Software Toolbox Technical Blog

4 min read

How to Log Data From Your S7-1500 via OPC UA using OPC Data Logger

By Tyler Lindsey on Aug 29, 2019 2:00:00 PM


With the relatively recent availability of OPC UA server capabilities in Siemens S7-1500 PLCs, access to live production data is now open to third-party applications. As a result, those applications can now communicate with hardware that was formerly locked behind proprietary communication drivers.

The OPC Data Logger's OPC UA client interface allows users to quickly and easily connect to S7-1500 PLC’s and log data to their preferred data storage option without the need for intermediate applications. This blog post covers the high-level steps involved with logging data from an S7-1500 controller and you can then download the free hands-on guide with detailed steps.

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4 min read

Top 5 Dream Report Features to Be Excited About in the Current Release

By Kevin Rutherford on Aug 2, 2018 2:00:00 PM


In case you aren't familiar with the Dream Report reporting solution from Ocean Data Systems, Dream Report is a real-time report generator that is quickly and easily configurable via a very easy-to-use interface with a ton of flexibility relating to not only collection and archiving of data and alarms but also for analysis and options for report generation.

In this post, I'm going to go through five of the key features released in 2018 for Dream Report and how they benefit you, either as an existing Dream Report user or as a process industry professional looking at reporting solutions.

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2 min read

Video Tutorial: Conditional Logging to Database from Non-Standard Devices

By Kevin Rutherford on May 31, 2018 2:00:00 PM


OmniServer Wedges are included with OmniServer Professional Edition.  Wedges are built-in components providing additional useful capabilities that expand the functionality of OmniServer beyond its core connectivity and data parsing abilities for non-standard devices.

The OmniServer Database Wedge allows you to log your device data to any ODBC-compliant database, including SQL, with a highly configurable format and flexible conditions.  And this ability is built into OmniServer, eliminating the need for separate external components or applications.

In this video blog, I'll show you how to get started using the OmniServer Database Wedge to easily log process data based on specified conditions, making it possible to monitor trends in your process and easily report on your process data or troubleshoot any issues that are discovered.

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5 min read

Yes, You Can Integrate Business & Other Databases with Control Systems

By Win Worrall on Nov 16, 2017 2:00:00 PM


It is common for companies to use databases for long-term storage of their critical information.  In our experience, we also see machine setup information, short term operational data and much more besides traditional historical data put into shop floor databases in the operations technology or “OT” world.

Over on the business side or the “IT” world, everything somehow ends up in a database: Production plans, forecasts, orders, it’s all there.  Increasing business demands and IT/OT convergence are driving more real-time integration between these databases and control systems.

This blog discusses some of the key reasons users like yourself need this information and then shows how the DataHub can help move this data from a database to your control systems via OPC DA, OPC UA, Modbus and other interfaces or protocols that are common in the automation layer.

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2 min read

Can Your OPC Tunnel Unlock All of Your Data Sources?

By Win Worrall on Aug 23, 2016 12:39:14 PM


The word tunneling, when it comes to industrial automation and data, typically goes together with OPC.  OPC tunneling is generally the most common form of tunneling, but what if your data sources aren't OPC?

What if you have more than just OPC clients and servers in your architecture and those non-OPC data sources have vital information that needs to be collected and shared with your other systems?

This blog post will discuss why it's  important for a tunneler solution to support more than just OPC-capable data sources in a diverse control system.

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Working in industrial automation since 1996, the Software Toolbox team has seen a lot. The level of automation system sophistication of our integrators and users has evolved, each driven by the demands of their market and clients.  Everyone's learning continues as technological change accelerates.

This blog is about sharing from these journeys.  From tips on implementing software, successes our clients have experienced, or new ideas and things to consider in your journey, we'll be sharing them here.

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