OPC and. NET

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags dot net wrappers

Note: recent OPC standards, including Unified Architecture (UA) and Express Interface (Xi) were designed to Nativ Ely support. NET. The content of this page largely relates to techniques for using the older com-based OPC specifications from. NET Applicat Ions.

Using. NET for client development

Using. NET for server development

. NET Resources

XML and SOAP (link to separate page)

Using. NET for client development

Microsoft doesn ' t expect us to throw out all of our COM code just yet. In fact there is well defined mechanisms for bridging from the. NET Vsan (the Common Language Runtime) to the Old World of COM servers.

An early option, using the OPC Automation interfaces, is to add a reference to the Automation server or DLL directly to a . NET Project. Coding with C # or another. NET language then became reasonably straightforward. However, see this discussion (via Google Groups) on problems with the OPC Automation wrapper.

OPC Foundation. NET API and Runtime callable Wrappers

OPC Foundation supplies a set of Runtime callable Wrappers (RCWS), allowing OPC custom interfaces to BES accessed from. NET Clients.

These. NET wrappers is available to all as part of the OPC Core components set. RCWs is provided for all published specifications, but still leave much COM interop work to being done by the developer.

A better option for Foundation members are to download the OPC. NET API, which supports DA 2 and 3, DX and HDA. The. NET API provides a unified set of interfaces for accessing both COM and Soap/xml servers, and also includes C # and VB . NET clients which exploit these interfaces.

See this thread from the OPC Foundation Message Board for a comparison of the Runtime callable Wrappers and the. NET API. This article from Advosol, outlining the requirements of a. NET APIs, may also be useful.

The Message Board also have this interesting thread on the background to the OPC. NET API. Note the. NET API does not having the status of a full OPC specification-it are simply an implementation provided as a Convenience to the OPC Foundation members.

The. NET API requires the. NET Framework version 2.0.

For the low-down of the techniques involved in interfacing COM with. NET, take a look at Adam Nathan's book. NET and com: The Complete Interoperability Guide.

Advosoladvosol OPC da.net, OPC hda.net, OPC ae.net Client components

Advosol ' s OPC data access. NET Wrapper (OPC da.net) provides. NET wrappers for the OPC data access and Common custom Inter Faces. Comprehensive documentation is included, as well as source for client programs (C #, vb.net and Delphi 2005), and Wizards F or simplified application creation.

OPC Da.net supports Data Access 3.0, and includes a DA 3.0 test client as well as a customizable simulation server support ing both DA 2.0x and 3.0.

Data binding to Windows Forms controls is possible. Callback Subscriptions Refresh the item values directly in Windows controls, with no user Callback handlers required.

OPC Da.net is sold for 495 USD (a single seat license) or 1195 USD (site license). A free trial download are available:this runs for the minutes at a time.

Advosol also offers a Professional Edition of OPC da.net. Additional capabilities include the ability to emulate DA 3.0 features when connected to DA 2 server. Pricing is 695 USD (a seat license) or 1695 USD (site license, or 2495 USD with source).

OPC Da.net now supports both 32-and 64-bit platforms. Visual Studio 2005 compiled applications run in 64-bit mode on 64-bit systems.

OPC da.net is used within Advosol's OPC Xml-da server (see our XML page).

Advosol also offers the OPC HDA. NET client Development Component and OPC Alarm & Event. NET Client Development Compon ENT, providing. NET wrappers for the HDA and AE custom interfaces. OPC ae.net includes an Eventview control to handle event subscriptions without user code.

Each of Advosol's. NET client components supports. NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 (including Express editions).

Advosol xmlda.net

Advosol ' s xmlda.net is described as a. NET wrapper which provides an XML-DA application interface. Using This component, applications developed as XML-DA client programs is able to access (COM) DA servers. Unlike an XML-DA gateway, which is achieved without XML serialization. Xmlda.net is particularly recommended for ASP client applications which need to access DA servers.

Version 2.0 adds data binding to user objects, Windows controls and ASP.

Xmlda.net is sold for 695 USD for a single seat license, or 1995 USD for a site license (currently reduced to 495 and 1495 USD respectively). A 30-minute free Trial download is available.

OPC Process Calculator

Somewhat different from the other products listed here, OPC Process Calculator are an OPC calculation engine for advanced a nd complex calculations. It allows for easy creation of process calculations this use OPC tags as equation inputs and outputs.

OPC DA and HDA specifications are supported. A free trial download is available.

Industrial DOT NET "Local IO"

IDN Local IO allows rapid development of OPC clients by encapsulating all OPC functionality in a single. NET assembly. Communication to remote servers are supported via DCOM, with a built-in watchdog function to monitor connections.

A free trial download is available, including C # and vb.net samples, while the website does a good job of explaining the D Evelopment process. A single developer license are priced at 485 USD.

Local IO includes Quick Data, a DA client built using Local IO. Quick Data is also available separately as a free download.

Local IO version 1.4 supports. NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005, and includes source code for the Quick Data client.

Kineticartkineticart OPC Client Library

Kineticart's. NET OPC Client is available at around, USD per developer license with no runtime charges. It supports OPC DA connectivity using an architecture based in connectable. NET components.

The product also integrates well and Kineticart ' s range of. NET visualization components. For more information, see the online Help file (Windows HTML help format).

Kineticart Studio. NET

Developers looking for a more complete framework is interested in Kineticartstudio. NET. This product integrates Kineticart's. NET OPC client and other components to a full Rapid application development gui-a nd scada-builder System. An evaluation copy may requested, and the full documentation are available for download.

Northern Dynamic SLIK-DAC

Northern Dynamic ' s SLIK-DAC provides a Windows Forms Control to enable rapid development of DA client applications. This product is covered the more detail on Ourtoolkits page.

Open Automation Software OPC systems.net

Open Automation Software offers OPC systems.net, a collection of native. NET components. Each component is also available separately:

OPC Web controls.net
ASP. NET Web Forms, compatible with ASP. 1.1 or 2.0. Ajaxtechnology is used to provide real-time data updates without the need for page refreshes.
OPC controls.net
Windows Forms controls providing real-time OPC data access. Includes labels, buttons, text boxes, checkboxes etc.
OPC trend.net
real-time and historical trending. Supports 3D graphics with rotation, allowing viewing from any axis position. Now also includes an ActiveX control version.
OPC alarm.net
real-time and historical alarming. Also includes Alarm Logging that runs as a Windows Service. Now also includes an ActiveX control version.
OPC database.net
A Windows Service OPC Client is provides data logging to SQL Server, MSDE, Oracle, ODBC, and CSV files.
OPC report.net
generation Service for any database source including OPC Alarm.net and OPC database.net. Supports various report types including PDF, Word, HTML.
OPC route.net
A Windows Service allowing transfer of data between local and remote OPC servers.

Open Automation Software also offers OPC mobile.net. Containing similar functionality to OPC controls.net, this product targets Pocket PCs running Windows Mobile 2003 or Windo WS Mobile 5.0.

All products implement. NET Remoting for communications, eliminating the need for DCOM configuration.

Pricing for the entire OPC Systems.net suite starts at 1995 USD. Individual components start at 795 USD, although OPC controls.net and OPC mobile.net is cheaper at 295 USD. Help files could be freely downloaded.

Softing OPC Toolbox

Softing ' s OPC Toolbox is a family of high-end toolkits for the quick and easy development of OPC clients and servers. Support was provided for DA (1.0 through 3.0), AE and Xml-da 1.01. Comprehensive documentation integrates with Visual Studio (2003 or 2005), and commented examples is available for both VB . NET and C #.

Software Toolboxsoftware Toolbox Extender for Visual Studio

OPC Extender is a rapid development tool for Visual Studio 2003 and 2005 that takes the Drag-drop, Point-click concepts of Software Toolbox ' s OPC ActiveX and brings them to vb.net and C # developers building OPC client applications.

The Extender allows the developer to opc-enable all. NET WinForms component:adding the OPC Extender to a. NET project ext Ends all the. NET components in a form with additional properties. Through those properties, a point and click Interface allows setup of subscriptions, one-time reads, and writes. The Extender is used to write a value from a text box to an OPC item, without writing any code. It also takes the complexities of the OPC group and item management and bundles them up to simple one-line methods for Readi Ng and writing data.

OPC Extender have been interoperability tested to ensure it would work with a wide range of OPC Servers. It is priced at 1195 USD.

Software Toolbox OPC Web Client:OPCData.NET

OPC Web Client is a major initiative from software Toolbox. It comprises both main product lines, opcdata.net and OPC Web Service, which may also be purchased as a bundle. In all, the OPC Web client offers a broad range of routes to developing OPC Client solutions.

Opcdata.net includes both. NET and ActiveX components, allowing OPC clients to be built using either. NET Technology or "L Egacy "environments such as VB6 and VBScript. OPC clients developed with these components communicate directly with OPC servers using COM and DCOM.

The programming API is simple and easy to learn, hiding the complexity of OPC. The product has completed OPC interoperability testing as part of the OPC Foundations ' s certification program.

Opcdata.net is priced at 995 USD for a royalty free license.

Software Toolbox OPC Web Client:opc web Service

OPC Web Service is a new feature of OPC Web Client Version 3.0. Typically installed on a Web server running IIS, this product allows OPC data to be accessed directly through a browser, O R using any Web service consumer. No software need is installed on the client computer.

OPC Web Service is licensed per server computer, but each instance would support any number of clients and may acquire data From an unrestricted number of OPC servers. Pricing starts at 495 USD.

The complete OPC Web Client bundle is purchased for 1395 USD. A free demomay is downloaded-this runs for a limited time before needing to be restarted. Comprehensive documentation and online demos are also available.

Technosoftware OPC Client Developer Studio. NET

Technosoftware ' s OPC Client Developer Studio. NET supports Data Access 2.05 and 3.0, Xml-da 1.01, Alarms & Events 1.10 , and HDA 1.20. Support was provided for. NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 or 2008.

Pricing starts at 995 EUR (around USD).

Visavi Visual OPC. NET

Visual OPC. NET is designed to enable rapid development of the OPC DA clients using any. NET language. Classes is included which wrap the OPC COM interfaces, as well as Windows Forms controls which support direct binding to OPC data Items.

The cost of a development license are 499 USD, or 799 USD including an auto-archiving trend control. A number of sample C # and VB.net projects is included, and a useful online reference are available along with a 30-day tria L download.

Using. NET for server development

While it easy-understand why developers might choose. NET for OPC client development, it's harder to see the benefit O F using. NET for the custom element of (com-based) OPC servers. Indeed, many of the APIs needed to interface with control equipment does not yet exist in the. NET World. The obvious exceptions would be where the data source is either a database or an Ethernet device;. NET may are well suited In many such cases.

Anyone who opts to take the. NET route could, in theory, choose from many of the existing server toolkits, as long as they Were prepared to deal with the interop issues themselves. These interop issues should is manageable when using any of the ' rapid development ' toolkits.

Advosol. NET Server Toolkits

Advosol ' s dansrv (OPC DA. NET Server Toolkit) provides. NET developers with the ability to build their own Data Access ser Vers using exclusively. NET languages (vb.net and C # are supported). Support for Data Access 3 is included.

OPC DA. NET Server Toolkit is priced at 1695 USD for a site license, or 2995 $ for a enhanced ' Professional ' edition. A free Trial Download are available-this allows servers to run for the minutes before have to be restarted.

OPC DA. NET Server Toolkit now supports both 32-and 64-bit platforms. No Special customization is required to support 64-bit mode.

Advosol has today released an OPC AE. NET Server Toolkit (aka Dansrvae). This product extends the OPC DA. NET Server Toolkit, adding support for OPC AE 1.1. Pricing is set at 1495 USD for a site license.

Hdansrv (OPC HDA. NET server Toolkit) is a Historian server Toolkit, allowing the HDA server logic to be fully implemented Using C # or vb.net. Full source was included, along with sample servers which has been validated to HDA 1.2 using the OPC Foundation Complianc E Test.

Each of Advosol's. NET Server toolkits supports. NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 (including Express editions).

Free evaluation versions of the AE and HDA. NET Server toolkits is available upon request.

Northern Dynamic Slik-da

Northern Dynamic ' s SLIK-DA provides the core functionality of a Data Access server encapsulated as a Windows Forms Control . This product was covered in more detail to our toolkits page.

Softing OPC Toolbox

Softing ' s OPC Toolbox is a family of high-end toolkits for the quick and easy development of OPC clients and servers. Support was provided for DA (1.0 through 3.0), AE and Xml-da 1.01. Comprehensive documentation integrates with Visual Studio (2003 or 2005), and commented examples is available for both VB . NET and C #.

Technosoftware OPC Server Developer Studio. NET

Technosoftware ' s OPC Server Developer Studio. NET provides all common code as a single supplied EXE file, while the part W Hich must is adapted resides in a. NET Assembly


OPC and. NET

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