The e-magazine for KNX home & building control

Dr KNX: The Impact of ETS5


If I upgrade to ETS5, how will it affect my work?
If I upgrade to ETS5, how will it affect my work?

Dear KNXer,

Let’s start with the basics. ETS stands for Engineering Tool Software; a Windows-based manufacturer-independent configuration software tool to design and configure intelligent home and building control installations with the KNX system.

ETS5 is the latest edition and is available in two versions, namely ETS5 Lite and ETS5 Professional. ETS5 Lite costs 200 Euros and is aimed at those who want to create or manage a small KNX project. ETS5 Professional costs 1000 Euros and is aimed at any size of project. For those needing to work on two computers at the same time, a supplement to ETS5 Professional is available for 150 Euros.

ETS5 Lite (left) and ETS5 Professional (right).
ETS5 Lite (left) and ETS5 Professional (right).

For those upgrading from previous versions of ETS, version 5 will make a number of differences to how they work.

No Database

Certainly the new ETS5 data repository concept will have a big impact. The term ‘repository’ is used intentionally here because from version 5 onwards, ETS is no longer equipped with a third-party database engine.

For the user, nothing has really changed: all functionality in order to create, import, export, edit, maintain, backup, restore, etc, projects in ETS is still on board, only the way the actual data is stored has changed. Instead of storing data in a database, all ETS-related data is now stored as a set of XML based files into a regular Windows folder structure.

The impact however, is huge in terms of setup size and the actual installation procedure. Having no third-party software obviously means a smaller file size for the setup, and more importantly, there are no longer potential conflicts with, for example, preinstalled software. In addition, ETS updates (online) have become less cumbersome for the same reasons.

Another positive effect of this new data repository concept is the fact that data import, data export and data access have become faster. Plus, ETS data backup and restore has been greatly simplified.

The Dongle

The licensing might also have an impact, because PC-dependent licenses are no longer available. In other words, ETS5 can only be licensed based on a dongle.

Another important licensing aspect is the improved flexibility of ETS licenses. ETS5 licenses are no longer installed on the actual computers but directly on the dongles instead, which means that only an ETS5 dongle is required in order to work with ETS on another PC. Also, ETS 5 licenses are fully encrypted in order to avoid the illegal use of ETS.

And one final thing. There is 4GB of data storage capacity available on each ETS5 dongle, which is obviously free to be used for whatever you wish, such as ETS projects.

I am now taking a sabbatical, and handing over the practical solutions advice to the new ‘How to Solve it’ team. It has been a pleasure answering all of your questions, and I wish you all happy and successful KNXing!

Yours truly

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