ISA Expo ’05: OPC seeks continued input on UA spec

By Control Engineering Staff October 24, 2005

OPC is expected to discuss its Unified Architecture (UA) specification, it’s benefits, and results of a Web-based survey at ISA Expo ’05 in Chicago. Survey results are said to cover end-user input about the features, functions, and improvements end-users would like the vendors to provide in the interest of secure, reliable interoperability.

Under development by OPC members since 2003, the first release of the multi-part UA specification is nearing completion. Previously stated goals for UA aim to make enterprise information integration a reality, without custom code, while incorporating Web service and migrating away from DCOM (but allow use until DCOM-based servers until they’re retired or upgraded.)

Portions pf UA became available for review this month. Comments from members and non-members on the specification are welcomed (email to ). “OPC Foundation is committed to providing secure reliable interoperability architecture in the form of specifications, components, process, tools, technology, events, training, certification, and other mechanisms,” the organization says.

OPC Foundation says it continues to interact with software vendors, end-users, and Microsoft manufacturing user group, and has “participated and hosted numerous panel discussions to try to flush out the import feature set that the end-users require from the OPC foundation and OPC vendors. OPC Foundation commitment to secure reliable certified validated interoperability relies on vendor adoption of the specifications and technology, and vendor participation in the end-user required OPC certification programs.” The organization says the “request for features from the end-users is very open ended. Suggestions for features include functionality, components, process, tools, technology, events, training, certification and any other category you may think of in the spirit of interoperability and quality.”

For more from OPC on the UA specification go to the foundation Web site. OPC UA Part 1 – Concepts RC1.00 Specification is an overview specification that explains the overall Unified Architecture and introduces other parts to come. OPC UA Part 4-Services RC1.00 Specification defines the methods that UA clients and servers use to communicate.

For earlier news from Control Engineering about the impact of Unifed Architecture, click here .

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—Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering ,