I’ve been very remiss of late on getting blog posts up. That will be my number one resolution for the coming year. To make up for the lack of posts recently, I thought I’d do a recap of some of the noteworthy OPC happenings of 2009. This year saw a lot of activity from the OPC Foundation, particularly in regards to OPC adoption.
Early in the year saw OPC UA meet a major international standardization milestone when the Committee Drafts of Parts 1-6 & 8 of IEC 62541 (the international version of the OPC Unified Architecture specifications) were approved. Shortly afterwards was the Final Release of Unified Architecture Phase I Deliverables. New released versions of Parts 1-8 of the OPC UA specifications, along with matching UA SDK and sample code was made available for members to download. This, along with additional SDK updates through the year and the launch of the OPC Foundation Blog for Developers and creation of the Accelerated Adoption Working group helped paved the way for many new OPC UA products.
Autumn 2009 saw several other OPC UA initiatives such as the release of the OPC UA For Devices Companion and Analyser Devices Companion Releases, as well as the OPC UA For IEC 61131-3 Companion Specification release candidate from the PLCopen/OPC Foundation Joint Working Group (PLC). Several OPC vendors now offer OPC UA support, either as an OPC UA wrapper or native OPC UA support like the MatrikonOPC Universal Connectivity Server (UCS).
OPC adoption also got a boost from the announcement that the OPC Express Interface (Xi) was added to the OPC Foundation technology portfolio, complementing OPC UA and COM-based OPC Classic. OPC Xi’s primary objective is to provide a .NET-based migration path from OPC Classic. Additionally, OPC Xi may be used as a standard .NET WCF interface for newly developed OPC servers. Expect to see more products supporting OPC Xi in the coming year.
All in all, an very good year for OPC.
Although 2009 was a tough year for many companies MatrikonOPC had its share of good OPC news. Major advancements on the core OPC Framework technology lead to had several product milestone achievements including reaching OPC Foundation Gold Level Independent Certification, achieving Wurldtech Achilles Certification and most recently enrollment in the Honeywell PKS Advantage program. These framework advancements along with the OPC UA implementations culminate in our newest product offering the MatrikonOPC Universal Connectivity Server (UCS). There will be much more to talk about on UCS as 2010 unfolds.
Technology investments were not the only growth this year. MatrikonOPC expanded its reach opening regional offices in Brisbane and the United Kingdom. This global presence allows MatrikonOPC to offer ‘round the clock’ OPC support, which plays a major role in the offerings provided by the Partnership programs such as the MatrikonOPC Integrator Program (MIP) and the MatrikonOPC Vendor Partner program. Clearly customers recognize the value in our commitment to OPC, since the year also as had exciting business news. These included the Shell’s global standardization on MatrikonOPC connectivity and the collaborative agreement with Siemens Industry, plus many others joining the Partner programs.
With the horizon looking brighter from an economic point of view, it bodes well for an even more exciting 2010 for OPC.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the newly updated OPC Tutorial video.