Cogent DataHub is primarily known for its extensive connectivity to OPC DA, OPC UA, OPC A&E, Databases, Historians, Excel, ODBC, DDE, Linux, Modbus and more. However, it is worth noting that this platform offers more than just connectivity. In this blog post, we'll cover the capabilities of DataHub’s Alarm & Notification Plug-In, which supports the configuration of custom alarms, events, and notifications. You can enhance your A&E Client applications by adding this feature to any DataHub License Pack, and generate alarms based on any data integrated into the DataHub, or simply send email/SMS alerts.
The Alarm and Notifications Plug-In provides a flexible and scalable method for building out alerts to inform you of critical states of your data. This is achieved through customizable templates where points and conditions can be defined using the “One-to-many pattern matching” approach, eliminating the need for a separate configuration per data point. The plug-in communicates these notifications through various channels, including text, email, OPC A&E condition, OPC A&E Events, SMS, WhatsApp (using Twilio), and HTTP.
Beyond the Basics of Email
DataHub has long been equipped with the ability to send email notifications based off data changes and conditions with the Email/SMS Plug-In, but let’s take a look at how this differs from the Alarm & Notification Plug-In. With the Alarm and Notification feature, users gain the ability to enhance their alarm sources by creating OPC A&E condition points within DataHub. This expanded functionality opens new possibilities for comprehensive and customizable alerting within the system.
Before the addition of the Alarm & Notification functionality, the Email & SMS feature targeted a single-event report by sending an email and/or SMS message. With the addition of this feature, DataHub has increased format and trigger types, expanded the scalability, implemented states, and provided scripting options.
We've created the table below to summarize and visually represent the differences between each feature.
Tailoring Alerts with DataHub Templates
The Cogent DataHub Alarm & Notification Plug-In utilizes Templates and Notifiers to alert you when a condition is met, or state has changed. You can configure these notifications by defining templates for different states and conditions in your system, associating them with notifiers, and binding them to data.
The DataHub uses templates to let you create a variety of similar notifications from one source. There are eight Template types you can choose from to create these notifications.
- Stateless - Examines each Condition for each defined state in order and executes the IfTrue script for the first true condition.
- Stateful - Examines each Entry Condition for each defined state in order and executes the OnEntry script for the first true condition.
- Every State - Examines the Condition for every defined state, and if that condition is true then executes the IfTrue
- OPC A&E Condition - Stateful template that also generates data points that implement the data point format for OPC A&E Conditions. The OPC A&E server feature uses these points to create and transmit OPC Conditions to connected OPC A&E clients.
- OPC A&E Event - Stateful template that also generates data points that implement OPC A&E Simple Events. This is used when you want to generate transient events from process data.
- OPC A&E Event (Stateless) - Stateless template also generates data points that implement OPC A&E Simple Events. This is used when you want to generate transient events from process data.
- OPC A&E Condition Alert - Stateless template that monitors OPC A&E Condition points provided by external OPC A&E servers.
- OPC A&E Event Alert - Stateless template that monitors OPC A&E event points provided by external OPC A&E servers.
Not only can you bind the templates to data point changes, but you can also create data points using calculations like Average, Max, and Standard Deviation. You can also specify a tag pattern, which could represent multiple tags with similar names, providing an easily scalable configuration for 1000’s of points. When new tags with the same pattern are added, they will automatically be part of the notification template. For instance, in the case where tag denominations range from Tank1Level to Tank1000Level, the defined pattern can identify all tags characterized by the initial sequence 'Tank,' followed by a numerical value, and concluding with the designation 'Level'.
Templates are also where you can configure a customized notification for alerts. A Notifier is how the notification will be sent out. You can utilize the Notifier to send notifications by email and SMS as well as via social media using a Twilio subscription. This Notifier will be linked to the state condition configured in the Template. Once a condition is met, the Notifier is triggered to send an alert.
This feature also provides a method to deliver notifications to other Notification or Callout applications you may already use, using OPC A&E or OPC UA A&C. Third-party Client applications can receive and monitor these configured OPC A&E Points, events, conditions, etc.
Closing the Circuit
With the DataHub Alarm and Notifications feature, you are empowered to react in real time to the condition of your data. You have the ability to monitor areas of your processes that may require operator attention when a defined threshold is met, such as safety limits, event detection, and abnormal operations. This allows you to increase operational efficiency while simultaneously reducing downtime by providing real time notifications that allow for quick action to resolve problems.
We hope this blog has provided a glimpse into the potential capabilities and benefits of this feature rich plug-in. From basic notifications, to expanded functionality with other plug-ins such as Tunneling and Redundancy, Cogent DataHub can build a robust alarm aggregation solution to match your needs.
Ready to try DataHub Alarm and Notifications for yourself? Download the free trial.