OPC Unified Architecture goes beyond the limitations of existing OPC interfaces and provides solutions for numerous new use cases. The functionality and enhancements of OPC UA offer various possibilities for implementing and using solutions on different platforms.

For standard use cases Unified Automation developed standard products using the advantages of OPC UA. These products can be used out of the box and can be combined with other systems supporting OPC UA or legacy OPC standards.

To cover special use cases, Unified Automation provides platform independent Software Development Kits based on the portable OPC UA ANSI C communication stack. All SDKs can be ordered with platform layers for Windows, Windows CE or Linux. Additional platform layers are available on request. The .NET SDK is only available for Windows.

Deliverables and OPC UA SDKs

To avoid confusion on deliverables, toolkits, SDKs and examples the following table gives an overview on deliverables available at the OPC Foundation (for members only) and commercial SDKs (for everybody) adding convenience, general functionality and support to the pure OPC Stack. For rapid development and professional support you will need an SDK/Toolkit.

Language Platform UA Stack UA SDKs/Toolkits Examples Server/Client
.NET x86 /
ANSI C all /
C++ all*
Java some /

* all platforms that (at least) support C++ compiler (multi-tasking/multi-threading)
available at Unified Automation GmbH
available at the OPC Foundation (corporate members only)

OPC Foundation

The OPC Foundation provides deliverables for its member companies. These include three OPC UA Stacks (.NET, ANSI C and Java). The OPC Foundation is the official manager of the code base for all the three UA Stacks. The .NET UA Stack was developed by the OPC Foundation, the Java UA Stack was developed by Prosys, and today’s mostly used ANSI C UA Stack was developed by ascolab. In addition the OPC Foundation provides a sample implementation of an UA Server and Client in .NET (C#). This code is called .NET SDK and was taken as the base for many other .NET SDKs. But unfortunately this package requires the latest .NET Version V3.5.1 and can only be used on Microsoft operating systems, generally running on x86 platforms, thus it is far away from being platform independent.

NOTE: A misleading wording gives the impression that the OPC Foundation provides a Java SDK, but in fact this is just the “pure” Java UA Stack and it’s far away from being a Software Development Kit. A real Java SDK is available from Prosys and Unified Automation GmbH.


Unified Automation offers the OPC UA Stacks to “non-members” and fully concentrates on platform independent development. In addition to the “pure” OPC UA ANSI C Stack we provide commercial SDKs that simplify professional development of OPC UA enabled applications. Besides running on literally all platforms (the only requirement are Berkley Sockets) we provide different platform adoption layers for x86, ARM, SH, Atom, etc. and we support several operating systems like Linux, Windows CE, Solaris, QNX, Euros, vxWorks, etc.

  • Cross Platform Development—base framework
  • Embedded Device Development—small footprint
  • Enterprise Application—rich information model
  • Legacy Support—upgrade to state of the art technology
  • Demonstration and Education—evaluation usage