Schwabach July 31, 2011
Dear OPC UA Enthusiast,
we are pleased to present our quarterly Unified Automation Newsletter.
As promised we keep you informed about new product releases and tools we develop at Unified Automation GmbH. From the very successful "OPC Day Europe" at SAP in Walldorf, Germany we learned that a lot of activity is taking place around OPC UA development. Looking back the last few months we are very satisfied with the adoption of OPC UA and all the upcoming UA enabled products.
To establish an active support community and to offer you an additional support channel we started our own UA forum in the Developer-Zone of our website. For trouble shooting and analysis of OPC UA on the wire, a new dissector plug-in was released with Wireshark V1.6.0.
In addition we want to inform you about our new service release V1.2.1 of the ANSI C based OPC UA SDK which now includes a tutorial for using Alarms&Conditions. There is a free evaluation version of this OPC UA SDK available for download.
Stay tuned on OPC UA. Hope you enjoy reading.
CEO Unified Automation GmbH
Besides some cumulative minor bug fixes we collected over the last year the main improvements are in the Alarms&Conditions functionality. Here we added a new example and a tutorial explaining how to best use this feature. We added comfort functions for Condition handling that will make developers life much easier. In addition the session handling capabilities were improved and we added a clock change detection. Now publish and session timeouts due to clock changes can be avoided.
A detailed description of features, bug fixes and changes and the documentation are online on our website at doc.unifiedautomation.com
Again there is a fully functional evaluation demo available for download from our website.
We just launched the new developer forum on our website (http://www.unifiedautomation.com/forum). The forum can be accessed with your Unified Automation login. If you don't have an account yet, just click "Register" on the forum start page.
There are already informative sections with FAQs and How-Tos and we will add more content over time. We want to provide a valuable source of knowledge for you while working with our SDKs or the free evaluation demos. We encourage you to ask and answer questions. Our goal is to build up an active community and a knowledgebase for the use of OPC UA and our products and tools.
The well known network analyzer Wireshark (formerly Ethereal) was enhanced with a dissector plug-in that can decode OPC UA. The plug-in was donated by ascolab GmbH and is capable of displaying TCP based UA Binary messages. Wireshark's new version 1.6.0 includes the UA plug-in by default and is a must for all developers, system testers and integrators when it comes to trouble shooting on the wire. (http://www.wireshark.org/download.html)
There are several ongoing activities in the OPC Foundation that you should know of:
The OPC Foundation has opened their North American Certification Test Laboratory in Scottsdale, Arizona. Together with the European Lab at ascolab in Erlangen, Germany it is certifying OPC products for 'classic' OPC and OPC UA. The first certified OPC UA products are from Unified Automation (C++ based OPC UA SDK Demo Server V1.3.1), Siemens (SIMATIC NET CD 2011) and Matrikon (Universal Connectivity Server).
Don't forget to register at the European IOP (inter operability workshop) in Nuremberg, Germany. Registration is now open and it is expected that more OPC UA products will be available for testing than 'classic' OPC products. This is your chance to test your product with others, really prove interoperability and improve quality.
In parallel new OPC UA companion working groups will define additional industry specific OPC UA Information Models. One new working group between OPC Foundation and FDT Group will work on a mapping of FDT (Field Device Tool) to OPC UA. FDT is a standard for device configuration and communication. Another joined working group with the MTConnect Institute is working on integrating MTConnect with OPC UA. MTConnect defines standards for better interoperability between controls, devices and software applications in the area of machine tools. Like OPC DI (device integration), FDI (Field Device Integration), ADI (Analyzer Device Integration) and PLCopen, new OPC UA companion specifications will be defined that push UA technology forward into new domains. Join these groups and be part of the specification team or just get hand on early information.
The reference documentation of our OPC UA SDKs can be accessed online at doc.unifiedautomation.com. Read the documentation and change logs of the latest and past releases of our C++ based and ANSI C based OPC UA SDKs from the web.