Software Toolbox Technical Blog

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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Did You Know? How to "Simulate" Devices with OmniServer

6 min read

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


If you're familiar with OmniServer, you likely already know how OmniServer is commonly used to retrieve information from devices that use ‘non-standard’ protocols to communicate such as weight scales, barcode readers, and printers either over serial connections or Ethernet connections.

But a common challenge is configuring an OmniServer but not having a real device physically available to test against. However, with a little extra configuration and a second PC with OmniServer installed, you can create a "device" version of the same protocol to test against.

Reviving our "OmniServer Did You Know?" blog series, I will cover how a second OmniServer can be configured to act as a test device for troubleshooting your protocol when a physical device isn't available.

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Quick Start - AVEVA System Platform to TOP Server via OPC DA

4 min read

By Zachary Parham on Mar 24, 2022 2:00:00 PM


TOP Server for AVEVA users are probably aware that TOP Server supports several methods for connecting AVEVA software solutions. TOP Server simultaneously supports SuiteLink, OPC DA Classic and OPC UA (as well as DDE for legacy applications). Users of AVEVA System Platform specifically commonly connect to TOP Server via either SuiteLink or OPC DA.

In this blog post, we will cover the basic steps to connect AVEVA System Platform to TOP Server via OPC DA, expanding connectivity options for AVEVA users. We'll also make our step-by-step quick start application note available for getting started.

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Video Tutorial: Using DataHub to Convert OPC Classic A&E to OPC UA A&C

2 min read

By Win Worrall on Mar 3, 2022 2:00:00 PM


Cogent DataHub enables a wide range of connectivity interfaces for different data sources such as OPC UA, OPC DA, ODBC, DDE and so much more.  This makes DataHub 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 use DataHub V10's support for OPC UA Alarms & Conditions to enable OPC Classic Alarms & Events servers to work with newer OPC UA clients supporting Alarms & Conditions.

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Tech Support Corner: Troubleshooting AVEVA SuiteLink Connections

10 min read

By Connor Mason on Feb 24, 2022 2:00:00 PM


Software Toolbox has a long-standing history of offering supplemental solutions that fit right in with AVEVA™ (formerly Wonderware®) projects. Many of you will be familiar with our TOP Server for AVEVA™ that offers a variety of device connectivity options, and a variety of client interface options like SuiteLink, OPC DA, and OPC UA.

SuiteLink is a communications protocol that runs over TCP/IP at the application layer, created by Wonderware to replace/succeed FastDDE, in the mid-1990's. Unlike OPC DA, SuiteLink doesn’t rely on COM or DCOM technology, making SuiteLink a common choice for remote connectivity to Software Toolbox solutions.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this post shares best practices and procedures to follow when attempting to troubleshoot a SuiteLink connection, specifically when it comes to using SuiteLink clients with TOP Server. While this post specifically uses TOP Server as the SuiteLink server, the same techniques and concepts also apply to OmniServer, which also has a SuiteLink client Interface and is commonly used with AVEVA solutions.

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Tech Support Corner: Understanding the Different TOP Server Components

8 min read

By Jessica Dillon on Feb 17, 2022 2:00:00 PM


If you are reading this post, chances are that you are somewhat familiar with TOP Server as well as how to configure it to communicate with various devices. Perhaps, you are also familiar with how to configure different settings, OPC UA endpoint settings, Licensing, Stop and Start the Service, and, if you are a developer, you might be familiar with the development resources that TOP Server offers such as the Remote Config REST API and the OPC.NET interface.

However, during our daily interaction with end-users, we often find that there is a misconception of what the TOP Server application is composed of and how each component contributes to delivering the product that you interact with daily.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this short post will discuss the various components of TOP Server and clarify how each component contributes to the macro process that allows the application to deliver communication between your process devices and your various IT/OT systems.

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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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