OPC Foundation Announces OPC .NET 3.0 (WCF) For OPC Classic

  • October 25, 2010
  • News
October 25, 2010 - The OPC Foundation released OPC .NET 3.0 (formerly known as OPC Express Interface (Xi)). This new API will enable users of OPC Classic to leverage the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) technology, facilitating the transfer of data securely through firewalls. Developed as an enhancement to OPC Classic, OPC .NET 3.0 serves to bridge the gap between Microsoft .NET and the world of OPC Classic and will also provide a common interface between newly developed .Net clients and OPC Classic servers.OPC Classic relies on DCOM to manage distributed communications. But by using the newly created OPC .NET 3.0, developers can work with WCF and eliminate the headaches associated with DCOM configuration. Managed code applications developed using the OPC .NET 3.0 interface will be able to take advantage of the included COM interop layer to easily enable communications with OPC Classic servers that are typically developed as unmanaged code applications.The use of WCF in OPC .NET 3.0 also provides an increased level of security through built-in authentication, authorization and data encryption. Additional security features have been built into the interface to enable secure authentication across HTTP or TCP. In the future the OPC Foundation will integrate the OPC .NET 3.0 with OPC UA, such that client applications based on OPC .NET 3.0 will be able to access OPC UA servers.OPC .NET 3.0 enables:
  • Easy access to OPC DA (Data Access), OPC HDA (Historical Data Access) and OPC A&E (Alarms and Events).
  • A .NET development environment
  • Secure, firewall-friendly communications via WCF
  • A Microsoft-centric replacement for DCOM
  • Full compatibility with OPC Classic
  • ‚ÄúIn keeping with the OPC Foundation history of enhancing OPC Classic functionality, we have chosen to create OPC .NET 3.0 to enable developers to create simple OPC Clients and Servers using the latest .NET development tools. In the past we created the OPC Foundation Automation Wrapper to enable development with Visual Basic 6. Later we created OPC .NET 1.0 & OPC. NET 2.0 to enable use with VB .Net. Now we are responding with the addition of WCF. As an organization we have always believed in providing developers with all the tools possible to enable easy development of OPC Server and Clients. The creation of OPC .NET 3.0 (WCF) follows that tradition by providing OPC Classic users more architecture development options,‚Äù said Thomas Burke, President, OPC Foundation. Duncan Schleiss, Vice President, Platform Strategy, Emerson Process Management said, ‚ÄúWe have been proud to work in conjunction with the OPC Foundation on OPC .NET 3.0. As Microsoft continues to withdraw support for COM / DCOM based products, it is increasingly important to be able to provide the marketplace with options for continued interoperability with the major DCS systems in our industry. Developers need to be able to have access to as many development tools and platforms as possible so that they can continue to build best-of-breed solutions.‚ÄùAbout The OPC Foundation:The OPC Foundation, dedicated to interoperability in automation and enterprise computing, is an independent, non-profit organization that comprises leading manufacturers and solution providers in factory and process automation as well as enterprise solutions. The OPC Foundation's charter is to develop worldwide industry standards for data transfer offering multivendor interoperability and seamless connectivity of devices, systems, networks and enterprise computing solutions used in the manufacturing and process industries. Development of specifications is undertaken by volunteers from nearly 400 members worldwide. Learn More

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