OPC Foundation backs XML, Microsoft BizTalk

The 220-member OPC Foundation announced Oct. 6 at ISA Tech/99 that it will publish XML (extensible markup language) schema compatible with Microsoft Corp.'s BizTalk framework. This schema, basically a set of software building blocks based on XML, will be founded on OPC specifications that define application interoperability and communications among disparate aut...

11/01/1999


Philadelphia, Pa. The 220-member OPC Foundation announced Oct. 6 at ISA Tech/99 that it will publish XML (extensible markup language) schema compatible with Microsoft Corp.'s BizTalk framework. This schema, basically a set of software building blocks based on XML, will be founded on OPC specifications that define application interoperability and communications among disparate automation devices, systems, and applications.

Don Richardson, industry manager of Microsoft's discrete manufacturing business solutions group, says, "With the open standard of XML, we are trying to standardize how documents look. BizTalk extends the DNA for Manufacturing framework, allowing users to take advantage of heterogeneous systems." While acknowledging that other architectures and platforms exist and are used beyond Microsoft, Mr. Richardson added that, "These systems have to learn to play together. This is especially important to global manufacturers."

The foundation has already formed an OPC XML working group, led by Al Chisholm, OPC's Technical Steering Committee chair and Intellution Corp.'s chief technical officer. This working group will create XML data schema for exposing OPC data to applications over the Internet, essentially providing OPC-compliant solutions with enhanced e-commerce capabilities and functions. The foundation already provides industry-wide standards for exposing OPC data through the component object model (COM).

OPC XML creates keywords and attributes needed to describe OPC data items and aspects of a device, control system, or manufacturing application's operation and properties. Introduced in March 1999, BizTalk helps businesses exchange information among software applications over the Internet with trading partners and customers. It includes a design framework for implementing an XML schema and a set of XML tags used in messages sent between applications. Microsoft, other software companies, and industry-standards bodies will use BizTalk to produce consistent XML schema to enable integration across industries and between business systems, regardless of platform, operating system, or underlying technology. For more information, visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo , www.opcfoundation.org , www.biztalk.org , or www.microsoft.com/industry/biztalk .





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