Skip to main content
InSource Solutions

TN - 1240 Creating a Watchlist Using an Import File


This article shows an alternative method to creating an Aveva System Platform Object Viewer Watch List.    This method is optimal when the customer has a large number of tags ( > 50 tags) to be configured into a Watch List.     

  • Author: Frank Ross
  • Published: 03/25/2022
  • Applies to: Any Version of Wonderware System Platform


Watch Lists can be generated by opening the Object Viewer, and navigating the hierarchy of objects until the user finds the list of tags to be included in the "to be created" watch list.    The process of dragging and dropping individual tags can be laborious and time consuming.    An alternative method is to use a tool like MS Excel, Notepad, or any editing software which allows the user to save the file as a csv or txt file.   A pre-requisite is to have a list of tags stored in a file, which can then be imported into a csv/txt file and formatted such that the Object Viewer can read and load the tags into a watch list.    


Methods To Open (Launch) The Aveva Object Viewer
The Object Viewer can be launched from the IDE or System Management Console (SMC).   It can also be launched by navigating to 
C:\Program Files (x86)\ArchestrA\Framework\Bin and double-clicking on aaObjectViewer.    I find this method most useful as it does not require the opening of the IDE or SMC.   I create a shortcut to this file and keep it on the Desktop.  



Creating The Watch List using an Import List of Tags

The Watch List windows extension should be a .txt file when completed.   This gives you many options on what software to use when creating/building the file. 
For the Object Viewer to properly load and interpret the file, the contents must be in a well-formed (or properly formatted) structure.    

The structure of the file consists of three sections:

Header - standard content required by the Object Viewer to identify it as a Watch List File
Body - the list of tags to be included in the Watch List 
Footer - standard content required by the Object Viewer to identify the end of the Watch List File

  • The header consists of a single line with this content:  <VisualLMXTestTool>
  • The body of the file consists of a list of tags contained within a section called the Watch Tab.   The tag name is prefixed with <ReferenceString> and suffixed with </ReferenceString>

Watch Tab="Tank1">

Note:  the Body section can be repeated to break up the list of tags into tabbed sections. 

  • The footer consists of a single line with this content:  </VisualLMXTestTool>

For this example, generic tag names will be used but the structure of the tag name must include the owning object + tag name.     


After building the Watch List file, save it as a .txt file, and copy it to a location on the same server where the file can be opened from the Object Viewer. The object viewer will load the tag list into the Watch Window displaying the list of tags as organized by the tabs, that have been created within the file.    

This method is significantly easier when having to create Watch Lists consisting of hundreds of tags. 



  • Was this article helpful?