Software Toolbox Technical Blog

Kevin Rutherford


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Five Ways OPC Router Bridges the Gap Between ERP and Plant Floor

11 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Feb 3, 2022 2:00:00 PM


For various reasons, many organizations still have one or more disconnects between the PLCs and other control devices closest to the ultimate process and the upstream systems responsible for coordinating efforts across the enterprise. In an ideal world, all data exchange between all systems in an enterprise would be automated for the greatest efficiency.

In this post (based on the article "Removing five critical media gaps" by our partner company, inray Industriesoftware GmbH), we will discuss five of the most common gaps where an organization's ERP system may still be disconnected from underlying processes and data sources. And we'll discuss how OPC Router provides the ability to eliminate those unnecessary gaps.

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2022 Automation & Control Software Learning Resources

6 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jan 27, 2022 2:00:00 PM


2021 furthered the transformations of 2020 as industry worldwide continued to adapt to succeed in the face of new challenges such as supply chain, a growing labor shortage, and exploding customer demand.  

This post is our 5th annual sharing of references to learning resources and new technology releases that users have told us were the most helpful to them over the course of the last year.

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Key New Features - OmniServer V3.2.0.12

4 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jan 20, 2022 2:00:00 PM


Updates are made to Omniserver several times a year, adding useful features and tools, as well as resolving any known issues as part of our continuous improvement process.

In this post, I will cover updates and enhancements available in OmniServer V3.2.0.12 that increase the usability of OmniServer with respect to migrating and saving configurations, monitoring statistics and keeping current with Microsoft technologies.

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TOP Server for AVEVA V6.11 Features to Be Excited About

7 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jan 6, 2022 2:00:00 PM

In keeping with ongoing continuous improvement initiatives, TOP Server for AVEVA V6.11 adds drivers, as well as enhancing existing drivers and resolving known issues for over 30 drivers and plug-ins.

In this post, we'll cover the key features released in V6.11 in more detail, namely the new Siemens S7 Plus Ethernet driver with symbolic address support for S7-1500 and S7-1200 controllers, several powerful scalability enhancements for BACnet and important updates to several oil and gas drivers, including how they benefit you as a TOP Server user.

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How MariaDB Compares to MySQL

6 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Nov 11, 2021 2:00:00 PM


In a recent blog post about MongoDB, we discussed how non-relational database differ from relational databases like SQL and MySQL. The fact of the matter is, relational databases are widely used and still just as popular in the industrial automation space as ever. A popular alternative to SQL and MySQL is MariaDB which is an open source relational database.

This blog post (based on the article "What is MariaDB? A comparison with MySQL" by our partner company, inray Industriesoftware GmbH) discusses what MariaDB is, comparing it to MySQL so you can determine if MariaDB is a better database option for your company.

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OPC Router Adds Docker Support, Remote Config, InFluxDB 2 & More

5 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Oct 27, 2021 2:00:00 PM


If you're already taking advantage of the wide range of features in OPC Router, you're likely aware that OPC Router is regularly updated to add additional useful features and tools, and to resolve any known issues as part of its continuous improvement process.

In this post, I will cover new features and enhancements available in OPC Router V4.26 including

  • Expanded Edge device flexibility with support for Docker container instances
  • Remote configuration for management of one or more instances (including Docker instances)
  • Support for Influx DB2 and InfluxDB Cloud
  • Enhanced support for referencing and management of external libraries 
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Key New Features - OmniServer V3.2.0.11

4 min read

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


As you may be aware, OmniServer is updated several times a year to add additional useful features and tools, and to resolve any known issues as part of our continuous improvement process.

In this post, I will cover updates and enhancements available in OmniServer V3.2.0.11 that enhance the usability of OmniServer Professional Edition for email alerts and reports and also an update that makes it easier to run OmniServer as a Windows service.

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MongoDB and How a NoSQL Database is Different

7 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Sep 30, 2021 2:00:00 PM


I think it's safe to say that when we're discussing databases in the context of industrial process control, SQL Server is where most of our brains tend to jump. The proliferation of SQL (and other traditional relational databases) across most, if not all, industries for process control applications cannot be denied. But SQL (and others) do certainly have some limitations.

This blog post (based on an article by partner company, inray Industriesoftware GmbH) discusses how MongoDB, a non-relational database (i.e. NoSQL database) are fundamentally different from the SQL Servers of the world and how MongoDB can be a good alternative to relational databases for some applications.

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