Following on the recent OPC Data Client 2021.2 release a few months ago, the OPC Data Client toolkit has been updated again to further extend it's OPC UA client functionality.
The new updates provide developers of custom OPC client applications with new operating system support, even more examples including Powershell examples, and a large number of improvements to all the supported OPC interfaces to increase flexibility, troubleshooting, and user experience, while further decreasing development time.
Expanded Operating System Support
OPC Data Client's Windows OS support has been expanded:
- Windows 10 21H1
- Windows 11 21H2 (New!)
- Windows Server 2012 & 2012 R2
- Windows Server 2016
- Windows Server 2019
- Windows Server 2022 (New!)
OPC UA Improvements
As OPC UA adoption grows, the OPC Data Client continues to be a top rapid application toolkit for OPC UA client development. A few highlights of the 2021.3 improvements include the following and the rest can be seen in the full release notes.
- Connection Monitoring class and statistics - we heard your requests for more ways to monitor the state and health of the OPC UA client to server connections, and development really delivered. Use these new features to help you improve your customer's experience in your applications and reduce troubleshooting time. A new example showing how to use these features for server condition monitoring is included in 2021.3
- A Statistics property containing a ConnectedConditionStatistics object was added to the IEasyUAClient.ServerConditionChanged event
- For each of 5 states a connection can be in: Unconnected, Disconnected, Connecting, Connected, and Disconnecting, the AutomatonStateStatistics object has 52 properties to tell you a wide range of things such as:
- When and how many times a state was entered
- When the current time in the state started and how long it's been active
- Min, Max, & Accumulated time spent in each state
- Improved troubleshooting logs
- Improved generated log entries related to OPC UA .NET SDK configuration, for easier troubleshooting
- Added tracing and a trace source for OPC UA certificate management calls
- Support for PEM certificate formats in .NET Standard applications, adding to the existing PFX format support
OPC UA PubSub Improvements
This release builds on the 2021.2 release improvements to help with JSON message mapping where a utility was added to help visualize the mappings.
- JSON message mapping in OPC UA PubSub is frequently used to provide interoperability between the "OPC world" and "non-OPC world";
- JSON is highly flexible but, for that reason, the trial and error to match up the JSON formatting with your configuration can take some time and the utility in the 2021.2 release made that easier
- In the 2021.3 release
- Delta frames support has been added to the OPC UA PubSub functionality
- The OPC UA PubSub Formatter can now show the format of JSON Delta frames, Event messages, and Keep-Alive messages.
- You can now select a combination of multiple different datasets (from 4 pre-defined datasets) in the OPC UA PubSub Formatter, and their repetition count.
Examples, Tools & Components Improvements
Did we mention more examples? This release is filled with more examples on top of the already 100's of examples included in OPC Data Client to reduce your development time.
- Powershell - 79 new examples across all supported OPC standards - 56 just for OPC UA standards!
- OPC UA - over 35 new examples - from simple things to powerful tools like logging changes to XML, how to use reactive programming, subscribing to arrays, and more. See full release notes for the list!
- OPC Classic - 23 new examples across wide range of languages including C++, VBA (MS Access), Python, Delphi, VBScript and more
Other Improvements to OPC Data Client 2021.3
- Added WPF based user interface controls for OPC DA and UA browsing
- Improved management of runtime-free license deployment
- Dissociated the licensing from direct use of Visual Studio's mechanism, which will alleviate issues some users had using .licx files
- ILicenseInfoProvider.LicenseInfo property now returns additional license information, allowing users to diagnose licensing problems more easily
- Further error message enhancement to take many common error scenarios and provide more details and tips on how to resolve them. Developers are strongly encouraged to make use of these to help reduce troubleshooting time in their applications.
- Added the ability to programmatically set the values of parameters in user interface dialogs instead of setting them in the underlying objects where most use cases set them. This adds further flexibility for developers
- OPC A&E - Added more overloads of the AENotificationObservable.Create method, allowing to pass less arguments for this more complex of the OPC standards, which can reduce development time.
- OPCCmd Utility - we introduced you to this command line utility in a prior post. In this release multiple functionality improvements were added that particularly will help OPC UA client developers.
Expert Tip - Best Practices
Did you know that the OPC Data Client documentation includes an Implementation Best Practices section? Whether you are new to OPC Data Client or not, do yourself, your users a favor, and check it out. We also have a best practices for upgrading toolkit versions.
Learn More, Upgrade, or Try the OPC Data Client
There’s lots more in this release that you can read about in the release notes in our knowledge base and in the online documentation
Existing OPC Data Client License Owners
Developers are always advised to review our upgrade best practices before you upgrade.
If you already own a license of the OPC Data Client and are on an active support agreement, you can download the software from the trial version request page and upgrade for free by following the licensed user upgrade instructions.
Be sure to open license manager and look at your support expiration date. Your applications will generate exceptions if you try to recompile and run them on a version your support does not entitle you to use.
If you have an older license and aren’t on an active support agreement, you can still get the latest version with an upgrade fee that will also re-instate your support for an entire year. Contact us for upgrade options.