Software Toolbox Technical Blog

Video Tutorial - Email Reports / Alerts from OPC & Other Data Sources

2 min read

By John Gonzalez on Sep 29, 2022 2:00:00 PM

It's important for any enterprise to have actionable data in the timeliest fashion for making decisions. Minimizing downtime and increasing performance are important to the profitability of any company and knowledge at the point of action is key.

To that end, automating notifications or reports based on the latest process data from your various systems can ensure you're never in the dark when it comes to your processes.

In this post, I will cover step-by-step how to easily automate email notifications and reports for OPC and data sources with the OPC Router for giving you and other decision makers the knowledge you need to make informed decision as quickly as possible.

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Converting Non-OPC UA System Data for OPC UA Clients with OPC Router

9 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Sep 15, 2022 2:00:00 PM


OPC Router provides connectivity to a wide range of data sources including ERP systems such as SAP, a variety of relational and other databases, conversion of file data including CSV, XML, JSON and others, IIoT systems including REST and SOAP web services and MQTT brokers and more. It's often necessary for OPC UA client applications (such as HMIs, SCADAs and other software clients) to need access to such data sources. OPC Router also supports acting as an OPC UA server.

In this blog post, we will cover the basic steps to map such non-OPC UA data sources supported by OPC Router to OPC UA nodes/items for access by external OPC UA clients.

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AVEVA System Platform to TOP Server via OPC UA Expands Connectivity

23 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Aug 18, 2022 2:00:00 PM


Many AVEVA users are probably already aware of the native connectivity options they have for interfacing with different systems. Many AVEVA users have also turned to TOP Server over the years, both for standardizing device connectivity in a single server and for drivers/protocols not available as native AVEVA options.

Those users of AVEVA System Platform have traditionally connected to TOP Server directly via either its 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 TOP Server via OPC UA, expanding device connectivity options for AVEVA users.

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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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Understanding OPC UA Certificates and Certificate Authorities

5 min read

By Zachary Parham on Jul 14, 2022 2:00:00 PM


If you use OPC UA, you are likely at least somewhat familiar with OPC UA certificates. OPC UA client and server applications typically have Application Instance Certificates to provide application-level security. They are used for establishing a secure connection using Asymmetric Cryptography.

OPC UA certificates include a digital signature by the generator of the certificate. This digital signature can be self-signed or can be signed by a Certificate Authority (CA). Both types of certificates provide the same level of security and can be used in Asymmetric Cryptography. The major difference between CA signed and self-signed certificates in an OPC UA installation is the effort required to deploy and maintain the certificates. The choice of when to use a CA issued certificate versus a self-signed certificate depends on the installation and site requirements.

Many of our products leverage the OPC UA Configuration tool from the OPC Foundation to create and trust certificates and certificate authorities (CA). This tool actually installs with our OPC Data Client toolkit but is also available from the OPC Foundation. But how do we navigate this tool and the use of OPC UA certificates as a whole?

In this blog post, we will cover both methods of UA certificate signing, as well as the tool mentioned above for easily managing UA certificates for your OPC UA applications.

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Accessing AVEVA System Platform with TOP Server via OPC UA

12 min read

By Kevin Rutherford on Jun 30, 2022 2:00:00 PM


Are you an AVEVA System Platform user but you also have some other client or system (HMI, SCADA, other) and need that system to access data from System Platform?  It's a use case that sometimes occurs if your company is acquired another company and a non-AVEVA HMI/SCADA came as part of the assets.  Or perhaps your company merged with another and now your AVEVA system is expected to integrate with other systems.  Your options for sharing data largely depend on what software interfaces these "other systems" support.

In this blog post, I'll discuss how to share your AVEVA System Platform 2020 (or newer) data via OPC UA (without using OI Gateway) using the TOP Server OPC UA Client driver for situations where you have another non-OPC UA capable client application that needs access to process data in your AVEVA system.

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