Software Toolbox Technical Blog

Tech Support Corner: Adding Friendly Topic Names in TOP Server

6 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Apr 8, 2021 2:00:00 PM


If you're a TOP Server for AVEVA (formerly Wonderware) user, you've certainly connected to a device configured in TOP Server using a topic name. But did you know you can create custom topics called aliases with any meaningful name you would like to represent your devices?

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this blog post covers how to easily add define meaningful aliases for your devices in TOP Server for use as topics in your client applications.

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OPC Data Client 2021.1 - Developer Productivity, .NET 5 Support & More

6 min read

By Ganesh Kalipershad on Mar 25, 2021 2:00:00 PM


Developers of custom OPC client applications have new options, enhanced troubleshooting tools, runtime configuration flexibility, and improved utilities to help them in the recently released 2021.1 (5.60) version of the OPC Data Client Toolkit.

In this technically hot blog post, we will cover the release highlights with links to documentation, and, as always, the full detailed release notes are available in our knowledge base. Also if you did not see the 2020.3 (5.59) release post, that one was packed with technical details.

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Integrating Fluctuating Energy Prices using OPC For Process Decisions

4 min read

By Win Worrall on Mar 11, 2021 2:00:00 PM


While the recent winter storm in Texas and its rolling energy shortages has brought the subject of the availability of affordable energy and deregulation of power markets to the forefront of the conversation, this has been a problem in many areas of the world for a long time. This is mainly because of the large fluctuations in the price of energy that both residents and businesses have to endure.

It's ultimately the law of supply and demand driving such issues - when energy supply is eclipsed by extraordinary demand for it, an inconvenience during the best of times becomes a crisis in the case of extreme situations such as unexpected winter weather, devastating storms, hotter than normal summers and other unpredictable situations.

In the case of manufacturing and other industries that rely on energy as an input for operations, the cost of energy can literally determine whether a production run is profitable or not. This post discusses methods for monitoring energy costs in real-time from your HMI, SCADA or MES system using OPC UA or OPC DA, for decision support to prevent avoidable losses. 

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How to Easily Integrate Your Data with Amazon AWS IoT Core

12 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Feb 25, 2021 2:00:00 PM


IoT, IIoT, MQTT, Connectivity of Things, Big Data, The Cloud - I'm sure you've at least heard these terms in the course of your day (whether in the scope of your job or in an advertisement during a football game you happen to be watching).  Maybe you're even working on a project requiring you to push and/or pull important process or business data to/from a cloud solution - possibly for big data analytics applications ranging from predictive maintenance to "smart" manufacturing, amongst many other use cases.

And Amazon© - well, I'd wager there isn't a single person out there who doesn't know who Amazon is. But did you know they have their own cloud solution called Amazon IoT Core©? And maybe you didn't also know that Amazon AWS (Amazon Web Services©) IoT Core acts as an MQTT broker for storing and sharing important data in a secure cloud along with artificial intelligence and analytics and many other IoT services.

But how do you go from your data sources to AWS IoT Core? In this post, we'll step through how you can configure "things" in Amazon AWS IoT Core and connect them to your process and business data sources with the Cogent DataHub IoT Gateway©.

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Virtual Training: Adding OPC UA to Your Custom OPC DA Server

2 min read

By Ganesh Kalipershad on Feb 11, 2021 2:00:00 PM

With OPC DA Classic having been the de-facto standard for integrating industrial automation systems for so many years, I'm sure there are quite a few of you who might have custom developed OPC DA servers using SLIK-DA. Now, of course, migrations to OPC UA are on the rise with its enhanced security, encryption and efficiency.

Of course, the prospect of replacing that OPC DA server entirely with a replacement that supports OPC UA might be less than ideal. But have you considered adding an OPC UA server interface to that existing OPC DA custom application?

In this video blog, we teach you how to add an OPC UA Server interface to your existing OPC DA Server interface using the SLIK-DA/UA rapid development toolkit with your custom software application (NO ADDITIONAL CODE). If you missed our last post on how to add an OPC DA interface to your custom software, click here.

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Virtual Training: Making your Custom Software an OPC DA Server

2 min read

By Ganesh Kalipershad on Jan 28, 2021 2:00:00 PM

So your organization has a custom developed application that is performing some important task and you've been tasked with providing access to that software for an OPC DA client or clients. Adding an OPC DA server interface to a custom application that either you've developed or that you've taken over from someone else can be a daunting task.  This is especially true if you're unfamiliar with the low level nuts and bolts of the OPC DA Classic specification.

In this video blog, we teach you how to add an OPC DA Server interface to your custom software application using the SLIK-DA/UA rapid development toolkit.

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2021 Automation & Control Software Learning Resources

4 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jan 14, 2021 2:00:00 PM


2020 was an extraordinarily challenging year for the world and, as a result, a phenomenally transformational year in manufacturing as industries worldwide had to adapt to succeed in the face of new challenges. 

We start each year off, in the spirit of a new year, with sharing references to learning resources that users have told us were the most helpful to them over the course of the last year. This year's post contains an extraordinary amount of virtual technical training opportunities.

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OPC UA PubSub, OPC Classic Updates+More in OPC Data Client 2020.3

8 min read

By Ganesh Kalipershad on Jan 7, 2021 2:00:00 PM


With the recently released 2020.3 (5.59) version of the OPC Data Client Toolkit, developers of OPC Classic client applications can now use .NET Core and have more flexibility in managing optimizations in their applications. Developers using OPC UA PubSub have more methods and options to aid in their development.  More example programs will help new users get started faster or existing developers leverage other functionality in their applications.

In this technically hot blog post, we will cover the release highlights with links to documentation, and, as always, the full detailed release notes are available in our knowledge base.

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