O by dragging a variable on to a terminal! Blows away anything I've seen. They use SFCs to handle
program structure and task scheduling. I didn't use the SFC part. I just used subroutines. But it seems as easy to use as the ladder. I used Profibus I/O.

Of course the other big advantage with the PC based systems is the ability to move data around. The app. had to store a bunch of data on a central
server fed from various remote sites. I was able to set it up so that remote stations (PCs) could call in and transfer the data over the web. The future is here!!
I used to do this frequently in DOS based AI software. It took a few more steps, but it can be done. I would export an ASCII version of my docs and edit them in Excel and reimport them. Don't be too quick to put down software just because it was DOS based.

Bill Sturm

Michael Johnson

RSLogix 5 English sucks. You have integer files, float files, counter files, etc. These files are numbered files that are really not difficult to get use to ( however, these files numbering system is user definable). These files where all a
programmer could use. A-B gave programmers a break by allowing the use of pointers ( even thou there are those that will argue against the use of pointers ), one can sort of define a system of arrays. Another discomfort is the use of function blocks called Block Transfer inorder to transfer data to and from analog output and input cards, respectively.

RSLogix5000 is a step in the right direction. RSLogix5000 gives programmers the use of actual data types, arrays, data structures, and the programming environment well suited for modular programming. One can create data structures
and use within the logic One can give actual names to tags and IO rather than a letter of the alphabet followed by a sequence of numbers.

A RSLogix5000 big plus is the producer/consume tags concept. This form of communication is superior to the block transfer method, faster, and transparent to the ladder logic. Once one gets use to ControlNet use RSNetworx ControlNet
configuration tool, this seems the way to go as far as multiprocessor communication ( PLC-5 to ControlLogix processors ) and remote IO communication.

Anthony de la Rosa

well at least the release level seems to be very stable and is holding at version 3.22. Am sure everyone remembers what happened last year. A-B must have issued 4 or 5 releases in a span of 4 months. That was quite annoying.


Anthony Kerstens

Not just docs. A spreadsheet manipulation of
the text pneumonic of the logic. That is, wholesale logic replication, with changes for PLC addresses. Then you import the descriptors in a CSV file.

Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.

R A Peterson

I consider going from AI to RSLogix comparable to going from Word Perfect DOS to MSWord windows. Granted MSWord was prettier, but it took me YEARS to become as proficient with MSWord as I learned to be in WP in a few months. Even today sometimes I yearn for the function key menu and hidden codes
display, which many times was much faster then the wysiwig interface MSW gives you.

My guess is that RSI has signed onto the mass user concept. make things more similar to other windows products and the casual user will have an easier time of it. Since there are far more of them out there then people who use it all day every day, they can justify it. I still use AI when I have serious programming to do, and use RSLogix to tidy it up and for I/O card configuration and online use.

RSLogix has come a long way, but it still has some annoying things I wish they would take care of. For instance:

AI would automatically prompt you for a descriptor when you entered an address that did not previously have one and it remembered the last
descriptor entered and allowed you a quick key to copy the last descriptor into the current address for editing.

AI would allow the same address descriptor to automatically be used for all elements of a timer/counter/etc instead of forcing you to enter it multiple times for the preset, accum, dn bit, etc.

Can't search for undescribed addresses.

Can't search and modify descriptors.

has no database edit function. this was handy for mass editing and additions. Its possible to do this via the export and import function in RSL
buts its more time consuming and tedious. Plus the external editor you use does no checking for legal addresses like the AI DB editor did.

These are all features that those of us who had to live with it 40 (or 100) hours a week found saved lots of time. it might only amount to a few seconds each time you use it but when you use it a few hundred times ...

An annoying thing is the requirement to use an externally configured program for communications. The old AI way was simple and the drivers always worked. The new (RSLinx) way is not as simple to configure and frequently requires assistance from tech support (don't get me started on that) to figure out why something won't work right.

I did find that the new version of RSLogix500 finally has a library feature as powerful as the old AI one from 15 years ago. Its not as easy to use as it will not allow you to enter symbols in the fixup table, but its close. It also has very nice import and export to/from the AI packages. I do appreciate some features of it like the placeholder feature where you can enter an address later in a rung.

Dave Ferguson

I agree whole heartedly. A little history, I have been involved with both 6200 and the ICOM products since ICOM's inception. I was one of the first what were called ICOM Wintegrators, an ICOM beta tester of all products and am currently a RSI Strategic Provider.

They sometimes do not like my opinions, but here we go...........

With ICOM, I could call as was listed on the list, virtually anytime, speak to the programmer, explain my wishes, and see a new version literally
overnight. I cannot tell you the number of times I found little things that ended up in the product and had a FedEx package waiting for me the next day. I used to joke that I got my support dollars with back in floppy disks. This
was sort of a "Linux" like thing whereby a user wanted a feature and had it. Customer involvement, "What a concept", "what would you like to see versus "here is what you want".

Today you are told that your wishes will be considered and never see them again. I do like RSLogix and use it daily but only because of this am I good with it. There is no book and in my and most people I work with opinions, electronic doc stinks. You only find fixes that you know you are looking for in electronic doc, you rarely just read it to learn new features which you do with a book. Every time I install the product for a colleague, the first question is "whereas the manual". When I have brought this up with RSI the
answer is "We are trying to be like Microsoft" and my answer is, There are 50 million people writing Excel books. I have since with the local vo-tech written an RSLogix manual because of the non-stop issues and people asking for one.

We also used great features that ICOM had with Winview called Ladder that opened up Winlogic 5 and took you to the rung. We could take the MMI and click on a valve and open the code for that valve. What a concept. We actually won a Microsoft Windows World Open contest mainly based of this and many other innovative features that we had asked for. We built "automated" hydraulic schematics that were live and then would take you to the rungs that controlled the devices and saved tens of thousands of dollars of downtime.

My first comment when I heard about the AB purchase was " I suppose support will be cut in half and costs will be double", and it doesn't look like I was far off. Scott Zifferer had to sign a no-compete and it should be close to up. I hope some innovative small non-bureaucracy can come along and knock them for a loop back into the world of customer focus versus market share.

Having said that, they do make some great products but their support is poor and you usually as a power user have to jump through 200 hoops to get to someone who really knows what you are asking. I also commented that the support people would think they were doing better because calls have gone down because guys like me don't call anymore because we cannot afford to waste that much time so we just find other software to solve our problems. Net result, the products as was said in the list, have not evolved into
anything any better than any one else offers. Really nothing but familiarity keeps me using the products. There are very few great features added

The last thing that I will say and get off my soap box included the move to "Programming Software", by this I mean that they think that making the product a huge "programmers" product with all of the computer science features that a computer major enjoys, they will sell more product. I say snap out of it, the reason ICOM owned your market share, had to do with the
ability of a plant floor Electrician to understand your MMI, PLC , TREND software etc. Period. You had a product that I could teach an Electrician in 10 minutes how to use if he understood the PLC. This is usually the result
(and no flame intended) of 20 something programmers who think it is cool to make nested for then else loops and think everyone wants to make complex versus easy to understand code and who have never spent a significant amount of time on a plant floor trying to get something running.

I can code complex and easy and believe me, my customers love easy. For this reason I don't write complex "pointers" and indexed and indirect addresses etc and I don't write a lot of VB scrip etc outside of a need to do so, even though the "Comp scientist" in me wants to do so. Usually this is do to the needs of your ego or insecurity in your job protection, so write complex code that only you can understand. I have been in many countries where they love to write huge programs and jumps and jump etc. I think your users
"Maintenance" will like you much more if you do the easy route. These are the same people who never write any comments.........Keep it simple Stupid (KISS).......Take off your blue suits and ties and get back to the ICOM days of pinball machines and beer in the pop machines and people in shorts writing great code.

My first introduction to Scott was walking into his office in Milwaukee and he had Van Halen cranking on his monster stereo, a big screen going and he was hacking out code with each hands on 2 computers, what an impression that leaves with you......Bring back innovation and listen to the end user..............

Dave Ferguson
DAVCO Automation
Blandin Paper
Champion International

The opinions here are mine and mine alone
Hello all,

I have been following the discussion of the RSLogix software with interest. I Just wanted to let everyone who is using the software know that version 4.0 of both RSLogix-5 and RSLogix-500 are available from Rockwell's download site, if you have a valid support agreement ;-(

Most of the issues that have been brought up have been addressed in version 4.0. To summarize
1) There is a comparison feature now
2) Timer and counter base addresses carry to their respective subelements
3) The user tool pallet is customizable (first time since the first releases of RSLogix-500)
4) AI dot commands are supposed to be supported.

There are a number of other additions and enhancements.

PS. Why doesn't Rockwell make this available to anyone whether they have a support agreement or not? The software is useless without a key.

Bradley G. Hite
Intertech Inc.
mailto:[email protected]
ICQ# is 38746036
Teaching Practical Skills For a Technological World

Calvin McGowan

I have been working with PLC's since the mid 70s and have used a lot of different programming packages, and IMHO RSLogix is one of the worse I have had to deal with. It is slow, blotted, poorly developed, and looks as if children had put it together. Too much attention was put into its "prettyness" instead of its functionality. RSLogix has done nothing but cause me countless hours of lost productivity (aka money). Rockwell would have done us programmers a better service if they had "Window-fide" 6200 or AI instead of releasing and forcing upon us this over-priced garbage called RSLogix.

Frank Mitchell

I have used WINAB5 APS ICOM and RSLogix. I had a lot of problems with WINAB5(probably because it was a Windows 3.1 era product)APS and ICOM are solid products albeit somewhat of a dinosaur now. RSLogix is really getting there as far as a truly
Windows Ladder Logic development package. To me this is an indicator of AB's commitment to developing a superior PLC product. Other PLC Mfgs that still use DOS packages to program their PLC's make me question whether they will be around ten years from now.