See Canary Labs at OPC interoperability workshop

May 3, 2011

Canary Labs will be attending the North American Interoperability Workshop for the 14th Consecutive year scheduled this time in Scottsdale, AZ from May 16th to May 20th, 2011. The purpose of the workshop is to make sure that OPC products work together, validate the software for all required and optional (where applicable) interfaces and functions, and document interoperability issues that occur for the purposes of adding clarity to the OPC standard. These workshops provide an invaluable opportunity to work with other companies to validate OPC interoperability capabilities across products. Attending this workshop allows firms to debug, diagnose and repair any interoperability problems that may be discovered with other vendors that are participating.

In addition to the OPC Interoperability Workshops Canary products have been certified by an independent OPC test lab. The following characteristics are checked and verified by independent OPC Test Labs: Compliance, Interoperability, Robustness, Performance, Best Practices, and Usability. Canary is involved in the Compliance Working Group which is comprised of OPC Foundation member companies to assist with the defined objectives, but also to provide transparency, checks and balances to ensure that Compliance remains credible and objective. Products that pass the benchmarks receive the “Certified for Compliance” logo which is a guarantee to customers that the product is fully compliant with the OPC specification. As part of our ongoing commitment to OPC standards Canary provides the Test Lab Reference product for the current UA certification.

As an end user of products that include OPC support there are some questions you should ask of your software vendors. Consider the following questions when selecting an OPC product:
• Has the product been self-tested by the vendor and did it pass? Have they published these results to the OPC Foundation web site?
• How many OPC interoperability workshops has the vendor attended?
• How many OPC products has the vendor tested against (other than their own)?
• If there is a problem, can the vendor identify and fix the problem quickly? Is the vendor willing to work with a potential competitor to resolve an issue?
• Do the vendors’ products (client or server) work with their competitors’ products? Why or why not?
• Are the vendors’ products scalable and responsive to large amounts of data (if applicable)?
• Based on your requirements, what are the expected CPU and memory usage requirements for the type of PC I am using?
• Can the vendor provide performance benchmarks for a typical PC?

Don’t make assumptions about OPC certification. Ask! If you want to use the best products available to you for your particular application, you will need to ask the above questions. If a single vendor solution is right for your environment, the above questions are less important but still important to help determine the vendors commitment to the OPC standards.

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