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How to Download and Install Connected Components Workbench (Updated for Version 20.01)

A step-by-step guide to downloading and installing Connected Components Workbench by Rockwell Automation, the free development environment for Micro800 PLCs, PanelView Component HMIs, Kinetix 3 Servo Drives, and PowerFlex 525 variable frequency drives.

What's up guys? This is Ken from KB Controls and in today's tutorial, I will be showing you how to download and install Connected Components Workbench, the free development environment from Rockwell Automation that is used to program Micro800 PLCs.

If you think this sounds like a tutorial that shouldn't exist, I agree with you but Rockwell Automation's UI designers have made it very difficult to find the Connected Components Workbench installer so here we are.

With the introduction out of the way, let's get into it.

What is Connected Components Workbench?

If you are reading this guide, you probably already know what Connected Components Workbench is. Just in case you aren't sure, I will explain it quickly here before diving into the tutorial.

Connected Components Workbench is an Integrated Development Environment created by Rockwell Automation. You use Connected Components Workbench to work with Allen-Bradley Component class devices which include Micro800 PLCs, PanelView Components HMIs, Powerflex 525 variables frequency drives, Kinetix 3 servo drives, configurable safety relays and more.

It's worth noting that Connected Components Workbench is not as powerful as other IDEs like Studio5000 or TIA Portal but I still recommend that beginners think about learning PLC programming using Connected Components Workbench for three key reasons: 

  • It is free to download and use (which is rare in the world of industrial software!)
  • It comes with a built-in PLC simulator so you can test your applications even if you don't have a physical PLC
  • If you decide to invest in a physical PLC (which I recommend you do), then there are relatively inexpensive Micro800 starter kits available to buy

I would never say that Connected Components Workbench is perfect, but I like it enough to use it in my free 5 day PLC Bootcamp course.

Now that we know what Connected Components Workbench is (and I have managed to shamelessly plug my course), let's see how to download and install Connected Components Workbench on our machines.

Download Connected Components Workbench

As I have already mentioned, Connected Components Workbench is completely free to download and use - you just have to find the installer in Rockwell Automation's maze of a website.

To start with, head over to Rockwell Automation's Product Compatibility and Downloads website. This is the main website to download Rockwell Automation software from.

On this page, click on the "Downloads by Product" link to open the product search page.

Click "Downloads by Product"

In the search bar, start typing Connected Components Workbench until it is listed in the Products List below the search bar.

Search for "Connected Components Workbench"

Click on the Connected Components Workbench Standard Edition to open the version selection list. Be careful to click on the Standard Edition of Connected Components Workbench - the other products listed here are paid products or add-ons to older versions of Connected Components Workbench.

In the version selection list, click on the latest version of Connected Components Workbench. At the time of recording, that is version 20.01.00. As a general rule, I always recommend downloading the latest version of any software unless you have a specific reason to use an older version.

Select the latest version of Connected Components Workbench

After selecting the version, Connected Components Workbench version 20.01.00 is added to you Downloads list. Click on the Downloads button to open the Download Summary page and continue downloading Connected Components Workbench.

Click on the Downloads button to open the Download Summary page

On the Download Summary page, click on the “Select files” link to choose which files to download as part of the Connected Components Workbench installation. 

Click on "Select Files" to Choose the Files to Download

At this stage, you will be prompted to sign in with your Rockwell Automation account. If you don’t already have one, you can create an account for free using the Create Account button on the right-hand side of the page. The signup process is quick and you only need to provide your email address, full name, and country of residence to create your account. 

If you don't want to give Rockwell Automation your email address, you can create an account using a temporary email address with a service like 10 Minute Mail. 10 Minute Mail creates a temporary email address and inbox for 10 minutes that allows you to sign up for services that require email confirmation without giving away your email address.

Sign in or sign up to Rockwell Automation's website

However you choose to proceed, go ahead and create a Rockwell Automation account and sign in using the Sign In form to continue downloading Connected Components Workbench.

Sign in to Rockwell Automation's website

Once you have signed in, the download configuration dialog box is displayed. This dialog box allows you to specify what files will be included as part of the Connected Components Workbench download. 

In Ireland, there is an old saying that goes "I'd rather be looking at it, than looking for it". The idea behind this expression is that its better to have something that you don't need than to have to look for something when you do need it. I tend to apply this idea to software downloads - provided I am not running out of space on my hard drive, I will always download all of the optional software available because you never know when it will come in handy.

This case is no different - in the download configuration dialog box, I select all of the optional add-ons which include user manuals, sample code collections, and a remote access tool. Once all of the product add-ons are selected, I can click on the downloads button in the top-right corner to finalize the download configuration.

Click Downloads to Finalize the Download Configuration

After clicking Downloads, a Download Summary page dialog is displayed.

In this dialog, you can double-check the software that you are downloading. Once you are happy that the right components are selected for download, click on the Download Now button in the bottom-right corner of the dialog box. 

Click Download Now to Start Downloading Connected Components Workbench

Before downloading Connected Components Workbench, you must read and accept the Rockwell Automation end user license agreement that defines what you are and are not allowed to do with Rockwell Automation’s software. I have already read this agreement so I will just click “Accept and Download” in the bottom-right corner of the dialog box. 

Read and Accept the License Agreement

The executable file for Rockwell Automation’s Download Manager is automatically downloaded. When the file is fully downloaded, click on it to launch the Download Manager. 

Launch the Download Manager

When downloading very large files, I prefer to use Rockwell Automation's Download Manager. As the name implies, the Download Manager manages your download so that you can stop and resume downloading without losing your download progress.

If you don't want to use the Download Manager, you can download the files directly using the direct download link. You are free to download the files via direct download, but it can be a very frustrating experience if you don't have a very stable internet connection.

Download Files via Direct Download

After click on the Download Manager's executable file, the Download Manager opens and shows the progress of the download. We can also see that the Download Manager is downloading the files to the folder RA, which lives on the C drive of my computer. I recommend using a download location with a very short path so that you don't run into path length exceptions when running installers so I will keep this default location of C:\RA and I suggest that you do the same.

Download Manager Shows the Download Progress

Once the download has completed, we can use the downloaded files to install Connected Components Workbench on our machines. Let's see how to do that in the next section.

Install Connected Components Workbench

When the download is complete, head over to C:\RA (or the download location that you specified) to find all of the downloaded files.

Downloaded Files in C:\RA

The files for installing Connected Components Workbench are 20.01.00-CCW-INT-Std-DVD.part1.exe and 20.01.00-CCW-INT-Std-DVD.part2.rar, although this file name may change depending on the version of Connected Components Workbench you are installing.

 These files are actually compressed archive folders. To extract the contents, double click on 20.00.01-CCW-INT-Std-DVD.part1.exe and click Extract in the WinRAR self-extracting archive dialog box to begin the extraction process.

Start the Extraction

When the extraction has finished, you should see a new folder has been created in C:\RA called 20.01.00-CCW-Int-Std-DVD.

Extract Files

Open this folder and launch the Connected Components Workbench installer by double-clicking on Setup.exe.

Launch the Setup File

If prompted, allow the installer to make changes to your device by clicking on Yes in the User Account Control dialog box.

Click Yes to Allow the Installer to Make Changes to Your Device

When the Connected Components Workbench installer launches, click Install Now.

Click Install Now

Once again, you have to accept the Rockwell Automation End User License Agreement to continue the installation of the Connected Components Workbench. I have already read the license agreement so I will go ahead and accept it.

Accept the Und User License Agreement

The installer will begin installing Connected Components Workbench. This process can take between 15 to 60 minutes depending on your laptop. 

Installation Progress

If you don't already have RSLinx installed on your machine (and I presume you don't) then midway through the installation, you will be prompted to select a default Ethernet adapter. Leave the default selection and click OK. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what this means - we’ll talk about networks and adapters later on. 

Watch out because this is a blocking dialog. The installation of Connected Components Workbench won’t continue if you do not close the dialog box (annoying, I know).

After you have selected a default network adapter, the installation will continue to completion on its own.

When the installation completes, you may be required to restart you computer. If that is the case, click "Restart now" to restart you computer and finalize the installation of Connected Components Workbench. Otherwise, click "Close".

In my case, I have to restart my computer to finalize the installation so I click on "Restart now"

Click "Restart now" or "Close"

After a restart, I see that Connected Components Workbench has been installed successfully and is available to use on my machine.

Connected Components Workbench is Installed

Wrap Up

In this post, I gave you a brief explanation about what Connected Components Workbench is and why I am an advocate of Connected Components Workbench as a tool for beginners to learn PLC programming. As a reminder, I like Connected Components Workbench because it is free to use, includes a PLC simulator, and complementary hardware is relatively cheap.

After learning about Connected Components Workbench, I guided you through the occasionally frustrating journey of downloading and installing Connected Components Workbench.

Now that we have Connected Components Workbench installed, its time to get our hands dirty with some PLC programming. If you haven't already, I suggest that you sign up to my free 5 day PLC Bootcamp to learn how to write and test your very first PLC program using Connected Components Workbench. You can sign up to that free course here.

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