SCADA Software - What should I use?


Thread Starter

Peter Bubik

I am new to PLC's and SCADA and am looking for an easy (yet powerful, reliable) software to write SCADA.

What software would you recommend?

Where can I find sound independent reviews on SCADA software?

I started playing with WonderWare’s InTouch and must say it seems pretty friendly – Any warnings anyone?

Thanks for your input

Peter Bubik
Canadian Hydro Developers

Chris Ghormley

If you are just starting out and you don't have exotic hardware requirements, and you don't need a highly customized interface, Wonderware isn't a bad place to start. Their technical support is pretty good.

When I was working with Wonderware (about a year ago) I found that it was harder to do what I wanted to accomplish (and sometimes impossible). For example, it was impossible to display a Windows-style error message. The network redundancy features were wholly unsatisfactory. The alarm system didn't provide the features I expected.

The package I am accustomed to working with (Citect for Windows,, most people have never heard of. They have a relatively small market share (compared to WW, Intellution, RSView, others?) but they make a quality product with great stability and a nice feature set. One major point in its favor is that the graphical object templates (genies, analogous to wizards in WW) are better implemented and save a huge amount of development and maintenance time in comparison to WW. The learning curve is steeper, but it's worth it. Also, if you have a lot of different PLC platforms to support, Citect provides more drivers (free) than anybody.

Before you select Wonderware, at least try out a few others (I think Intellution and RSView use Visual Basic as their scripting language, a huge improvement over WW "QuickScripts"). If you have time, try Citect, too. The fully-functioning demo provides unlimited development time and 8-hour run time (without PLC I/O).

Finally, look hard at your network, redundancy, response time, historical data storage, reporting, alarm, and database (ODBC) requirements. Try to find out how the different packages handle these different areas, before you get into a project and get "stuck". Talk to current users, and remember that Wonderware's greatest strength is sales.

Chris Ghormley
Fluor Federal Services
Richland, WA, USA

[email protected]
(opinions are my own)

Brian Woodcraft

If you want real horsepower and flexibility try UCOS ('s quite a bit more than a SCADA package as you will see as it does the control as well. Check it out...

Glenn Murray

I've used InTouch and A-B's RSview, for a number of years. They both have their good and bad points (mostly concerning the different tag dictionary structures), but it's mostly personal preference that will determine which one to use. From a reliability and user friendly standpoint they are both very good.

Hope this helps
I would recommend looking at Intellution - FIXX Dynamics or Citect. I used to work for a systems integrator and have experience with Wonderware and Intellution FIXX 32. Wonderware has ease of use for first time developers going for it, but lacks in the power department by making it difficult. Focing you to jump through hoops to do something that should be straight forward. FIXX 32 is very powerful and has capabilities beyond Wonderware, it is price prohibitive and a sharp learning curve. I have not had the pleasure of developing an application under FIXX Dynamics.
Citect seems to be the newest kid on the block in the U.S., their software appears to have all the power and more of FIXX but with a price that is even less than Wonderware. I would recommend downloading the demos from these companies and giving them a spin.

Also, you might consider checking around with systems integrators in your immediate vicinity and see what they are using and or comfortable with. Nice to have someone close for support if needed. You should be able to get some demos setup by the Various MMI distributors in your area.

I am now with a company that uses Wonderware explicitly. Woe to me...
Most respected,
Choosing a SCADA will be very difficult. There are to much SCADA applications to choose from. To make a chose you should make it on experience from other people, especially those who use differente types of SCADA. You should watch the projects that have been done with those applications. And you should watch for the speciallist. Speciallist are those applictions sold and supported by companies who only do SCADA and not hardware like PLC's etc. In practice SCADA sold by companies doing other product like PLC's entent to have not reliabel SCADA (like Siemens, WinCC).
My experience:
- Go for Citect, the have done increadeble projects. This product is open, for many PLC's types, and is sold with standard Reduncy in many ways. All this is sold for better price (you get more for less money). (whats the projects).
- Intouch is also a good. It is also an Open application. But needs more knowledge to program special functionality.
- RSview is sold for Allen&bradly but is very easy and is open by using VB for applications.

From these three products I would choose Citect for performance, open, support, price, and less knowledge to get is run good.

Make sure you get a product that is well supported in your country or place where you use the application.

There is a SCADE link site on:
Here you can freak out by the number of SCADA products you can chose from.

Go on experience by others and projects.

Good luck and greetings, Sisko Bos

[email protected]

Robert Dusza


Look at Intellution iFIX Dynamics. The software is flexible and uses VB with OPC and other common drivers.


Robert J. Dusza, Jr.
Treatment Manager
(V) 1-860-647-3219
(F) 1-860-647-3150
E-mail - [email protected]
Manchester Water & Sewer Dept.
125 Spring St. P.O. Box 191
Manchester, CT 06045-0191

Bronson, Robert


Petro-Canada standardized on FactoryLink about 5 years ago. Three years ago when I joined the company I questioned this decision. Since that time we have worked hard with our FactoryLink reseller CTH Systems to make this powerful system easier to use. CTH now markets a product called Field Tier that greatly simplifies the configuration of repetative tasks. They also
have an add-on called Business Tier that transactionalizes real time data and uses an XML like approach to write the data to relational databases.

I mention these two products from a 3rd party since it is my opinion that the out of the box HMIs don't have this specialized connectivity, especially to field RTUs and business systems. SCADA polling requirements (regular, demand, interleaving) must be addressed. There is also may be the requirement for multiple protocol support through common radio systems etc.
Companies like Standard Automation and CTH have productized these requirements.

It is important to consider these connectivity issues when looking at the gloss and glitter of different HMIs.

Rob Bronson

Hullsiek, William

Before deciding, don't you need to identify your use-cases (select before operate), capacities (number of i/o points, persistence requirements) and trend requirements ??

Also need to know your network topology (Radio, Leased-line, IP), etc.

More importantly, who is going to maintain and support the beast (yourself, or do you outsource)

_ bill hullsiek _
Wonderware intouch got much industry experience. Many semiconductor related industry also adopt intouch. If you wanted to find a product which is suitable for all plc intouch might be a good solution.

Daniel Lee
Company: FanSi Taiwan Corporation
Title: CEO
Address: NO.22, Hsin-tai Rd, Chu-Pei City, Taiwan, R.O.C
Tel: 886-3-55439990
Mobile: 0935997467
e-mail: [email protected]
Depending on what PLC you have, I'd recommend Lookout by National Instruments at

or the cheaper version at Automation Direct. That is if you don't need PID. Believe they are at

We currently use Lookout at 2 water treatment plants along with OMRON PLC with device net between buildings.

Robert Phillips
Instrument Tech

Alfonso Garcia

I would recommend choosing, between the choices that fit your requirements, the SCADA with the best technical support in your area for today and the next 5 years. Look only for well established companies and reputation in the area.

As for requirements, it's very important to stay as close to 'standards' as possible to be sure of the availability of future replacements. Also look for connectivity with PLCs as well as IT systems.


Alfonso Garcia
Una Cuestión de Lógica

Ranjan Acharya

The top packages are:




Siemens WinCC


plus others!

CiTect appears to be getting good reviews, but we have not had a customer ask for it yet. We have had good experience with Wonderware, Intellution
and RSView. We only have used WinCC under the PCS-7 umbrella, so it would not be fair to comment on its usability as a general-purpose SCADA package.

Whose PLC are you using? You should consider their SCADA package in the first tier, but be careful -- the first three I mentioned are fairly
independent of an underlying PLC and preferred by many users. However, many Siemens users prefer WinCC and many AB users prefer RSView -- the choice is yours.

All the packages have quirks.

ECG, Freddy del Toro Leyva

Hi All,
the best SCADA that exist in these moments is:

1.--- Intouch of Wonderware. to see
2. - Factory Link
3. - intellution Fix
4. - Citect of Ci Techonologies to see
5. - Genesis32
6. - Factory Line
7. - AIMAX

each one has their particularities and their potentialities that one of another differentiates it. I believe that the election depends on what
requires your application in particular.
my approach is that intouch and Citect are a good election.

There was a nice overview in SPS magazine 2000/10. Unfortunately only in German language
and mostly for German market :-(. But it gives some level of comparison.

Peter P.

____ Merz Company ... _________________________________
Peter Placek, Sales and Marketing Manager
tel: +420 48 510 0272, fax: +420 48 510 0273
_____ ... for Clean Sound of Software

I think you have had a lot of good advice already so I wont offer any more but rather describe what we have hear at Mighty River Power in the hope it will be off assistance. Mighty River Power is a Electricity generator with a chain of Hydro power stations along the waikato river in new Zealand. the control system consists of PLC's controlling the generators and services. We then have a Honeywell PlantScape SCADA on each of the 9 power stations these then utilise PlantScape DSA technology to give control of the entire scheme. PlantScape has performed well for our application SCADA and is worth consideration.

I hope this is of assistance if you have any queries please feel free to contact me.

Mark Mullins
Well perhaps you could get me a synopsis translation of the benefits ? I guess you are not understanding that I am asking you to tell me why a user would want this product before I go and post it on our website ? Or if the article is on the web please advise and I will go and read it and do some rough translation from German.