- June 15, 2010
June 15, 2010 Kepware Technologies released KEPServerEX version 5.3. This release adds the DNP3.0 Ethernet and DNP3.0 Serial drivers to the KEPServerEX v5 Suite of communication protocols. New features allow OPC server KEPServerEX to coordinate device communications over virtual networks. The Automatic Device Discovery feature for SNMP and Ping drivers allows KEPServerEX to scan a network, detect devices, and then choose devices and their associated tags for import. In addition, the Advanced Tag Option now contains the ability to link data between any tags identified in the KEPServerEX network.The DNP protocol was developed as a standards-based interoperability solution for Electric Utilities and Power Distribution, allowing communications between substation computers, RTUs, Intelligent Electronic Devices, and master stations. It is utilized in many related industries, including Water/Waste Water Management, Transportation, and Oil & Gas. The unique capabilities of the DNP drivers provide utilities professionals with a comprehensive communication solution at an affordable price. The DNP3.0 Suite allows users to automatically connect, control, and manage devices from local or remote substations and bound to a virtual network of device communications. DNP also has applications for the Smart Grid, which requires the coordination of multiple protocols coexisting on a common communications network. CalAmp is a provider of wireless communications for access to critical data and is an early adopter of DNP communications for the Smart Grid. The advent of the DNP3.0 will enable secure, integrated and optimal performance of wireless applications on a single network by allowing parallel conversations with field devices at the same time. Added enhancements made to the DNP drivers include improved optimization for low-bandwidth and noisy communication channels, as well as new diagnostic messages for better management of errors, alarms, and general notifications. The DNP drivers are available as a Serial and Ethernet bundle called the DNP Suite. They are also part of the Power Distribution Suite, which includes several other drivers relevant to the market.The 5.3 release also delivers a significant new feature to the Advanced Tag option for KEPServerEX: Link Tags. This feature allows users to bridge data between tags from one driver to a separate driver utilizing different protocols. Data may be bridged from tag-to-tag within the same driver with KEPServerEX system tags or through any KEPServerEX plug-in. The Advanced Tag option enables better communication in embedded systems by allowing users to measure the duration of operations, perform averages over a group of sensors, set triggers for data acquisition, and other similar activities, thereby improving overall machine-to-machine capabilities.Additional driver enhancements include an intuitive Automatic Device Discovery feature for the Industrial SNMP and Ping drivers, Allen-Bradley ControlLogix support for RSLogix v18, and Siemens support for the S7-1200 PLC. Twenty other additional KEPServerEX drivers also received updates. Infrastructure applications require the deployment of open communications frameworks that are based on industry standards and facilitate the sharing of data throughout their organizations, according to Craig Resnick, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group. Without open, scalable, and standards-based architectures, interoperability between disparate devices is difficult and expensive, especially due to the enormous number of device suppliers and wide variations in the age, technology, and generations of the devices. Open standards are key to provide connectivity and communications for both existing and newly acquired devices and systems. Adding DNP3.0 Ethernet and DNP3.0 Serial drivers to KEPServerEX version 5.3 will help address the needs of the infrastructure industries to achieve lower asset lifecycle costs and total cost of ownership of their disparate devices, in a scalable fashion, through adherence to open industry communication standards. The markets which utilize DNP3.0 encounter a number of unique communication challenges, states Tony Paine, President of Kepware Technologies. In listening to our customer base, it was evident that we needed to allow for more flexibility in the layout of DNP network configurations, especially in the area of telemetry-based requirements. This newly revamped solution will now allow users to serialize communications across multiple DNP communications channels. ABOUT KEPWARE TECHNOLOGIES: Kepware is the world leader in communication software for automation and offers a unique experience in both OPC and communication protocols. Since 1995, Kepware has focused on the development of communication drivers to automation controllers, I/O, and field devices. Applications include M2M (Machine to Machine) and M2E (Machine to Enterprise) communications. Operating system support includes Microsoft Windows Desktop, Windows Server, and Windows Embedded (Windows CE and Windows Embedded NT/XP). Today, with over 140 communication protocols, and through the efforts of our direct sales, distribution and embedded partners, Kepware is the leading provider of communications with annual shipments exceeding 100,000 units.