Software Toolbox Technical Blog

Video Tutorial - Email Reports / Alerts from OPC & Other Data Sources

2 min read

By John Gonzalez on Sep 29, 2022 2:00:00 PM

It's important for any enterprise to have actionable data in the timeliest fashion for making decisions. Minimizing downtime and increasing performance are important to the profitability of any company and knowledge at the point of action is key.

To that end, automating notifications or reports based on the latest process data from your various systems can ensure you're never in the dark when it comes to your processes.

In this post, I will cover step-by-step how to easily automate email notifications and reports for OPC and data sources with the OPC Router for giving you and other decision makers the knowledge you need to make informed decision as quickly as possible.

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Video Tutorial: Real-Time Collection for AB Logix Family Controllers

1 min read

By Lauren Conrad on Sep 22, 2022 2:00:00 PM

Allen-Bradley's Logix family of PLCs and PACs is one of the most popular controllers across many automated industries. If you're reading this, you likely have at least one Logix controller being used in your industrial process and need to integrate data from that process.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to get started using our ControlLogix Ethernet driver to connect and gather real-time process data from Logix controllers for HMI, SCADA, MES and other client applications.

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Converting Non-OPC UA System Data for OPC UA Clients with OPC Router

9 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Sep 15, 2022 2:00:00 PM

OPC Router provides connectivity to a wide range of data sources including ERP systems such as SAP, a variety of relational and other databases, conversion of file data including CSV, XML, JSON and others, IIoT systems including REST and SOAP web services and MQTT brokers and more. It's often necessary for OPC UA client applications (such as HMIs, SCADAs and other software clients) to need access to such data sources. OPC Router also supports acting as an OPC UA server.

In this blog post, we will cover the basic steps to map such non-OPC UA data sources supported by OPC Router to OPC UA nodes/items for access by external OPC UA clients.

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Tech Support Corner: Understanding TOP Server Channel & Device Limits

4 min read

By Zachary Parham on Sep 8, 2022 2:00:00 PM

Our team often gets questions about the extent to which our products can be used. It’s important to differentiate between technical versus practical limits when discussing what is and is not possible.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, I will be providing some insights into how many channels, devices, and tags it is technically possible to set up in TOP Server while also highlighting some practical rules of thumb to observe to ensure the best performance.

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Tech Support Corner: Using TOP Server Simulated Device Mode

9 min read

By Connor Mason on Sep 1, 2022 2:00:00 PM

If you're a TOP Server user, you're likely accustomed to connecting to a device configured in TOP Server that is sending real-time data through one of its many available drivers. But did you know you can setup devices in a "Simulated" mode for a variety of client testing purposes when a live device isn't available?

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this post covers how the "Simulated" device property works, why you might implement it into your testing and a brief walkthrough on connecting a variety of client applications to a simulated device in TOP Server.

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Video Tutorial: Using DataHub Advanced MQTT Parsing

4 min read

By Win Worrall on Aug 25, 2022 2:00:00 PM

Cogent DataHub® is a gateway that enables a wide range of connectivity interfaces for different data sources such as OPC UA, OPC DA, ODBC, DDE and so much more.  Included in those available interfaces is the ability to act as both an MQTT client and broker even including Sparkplug B support for enabling MQTT integration with many other types of systems that don't natively support MQTT.

A key facet of the MQTT specification that can sometimes be complex for our users and cause issues with compatibility between DataHub and other MQTT clients and brokers is how to handle the formatting of MQTT messages. As you may or may not know, while MQTT does specify how to construct a message header for routing by an MQTT broker, it does NOT specify the actual message content. This tends to be a challenge when MQTT clients from different developers need to work together, since they need to be using the same format for the message content.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to use DataHub V10's Advanced MQTT Parser capability to specify flexible formats that will work with virtually any other vendor's MQTT clients and brokers.

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AVEVA System Platform to TOP Server via OPC UA Expands Connectivity

23 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Aug 18, 2022 2:00:00 PM

Many AVEVA users are probably already aware of the native connectivity options they have for interfacing with different systems. Many AVEVA users have also turned to TOP Server over the years, both for standardizing device connectivity in a single server and for drivers/protocols not available as native AVEVA options.

Those users of AVEVA System Platform have traditionally connected to TOP Server directly via either its native SuiteLink interface or OPC DA Classic. AVEVA's OI Gateway provides those users the additional option of connecting to OPC UA data sources, for easier and more secure remote connections to such data sources.

In this blog post, we will cover the basic steps to connect AVEVA System Platform to TOP Server via OPC UA, expanding device connectivity options for AVEVA users.

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Tech Support Corner: Understanding TOP Server Device Scan Modes

7 min read

By Jessica Dillon on Aug 11, 2022 2:00:00 PM

If you are reading this post, chances are you have configured your TOP Server project and are communicating with your devices successfully. Perhaps, you also have a client application successfully writing and/or reading to or from TOP Server. Did you know all TOP Server drivers provide several different Scan Modes for controlling how client requests affect the polling frequency for your configured devices? In fact, these Scan Modes apply to all client connection types including OPC UA, OPC DA and AVEVA SuiteLink.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this short post will discuss the five Scan Mode options available in the TOP Server Device Properties. Each Scan Mode serves a different purpose depending on your specific scenario. We will explain each mode, giving you a better understanding of which mode is best for your situation. Correctly setting the Scan Mode to match the capabilities of your device will help to provide optimal performance for your automation system.

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