Software Toolbox Technical Blog

Tech Support Corner: Understanding TOP Server Device Scan Modes

7 min read

By Jessica Dillon on Aug 11, 2022 2:00:00 PM


If you are reading this post, chances are you have configured your TOP Server project and are communicating with your devices successfully. Perhaps, you also have a client application successfully writing and/or reading to or from TOP Server. Did you know all TOP Server drivers provide several different Scan Modes for controlling how client requests affect the polling frequency for your configured devices? In fact, these Scan Modes apply to all client connection types including OPC UA, OPC DA and AVEVA SuiteLink.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this short post will discuss the five Scan Mode options available in the TOP Server Device Properties. Each Scan Mode serves a different purpose depending on your specific scenario. We will explain each mode, giving you a better understanding of which mode is best for your situation. Correctly setting the Scan Mode to match the capabilities of your device will help to provide optimal performance for your automation system.

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AVEVA System Platform to OmniServer via OPC UA for Non-PLC Devices

18 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Aug 4, 2022 2:00:00 PM


AVEVA users already have a wide range of connectivity options for interfacing with different systems. For many years, OmniServer has been expanding that connectivity to include non-standard, non-PLC type devices that don't have an existing off-the-shelf communications driver. Users of AVEVA System Platform have traditionally connected to OmniServer via either the native SuiteLink interface or OPC DA Classic. AVEVA's OI Gateway provides those users the additional option of connecting to OPC UA data sources, for easier and more secure remote connections to such data sources.

In this blog post, we will cover the basic steps to connect AVEVA System Platform to OmniServer via OPC UA, expanding non-standard device connectivity options for AVEVA users.

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AVEVA System Platform to DataHub via OPC UA for Expanded Connectivity

15 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jul 28, 2022 2:00:00 PM


AVEVA users already have a wide range of connectivity options for interfacing with different systems. Cogent DataHub® also supports an extensive selection of connectivity to different systems that users sometimes need to access from AVEVA System Platform. Users of AVEVA System Platform have traditionally connected to DataHub via OPC DA Classic. AVEVA's OI Gateway provides those users the additional option of connecting to OPC UA data sources, for easier and more secure remote connections to such data sources.

In this blog post, we will cover the basic steps to connect AVEVA System Platform to Cogent DataHub via OPC UA, expanding connectivity options for AVEVA users.

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Enabling Rapid Interoperability Between OPC UA & MQTT Sparkplug B

5 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jul 21, 2022 2:00:00 PM


Ongoing digital transformation and operational visibility initiatives continue to demand the integration of different systems using different technologies. With increased adoption of secure OPC UA and MQTT Sparkplug B, it’s only to be expected that users will have systems that support one or the other technology but need to communicate with each other.

Although OPC UA supports a publish-subscribe mechanism with OPC UA PubSub, and adoption of OPC UA is strong and growing, the reality is there will be situations where the user is already using MQTT Sparkplug B and needs to integrate it with OPC UA or vice-versa, without writing custom code or going through complex configuration.

Software Toolbox was founded 26 years ago on the principal of making data and device integration easy by using configurable off-the-shelf software to avoiding writing custom solutions and knowing the pros and cons of and ins and outs of many technologies. That mission remains strong, as you’ll see, as we discuss interoperating between OPC UA and MQTT in this blog post.

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DCOM Hardening & Your Alternatives to Eliminate Security Risk & Stress

8 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jun 16, 2022 2:00:00 PM

If you’re reading this post, you’ve almost certainly at least heard of DCOM. And, possibly, you’re one of many who have struggled over the years with the trials of configuring remote OPC Classic connections between machines where DCOM inevitably increased your time and difficulty for what should be a relatively painless task.

And with the latest Microsoft hardening for DCOM authentication, configuring DCOM for the many existing OPC Classic solutions out there isn’t getting any easier. This blog post discusses alternatives to DCOM that cover a range of use cases depending on what software you already have installed and your existing system architecture.

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Tech Support Corner - Top 6 Tips For First Time OmniServer Users

8 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jun 2, 2022 2:00:00 PM


For users that have never worked with OmniServer, it can be intimidating thinking about how to take information out of a device manual or protocol document and convert that into an OmniServer protocol for your device. OmniServer makes this significantly easier, though, than alternatives such as custom code, especially once you're familiar with how OmniServer works and how to get started.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this blog post covers six tips I know should help any relatively new users be successful getting OmniServer connected to your non-standard devices as quickly as possible.

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Video Tutorial: Real-Time Collection for Siemens S7 Plus Ethernet

2 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on May 26, 2022 2:00:00 PM


If you're reading this, you likely have at least one Siemens S7 PLC on your network being used in your industrial process and need to integrate data from that process. And, like many of our Siemens users, you're likely interested in accessing symbolic references (versus the traditional Siemens variable addresses) supported by newer S7 controllers.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to get started using our Siemens S7 Plus Ethernet driver (part of the Siemens S7 Plus Suite) to connect and gather real-time process data from Siemens S7-1500 and S7-1200 PLC symbolic variables/tagnames for AVEVA Wonderware applications.

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OPC Router Adds OPC UA Pub/Sub, UA Cloud Library & Docker Sample

5 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on May 12, 2022 2:00:00 PM


OPC Router already includes a wide range of features that you may already be taking advantage of. You're likely also 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 V4.27 including:

  • New plug-in for OPC UA Pub/Sub (Publish/Subscribe) for expanded OPC UA functionality with a new efficient method for transferring data
  • Support for the  OPC UA Cloud Library providing the ability to create and use centralized specifications based on OPC UA Companion Specifications
  • Easier Docker container support with an included, ready-configured Docker sample script
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