Getting Started

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When you install Fernhill SCADA for the first time, a sample configuration is automatically loaded.

This walkthrough shows you how to use the Configuration Tool to investigate and then make changes to the sample configuration. The walkthrough takes you through these concepts:

  1. Starting the Configuration Tool
  2. Taking a backup of the current configuration
  3. Exploring the current configuration
  4. Make changes to the configuration
  5. Restore the backup taken in step 2, to undo the changes made in step 4.


1. Start the Configuration Tool

Choose the appropriate method to start the Configuration Tool based on the version of Windows you are using:

Windows VersionMethod
Windows 10
Windows Server 2016
  1. Open the Start menu,
  2. Scroll down and expand Fernhill SCADA,
  3. Click on Configuration Tool.
Windows 8
Windows Server 2012
  1. Open the Start screen,
  2. Click on Configuration Tool.
Windows 7
Windows Server 2008
Windows Vista
  1. Click the Start button,
  2. Select All Programs,
  3. Expand the folder Fernhill SCADA,
  4. Click on Configuration Tool.

2. Access the Start Page

When you start the Configuration Tool, the Start Page should be automatically displayed:

Start page

Note: The contents of the Recent Connections list may be different to the list shown above.

If the Start Page is not shown you can display it by clicking Start Page on the View menu.

3. Connect to Fernhill SCADA

Click on the link Connect to Fernhill SCADA on this computer.... The Start Page should close and the Tags Window should display the tags in the default project:

The tag window

4. Taking a backup

Before starting any kind of work on Fernhill SCADA, it is always good idea to take a backup of the current configuration. To create the backup:

  1. In the Tags window, right click on the root entry: Database Icon localhost
  2. Select the Backup... menu
  3. In the File name: field enter a suitable file name, for example "localhost"
  4. Click Save.

See Backup and Restore for more information about backing up and restoring configuration.

5. Exploring tags

In the Tags Window select the tag: Analog Data Tag Icon Pressure:

The tag window with the pressure tag selected

Note: Pressing the help (F1) key displays help about the tag type.

The status of the selected tag is shown in the Status Views Window:

Tag status monitor window

6. Changing tag properties

The Properties Window allows you to view and change configuration properties of the currently selected tag:

The properties window with the interval field selected

The UpdateInterval in the default sample is set to 5 seconds (5s). To speed up the update rate enter "1s" into the UpdateInterval field, then click on another field to commit the change.

Note: The configuration change is immediate. The Status Monitor Window will show the value changing every second.

Many different tags use Interval and Offset fields to define when a timed activity takes place. For more information on how to configure these fields see the article Interval and Offset Fields.

7. Adding a new tag

In these steps you will add a new folder and a new tag in the folder:

  1. In the Tags window, right click on the root entry: Database Icon localhost
  2. Select the New folder menu
  3. A new folder name will be generated automatically. Change the folder name to New Tags
  4. Right click on the newly created New Tags folder
  5. Select Add new tag, followed by Core, followed by Internal String Data Tag
  6. A new tag name will be generated automatically. Change the tag name to Message
  7. Right click on the newly created Message tag
  8. Select the Write menu
  9. In the Write... dialog enter "Some Text" and click OK

In Fernhill SCADA the different tag types perform different roles. For example a channel tag handles a communication channel to a device. A register block tag represents a block of registers in a device. A data tag represents the state of a physical device (an indicator, or switch, or pump).

Each driver provides its own set of tag types to fit the requirements of the devices the driver supports. For more information on the different tag types refer to the Driver documentation.

8. Restoring the backup taken earlier

In some circumstances you might want to restore the configuration to a known backup.

To restore the backup taken in step 4:

  1. In the Tags window, right click on the root entry: Database Icon localhost
  2. Select the Restore... menu
  3. Using the file browser select the name of the backup file you entered in step 4, for example "localhost"
  4. Click Open.
  5. On the Restore from backup warning dialog, click Yes
  6. On the Restore completed dialog, click Ok.

Further Topics

You could try one of the Autodetect Wizards to search for PLC or device, and then automatically create tags for the PLC or device.

If you want to try out more features these walkthroughs are available:

SCADA/HMI Graphics Create a graphic page
Create a pump symbol
Create a tank symbol
Create a valve symbol
Data Integration Link to Microsoft Excel
Link to Microsoft Access
Link to Microsoft SQL Server
Link to SAP Crystal Reports
Drivers Configure Mitsubishi Melsec Tags
Configure Modbus Tags
Configure Omron PLC Tags
Configure tags for Siemens S7 Ethernet Communication
Configure tags for Siemens S7 MPI Communication
Project Deployment Install Fernhill SCADA Runtime on Windows computers
Configure user rights on Windows computers
Install Fernhill SCADA Runtime on Linux computers
Configure user rights on Linux computers

Further Information

Configuration Tool

To learn more about the Configuration Tool.

Graphic Editor

To learn about the Graphic Editor.


To learn about the different drivers available in Fernhill SCADA.

Fernhill SCADA Server

To learn about the Fernhill SCADA Server.

Data Access

To learn about integrating data into third party applications.


For the meaning of terms used in Fernhill SCADA.