Software Toolbox Technical Blog

Kevin Rutherford

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Video Tutorial: Connecting TOP Server with other OPC UA Servers

2 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Aug 27, 2020 2:00:00 PM

While TOP Server for AVEVA™, formerly Wonderware provides connectivity to hundreds of device types and protocols, that is only part of how TOP Server helps with integrating industrial process data with external software such as AVEVA™ System Platform, formerly Wonderware and other client applications.

You're likely aware that TOP Server is an OPC UA server.  But TOP Server can also act as an OPC UA client for integrating with other OPC UA servers, as well.  For situations where you have a UA server to integrate but you're not quite ready to move to OPC UA for all of your client applications, this provides the flexibility you need.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to make a secure OPC UA connection from TOP Server to other OPC UA servers supporting the Data Access profile.  We cover the basics of configuring the OPC UA Client driver in TOP Server and making an OPC UA connection to another OPC UA server.

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Top 4 Benefits of Using a Hardware Key with OmniServer

5 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Aug 6, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Software-based licensing is a commonality among software solutions across all industries, not just industrial process control.  It's flexible, doesn't require physical shipping and is very reliable. But some system architectures can ultimately benefit from another licensing option - hardware keys.

Hardware key licensing is invaluable for high-availability systems for a number of reasons.  We've recently expanded licensing support in OmniServer, the proven OPC solution for integrating non-standard devices that don't have an off-the-shelf driver, to include optional hardware key support.

In this blog post, we'll cover the key reasons that hardware key licensing is beneficial for many OmniServer users.

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Key TOP Server for AVEVA V6.9 Features to Be Excited About

3 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jun 11, 2020 2:00:00 PM

In keeping with ongoing continuous improvement initiatives, TOP Server for AVEVA V6.9 expands connectivity support for several existing drivers.  This is in addition to other updates to over 25 drivers and plug-ins.

In this post, we'll cover the key features released in V6.9 in more detail, including updates to OPC UA Client driver data types and tags for EUROMAP 77 compatibility, support for additional GE Fanuc Focas parameters, expanded Torque Tool Ethernet message IDs and more, including how they benefit you as a TOP Server user.

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Connect Your Barcode Scanners to Barcode Printers

2 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on May 28, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Barcode scanners and printers are devices that are very common in a variety of industries, whether it's for use in a manufacturing process or a multitude of other possible uses.  But how do you go from scanning a barcode to printing that barcode?

In this video, we will cover how to connect to both a Datalogic barcode scanner and a Zebra barcode printer, as well as, transferring the scanned barcode data to the printer automatically.

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Top 5 Time-Saving Features of the OmniServer Visual Protocol Editor

5 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Apr 30, 2020 2:00:00 PM

If you know nothing else about OmniServer, you probably know it is commonly used for accessing information from devices that use ‘non-standard’ protocols including such devices as weight scales, barcode readers, and printers either over serial connections or Ethernet connections.

From its beginnings 25 years ago, OmniServer was designed to save time and effort when integrating your "other" devices, especially when compared to the time, effort and cost of alternatives such as custom code.

In this blog post, we will step through the 5 most time-saving features of OmniServer's Visual Protocol Editor, including short demo videos of each feature, highlighting how they can help you save up to 40% more of your time and effort when configuring an OmniServer protocol to communicate to your other devices.

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Accessing AVEVA (formerly Wonderware) from OPC UA Clients with DataHub

2 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Apr 23, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Cogent DataHub supports a wide range of connectivity interfaces for different data sources such as OPC UA, OPC DA, ODBC, DDE and so much more.  With those interfaces, DataHub is a flexible gateway commonly used for data integration by external software such as HMI, SCADA, MES, historians and other client applications.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to access data from AVEVA InTouch (formerly Wonderware) or AVEVA System Platform (formerly Wonderware) from OPC UA clients supporting the Data Access profile using the DataHub OPC Gateway.

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Top 3 TOP Server OPC UA Client Use Cases

5 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Apr 16, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Standards-based industrial device connectivity such as OPC has become the norm over the last 20 years.  What used to be achieved by individual HMI/SCADA vendors with their own native drivers can now be easily accomplished with OPC drivers that are HMI/SCADA vendor agnostic.  TOP Server offers connectivity to thousands of device types and protocols while making those devices accessible via a variety of standard interfaces including OPC UA, OPC DA and SuiteLink.

But what you may not be aware of is that TOP Server for Wonderware has an available driver suite called the OPC Client Suite that allows it to also act as an OPC UA client, OPC DA client and OPC XML-DA client.  In this post, I'm going to go through the top 3 most common use cases for the OPC Client Suite that we see users take advantage of.

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Top 7 Dream Report Features to Be Excited About in V5.0 R20-1

4 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Apr 9, 2020 2:00:00 PM

If you haven't used Dream Report previously, Dream Report is a real-time report generator and dashboard solution that is quickly and easily configurable for data collection, archival of data and alarms and also analysis.

In this post, we'll go through 7 key features of the V5.0 R20-1 release of Dream Report and how those features benefit existing and new Dream Report users.

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