Inductive Automation announced at the ARC Forum Press Conference that it will launch the Ignition Module Marketplace, which it touts as the first community-based software module store in its industry, on March 4, 2013.

It has probably been almost 10 years ago that I first met Steve Hechtman, founder and CEO of Inductive Automation. He sounded the same as many entrepreneurs I meet who have developed something disruptive that is going to revolutionize the industry. Well, ten years is a lot of staying power and the company used the ARC Forum as a launch pad toward greater visibility in the market (something I’ve done once or twice myself). His team is definitely building a platform and business model worth watching.

Ignition by Inductive Automation is a modular software platform on which companies in a wide variety of industries can customize to their specific HMI, SCADA or MES requirements. At the new Ignition Module Marketplace, Ignition users can add increased functionality to their installed platform by downloading, trying and buying any module. Modules can be purchased separately, and range from small plug-ins to full vertical software solutions.

In addition to modules developed by Inductive Automation, the community-based online store will offer modules developed and made available by Ignition users. The ability to share modules with other Ignition users around the world opens up many new possibilities and removes the proprietary boundaries which often lock users into repeatedly buying from the same software vendor.

According to the company, the launch of the industrial automation software industry’s first community-based module store is the latest in a series of “firsts” for Inductive Automation. Since its founding 10 years ago, the company has released the first database-centric HMI / SCADA software solution, the first HMI / SCADA software built entirely on Java, the first 100% cross-platform HMI / SCADA software, and the first HMI / SCADA solution built on a totally unified platform.

“Inductive Automation has consistently achieved firsts in the industrial automation industry by bringing the latest technologies to our field. The Ignition Module Marketplace represents a major step forward for HMI / SCADA software. The ability to instantly buy modules and share modules with the simplicity of an ‘app store’ experience will be revolutionary for our users,” said Hechtman.

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