Accessing Wonderware System Platform via OPC UA

Posted by Kevin Rutherford on Jun 23, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Have you ever been in a situation where you were working with both Wonderware and some other client (HMI, SCADA, other) and needed to share data?  Perhaps your company acquired another company or assets and a non-Wonderware HMI/SCADA came as part of the assets.  Or perhaps your company merged with another and now your Wonderware system is expected to play nicely with some other system.  Your options for sharing data largely depend on what software interfaces this "other system" supports.

In this blog post, I'll discuss how to share your Wonderware ArchestrA or InTouch data via OPC UA for situations where you're working with an OPC UA capable client application that needs access to process data in your Wonderware system.

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Topics: Wonderware, OPC UA

Reasons a Configurable TCP Port is Important for OPC Tunneling

Posted by Win Worrall on Jun 21, 2016 11:30:00 AM

This is Part 8 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunneler” series.  What flexibility is there in how ports are configured?

Depending on your level of knowledge regarding OPC tunneling solutions, you may or may not be aware of how a tunneler uses TCP ports for transferring data between machines.  Your IT department likely gives you plenty of trouble whenever you mention needing to open a TCP port.  And with good reason - cyber attacks frequently exploit commonly used TCP ports.

This blog post will outline three top reasons why it's important for an OPC tunneling solution to support fully configurable TCP ports for transferring your data.

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Tunneling

Reasons why DCOM across Windows versions is a nightmare

Posted by Win Worrall on Jun 7, 2016 4:19:49 PM

This is Part 7 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunneler” series.  How does the OPC tunneling solution work in a mixed Windows OS environment.

If you have ever used DCOM between two different varieties of Windows operating system (Windows 7 and Windows XP, for instance) you already know how painful it can be to configure DCOM.  DCOM configuration is never a walk in the park but the frustration multiplies when the operating system isn't the same on both machines.

This blog post will outline one of the easiest methods to avoid the problems of configuring DCOM when the operating systems do not match.

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Tunneling

Protocol Docs - The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Posted by Kevin Rutherford on May 31, 2016 2:00:00 PM

If you’re reading this blog, you likely need a way to collect data from some random device in your process – something like a barcode reader or a weigh scale or an RFID system or some other device.  These are the types of device that don’t typically yield favorable results when you type “OPC Server for xyz” into a Google search.

In this blog post, I'll discuss the device manufacturer documentation that is typically provided for such devices and what some of the key information is you'll be looking for - including examples of how a good protocol document will present such information.

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Topics: Device Integration

Configuring a tunneler should be quick and easy

Posted by Win Worrall on May 24, 2016 2:00:00 PM

This is Part 6 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunneler” series - Configuring a tunneler should be quick and easy.

How easy does the tunneler vendor make it to get started with their solution?  It's important to consider what resources the vendor has made available to you to assist with setup and configuration.  Resources such as videos, FAQs and technical support could mean the difference between your setup taking only minutes to that same setup taking hours or even days.

This blog post will outline some of the expectations you should have from a good tunnel vendor with respect to the resources they can provide to make your experience as user-friendly as possible, both now and in the future.

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Tunneling

Can your tunneler do more than just tunnel?

Posted by Win Worrall on May 10, 2016 1:52:44 PM

This is Part 5 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunneler” series. Can your tunneler do more than just tunnel?

Many OPC tunnelers out there are just that—an OPC tunneler and nothing more. What if you need to perform another operation with the data besides tunneling it?  In most cases, you'd be stuck introducing an additional piece of software to handle any other operations.

This blog post will outline some of the additional functions you might need from a tunneler and why having a single application is the best architecture.

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Tunneling

Performance matters when choosing a tunneler

Posted by Win Worrall on Apr 26, 2016 2:00:00 PM

This is Part 4 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunneler” series. Performance matters when choosing a tunneler.

Performance is always an important consideration when choosing the best tunneler.  It is even more important if one or more of the following is true:

  • You need to transfer a lot of data very fast.
  • You are using networks with limited bandwidth.
  • You are using cellular or satellite networks that charge based on the amount of data used.

This blog post will cover some important aspects to consider when evaluating different tunneling solutions, their methods and the resulting performance relative to such variables.

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Tunneling, Tunnel Performance

What is the customer experience when contacting the supplier’s technical support?

Posted by Win Worrall on Apr 12, 2016 2:02:15 PM

This is Part 3 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunneler” series. What is the customer experience when contacting the supplier’s technical support?

Technical support is an area where users shouldn’t underestimate the importance.  This blog will cover some important aspects of technical support to consider when evaluating different tunneling suppliers.

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Tunneling, Technical Support

How should a tunneler handle network security?

Posted by Win Worrall on Apr 5, 2016 1:14:18 PM

This is Part 2 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunneler” series. How does the tunneler handle security?

Security is an integral consideration when choosing a tunneling solution.  This blog will cover some important aspects of security to consider when evaluating different tunneling solutions.

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Topics: Device Integration, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Tunneling, Security

How should a tunneler respond when the network connection is lost?

Posted by Win Worrall on Mar 23, 2016 12:59:12 PM

This is Part 1 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunneler” series. When choosing software applications to handle the tunneling of your data, there is more to making the right choice than simply a checkbox on a product datasheet that says “tunneling”. This series will introduce you to the considerations that will help you make an informed choice and choose the most effective tunneler for your specific application requirements. If you are unfamiliar with what an OPC tunnel is, please read our post “ Tunneling OPC Data – What Is It?
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Topics: Device Integration, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Tunneling

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