OPC Foundation Launches New Certification Program

July 24, 2008
For its new OPC certification program, the Foundation has announced that Ascolab is the first Independent Certification Test Lab, and Cyberlogic is the first OPC developer to receive the program’s “Certified” logo.
The OPC Foundation announced recently the availability of the first OPC products carrying the Foundation’s valuable “Certified” logo. These credentials were the first awarded by the new independent certification test lab, Ascolab GmbH, located Erlangen, Germany.“Open standards benefit everyone in the industry by allowing companies to produce products that can plug-and-play with products from other companies,” says Tom Burke, the President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation. “But the greatest benefit of open standards, like OPC, is ultimately for the user community,” he adds. According to Burke, open standards allow a greater choice of products for the user, increase product quality via competition and ultimately lower the acquisition, training and maintenance costs to the user.In the past decade OPC has become a ubiquitous standard, resulting in a proliferation of thousands of OPC-based products. “The widespread use of OPC as the architectural backbone in so many products created a greater need to ensure the compliance of the OPC-based products,” says Paul Hunkar, the Director of the Foundation’s Compliance Committee. “For that purpose, we have taken steps to implement an independent certification process,” he says. With participation of several member companies, and with end-user feedback, the compliance committee has produced an exhaustive compliance specification and commissioned independent organizations to administer the compliance tests. For the “Certified” level of testing, OPC vendors submit their products to the independent test labs for a range of tests that cover compliance and interoperability testing, load and performance testing, stress testing, white box testing, behavior testing, and environment and usability testing. Products are awarded the “Compliance Certified” status when all interfaces they support have passed all of the independent lab tests.The OPC Foundation Website recommends that “OPC Users should look for OPC Client and OPC Server products that have passed ‘Compliance Certification’ Testing and display the ‘Certified’ logo.” The OPC Foundation product catalog makes it easy for OPC Users to find OPC Certified products. Each product listed has a Certification Test Status associated with each specification that it supports.First Certified Logo Awarded to CyberlogicAscolab became operational in February of 2008 as the first independent test lab in Europe. According to Burke, additional independent labs are planned for North America and Asia in the near future.Cyberlogic, a charter member of the OPC Foundation and leading independent supplier of OPC servers and industrial communication software, was the first to receive the certified status from the OPC Foundation.Find out more about Cyberlogic OPC Server Suites at www.cyberlogic.com. Find out more about Ascolab Certification testing at www.ascolab.com. Find out more about OPC Foundation’s Certification Program at www.opcfoundation.org.

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