This guide is only for the platform migration and is not the complete process of migrating a controller with a station
Please check the complete migration process in the attached PDF file at the bottom 

If you are upgrading after Jan 2021 please read the following article before -> JACE upgrade issues after Jan 2021

JACE Controller conversion


Typically, after upgrading a Supervisor, you convert JACE controllers to N4.0—or at least you convert all those for which you successfully migratedastation. During the N4 commissioning of each JACE, you install this station as one of the steps in the Commissioning Wizard.



You must migrate the AX station from the JACE and confirm that the migration was successful first (all Programs report {ok}, for example), before installing the .dist file.


Converting a controller


Perform the following procedure for each controller for which you have secured N4.0 license, and have successfully migrated its station database.



Workbench is open, you have used it to check the migrated station for this controller, and confirmed that the migration was successful.

Step 1    Open a platform connection to the controller to be converted, and access the Distribution File


The list of distribution files opens.





NOTE: N4 may display the cleanDist or other files for other controllers, but you can select only the file that is appropriate for your controller. This file is only for a unit already converted to Niagara 4. If you do not see the appropriate *.dist file, verify that you are in the conversion fold- er. If necessary, use the buttons at the bottom of the view to navigate and browse for the file.


Point the installer to the !/sw/N4buildNumber folder, for example: !/conversion/


Only onof several listed should be selectable. This is an example of the file for converting a controller:



Step 2    Select the appropriate .dist file and click the Install button.

NOTE: Installation clears all data in the controller, including AX licenses and certificates, environ- ment and properties files, SSL certificates and key files, along with all station data and NiagaraAX software. The controller’s IP configuration is retained. You must use the default platform credentials to regain access.

Step 3    After this .dist file installs and the controller reboots, re-open a platform connection (port 3011)

using the factory default credentials.


Step 4    If you previously exported SSL certificate stores from this controller, access the platform Certificate Manager view, and do the following:


a.  On the User Trust Store tab, click Import, and navigate to select the previously saved public key certificate (typically common among all platforms at the job).


b.  On the User Key Store tab, click Import, and navigate to select the previously saved private key certificate unique to this platform.


c.  Access the platform Platform Administration view, click the Change SSL Settings button, and select the new server certificate you just imported.


d.  Run the platform Commissioning Wizard (right-click the Platform node, and select Commissioning Wizard).


In this initial commissioning of the controller, you typically use all default step selections. This includes most steps except Install lexicons (but if you use text-based lexicons, select this too).





In most cases you select to:

•   Install the licenses from the licensing server (unless you already have these as files).

•   Use runtime profiles RUNTIME and UX, or else RUNTIME, UX, and WB.

•   Install the specific station that you migrated for this controller, choosing to:

Copy files from selected directories. NOTE:

You typically selectalldirectories shown in the migrated station, including the alarm and history subfolder (to migrate prior alarms and histories). Apart from the migration, this is an unusual practice. If you are installing the same station in different/multiple platforms, be sure to dese- lect (clear) the alarm and history subfolders.


•   Install all pre-selected software modules required for this station.

•   Install all listed core software distribution files.

•   Review, and if necessary change, the controller’s TCP/IP configuration.


•    You must add at least one new platform admin user in the “Remove platform default user ac- count” step (initial Platform Daemon Authentication dialog). This replaces the factory-default platform user. Note that in N4, platform credentials require a stronger password than in AX. The password must be at least 8 characters, with at least 1 digit (numeral). If the password does not meet this requirement, an error dialog prompts you to create a valid one.


Make note of these platform credentials; you should use a login as such a platform user upon next access.



For this platform session, Workbench remembers the first platform admin user you created to replace the factory default platform user. This simplifies re-connection after the controller reboots.

For related details, see the JACE Niagara 4 Install and Startup Guide. Example screen captures of a

few of these Commissioning Wizard steps are shown in the Controller conversion examples, page


Step 5    Review and finish the commissioning wizard, to install all selected items and reboot the controller.

After several minutes, the conversion completes, and platform access should be possible.


CAUTION: Do not remove power from the controller during this reboot, which may take up to 7 or more minutes to complete. Removing power could easily cause the unit to become unrecover- able. If desired (and convenient), you can use a serial shell connection to the controller to monitor progress as files are installed, the platform is rebooted, and the unit is  prepared.




Step 6    Re-open a platform connection to the converted controller, using a new platformaccount you en- tered in the wizard. Go to the Application Director and view the station standard output.



Again, there may be warnings and messages, but its station status should change to “running”. Step 7    In Workbench, open a station connection (Fox or Foxs) to the converted controller, typically using

the admin (superuser) login. Verify the station opens.


Step 8    For each remainin controller to be converted, repeat the above steps

When done with this, all converted controllers should be running stations as N4.0 platforms, as well as the





Controller conversion examples


Following, are example Commissioning Wizard windows when converting JACE controller to Niagara 4.


Example conversion steps


Figure 17    Example “Set enable runtime profiles” step



Figure 18    Example “Install station” step (pick migrated station)



As shown above, by default all items are selected. If necessary you can de-select any items not wanted.


Figure 19    Example platform daemon authentication step (to replace factory platform user)



If this controller was previously provisioned by the AX Supervisor, you may wish to have at least one platform admin user with the prior user name, and possibly prior password (if it was “strong” before). Otherwise, you must update the platform connection Credentials property for this station back in the Supervisor station’s NiagaraNetwork.




An even better practice might be to add another platform user in the JACE that no person uses to make platform connections, but is only referenced back in the N4 Supervisor.


Downgrading controllers


In some cases it may be desirable or necessary to convert a controller from Niagara 4 to NiagaraAX. During the commissioning of JACE controller, all station data are deleted. This includes SSL certificates and key files. Niagara 4 stations cannot be converted to NiagaraAX stations. But, you can install a previously saved NiagaraAX station during the downgrade commissioning process as one of the steps in the Commissioning Wizard.


NOTE: Controller downgrade from Niagara 4 removes all data except the controller’s Ethernet TCP/IP con- figuration. Platform credentials revert to factory defaults. The Niagara 4 license is not be retained and NiagaraAX license is required. All station data is deleted.


Downgrade procedure


Perform the following for each controller to be downgraded, and for which you have secured NiagaraAX



Prerequisites: To restore an existing station, make sure you have access to the station file, or a backup dis- tribution file.


Step 1    At the Supervisor, using Workbench, open a platform connection to the controller to be down- graded, then open the Application Director and stop any running station.


Step 2    With the platform still selected, choose the Distribution File Installer from the view selector, navi- gate to the location of the downgrade distribution file, and click Conversion.


NOTE: Some non-applicable files, such as N4 cleanDist, .dist or other files may be selectable but, in this case, do not select these files. Click the Choose Directory button to browse to the lo- cation of the downgrade .dist file, for example: N4toAX-qnx-jace-<npm-model>etfs2048- clean.dist.

Step 3    Select the appropriate .dist file and click the Install button.

NOTE: Installation clears all data in the controller, including AX licenses and certificates, environ- ment and properties files, SSL certificates and key files, along with all station data and software. The controller’s IP configuration is retained. You must use the default platform credentials to regain access.


Step 4    After this .dist file installs and the controller reboots, re-open a platform connection using Work- bench (port 3011) and the factory default credentials.


NOTE: At this point, the JACE will be at 3.8.38 version. If you need an earlier release AX version, use the clean .dist files in the AX-3.8 Distribution File Installer. This will revert the JACE back to the base-factory version.


Step 5    Run the platform Commissioning Wizard (right-click the Platform node, and select Commission- ing Wizard). During the commissioning process you can choose to reinstall a station, if you have one ready, perhaps from a previous backup, or you can restore from a backup as described in the next step.


CAUTION: Do not remove power from the controller during this reboot, which may take up to 7  or more minutes. Removing power could cause the unit to become unrecoverable. If desired (and convenient), you can use a serial shell connection to the controller to monitor progress as files are installed, the platform is rebooted, and the unit is  prepared.


For more details on commissioning the AX-3.8 controller, see the JACE Niagara 4 Install and Start- up Guide.

Step 6    If you did not restore a station with the previous commissioning step, make sure you have a backup

.dist file and a platform connection to the rebooted AX-3.8 controller. Select the Distribution File Installer view and click on the Backups button or Choose Directory button to navigate to the appropriate dist file location.




Step 7    Select the .dist file and click the Install button. Follow the prompts in the Distribution File In- staller to complete the installation.