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Virtual Control and Real Control Project switching management

Virtual Control and Real Control Project switching management

Long-established Member


I have a question about the right and fast procedure to be used to switch a project from a Virtual Control to a Real Control and viceversa.

1st case scenario:

The customer does not have received the control ( maybe the real control, it's being assebled in the machine cabinet ) and starts his project developoing it on a Virtsal Control. Then the machine cabinet arrives and the customer want to transfer the project he developed on its Virtual Control on the Real control. How Should he do in the faster way ? Is it possible to make a backup of the Virtual Control configiuration, Apps and PLC program and restore it on the Real Control or he should export and import each items ( i.e. the PLC program or the Nodered flow ) and reinstall all the Apps ?


2nd case scenario:

The customer ends the machin commissioinin then the machine is shipped to the end user and the Real Control of course it's not available anymore because it's in the machine cabinet. What the cusotemr has to doo in order to be able to open its project on its computer ? Is it possible to resote on a Virtual Machine the complete project backup he took from the real control or he must recreate the same configuration of the real control on a new Virtaul controll manually ( reinstalling all Apps and importing all project items ( plc program amd nodered flow for instance ) ?

I tried the 2nd case scenario but I was not able to restore a colpmet project backup I took from the Real Control on a new Virtual COntrol.

This is in my opinion a big problem for our customer in terms of project management

Please let me know if there is a fast and easy solution to solve these 2 case scanario.

Many Thanks









Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Hello Guiseppe

currently we have two possibilities (with his advatages/disadvantages) to transfer data from one control to another control

  • Backup/Restore
  • Save/Load configuration/app data.

With both it is unfortunately NOT possible to jump easily from a real to a virtual control and vice versa. The development department is working on concepts and a way to do this in the future as smooth as possible.


Background information:

For main issues between a real / virtual control are different compiled

  • apps (for amd or for arm)
  • targets at the PLC program (virtual or real)
  • apps which are not available (e.g. the Ethercat app for the virtual control)

A possible transfer function must consider this (and needs the suitable access to the missing apps...)


What can you do currently.

  • Save the configuration of one control
  • prepare the other control with the used apps manual
  • load the saved configuration (with some errors or missing data e.g. ethercat data)
  • change manual the target of the plc program, compiled and download it to the new control
  • in case of a real control load the IO configuration (at a real control currently you don't have this information.




Has this process been improved? Or have their been additional tools developed to aid in switching between a real and virtual core?

Also the EtherCat runtime app can be installed and configured in a ctrlX COREvirtual now.
Also there is a new mechnism introduce from version 1.16 on, called "Setup" that can be used to create a file for setting up a control as a copy of another:

ctrlX CORE WebUI Settings SetupctrlX CORE WebUI Settings Setup

The only change in the data (when using an ctrlX CORE X3), that still needs to be done is to change the PLC target and recompile the code.