Software Toolbox Technical Blog

IoT and You – Kicking off the Summer of IoT

8 min read

By Ryan Royse on Jun 6, 2024 2:00:00 PM

Welcome to the kickoff of Software Toolbox’s Summer of IoT blog series! Over the next few blog posts, we’ll discuss how our products can play a role in the exciting world of Internet of Things (IoT), but more importantly, how they can be used to further your success in Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation initiatives. The IoT landscape has grown exponentially over the past decade, transforming industries by connecting devices, systems, and people in unprecedented ways. IoT is reshaping how we interact with technology. At Software Toolbox, we recognize the power of IoT and are committed to providing solutions that facilitate this technological revolution.

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Your OPC Client Toolkit Should Keep Connectivity Simple, Right?

7 min read

By Nicole Knox on May 9, 2024 2:00:00 PM

Sometimes we are approached by users and integrators with very specific business demands, and an off-the-shelf OPC client solution isn't always the answer to their problems. As they explore the fully customizable development toolkits on the market, they are often concerned that their OPC expertise is inadequate for writing their own OPC client application. How should states and client objects be handled? When would an OPC group need to be created and have items added? What about timeouts, keep-alive intervals and more? Isn't PubSub (as in OPC UA PubSub) a deli sandwich from a popular grocery store called Publix in the US region we live in? Look – we hear you – and its problems like this that Software Toolbox has been solving since 1996. Let's start by saying this up front – you do NOT need to be an OPC expert or understand the internal complexities of OPC connectivity. Our OPC client development toolkit handles all of that and so much more for you. Let's learn more. 

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OPC Data Client and NuGet: The What, Why, and How

5 min read

By Zachary Parham on Feb 8, 2024 2:00:00 PM

Software Toolbox has been a fixture in the automation industry since 1996, offering software tools and components from project conception to completion. Our expert staff is committed to helping customers leverage current technologies while offering ways to enhance or expand systems and approaches to achieve even greater returns. When it comes to our OPC Data Client Development Toolkit, that promise remains the same, and we want to help you make the best decisions for your development workflow.

The OPC Data Client has offered the usage of NuGet packages since 2016 as an alternative to adding assembly references via the components when writing custom OPC client applications. As our users have moved towards the use of NuGet, we made this a requirement for .NET Framework beginning with our V2022.2 release. In this blog post and accompanying video, we will cover what NuGet is, when to use it, and how to use it if it makes sense for your requirements.

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OPC Data Client 2023.2 Adds Python.NET Support

6 min read

By Kyle Persyn on Dec 7, 2023 2:00:00 PM

Developers that have leveraged our OPC Data Client toolkit for their custom OPC client development needs know that we’ve historically supported Python as a COM development language, but that had always come with limitations and a desire from our user base for a more modern option.

In the latest V2023.2 release, OPC Data Client now adds support for Python.NET, while also announcing the deprecation of the older COM approach. The newer Python.NET option offers many advantages including, but not limited to:

  • Modern, maintained Python.NET package (pythonnet), instead of the older pypiwin32 package
  • Added performance and reliability that comes from using the OPC Data Client .NET API over the COM API
  • Access to .NET features, such as generics, methods overloads, and callbacks
  • Easier coding

With the added support for Python.NET, we have also added more than 270 Python.NET examples to make it as easy as possible for our users to learn how this works within our product. PyCharm is now listed as one of the primary development environments.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the advantages that Python.NET has over its predecessor, let’s see it in action!

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OPC Data Client 2023.1  Adds .NET 7 support, OPC UA security management improvements & more examples

6 min read

By Ganesh Kalipershad on Jun 22, 2023 2:00:00 PM

With the release of the OPC Data Client 2023.1 toolkit, custom OPC client developers will benefit from improvements targeted at platform support, developer productivity, and custom application end user productivity.  If you missed the OPC Data Client 2022 releases, be sure and read what we added to OPC Data Client in 2022. As always, OPC Data Client license holders on an active support and maintenance agreement are entitled to free upgrades.

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OPC Data Client 2022.1 .NET 6, Win1021H2 Support, New Examples & More

6 min read

By Ganesh Kalipershad on Mar 31, 2022 2:00:00 PM

Following on the recent OPC Data Client 2021.3 release a few months ago, the OPC Data Client toolkit has been updated again to give developers more options, help them deal with Microsoft technology changes, and add new functionality to their applications. We will cover the highlights here in this technically deep blog post.

Be sure to read about the DCOM hardening that Microsoft is performing and options to be ready, to get ahead of potential support calls from your users.

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OPC Data Client 2021.3 - Windows 11, Server 2022, Examples & More

6 min read

By Ganesh Kalipershad on Nov 18, 2021 2:00:00 PM

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. 

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Exploring OPC UA - Configuring OPC Data Client for OPC UA Servers

6 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jul 22, 2021 2:00:00 PM

If you've been following our ongoing Exploring OPC UA blog series, we've been covering key Software Toolbox solutions and the specifics of configuring OPC UA security and connectivity.

In this eighth post of the series, we will focus on the OPC Data Client development toolkit, with the primary topic being how to exchange security certificates and establish a trust relationship between your custom OPC UA client and an OPC UA server.

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