Welcome to the August 2008 edition of OPConnect, the official newsletter of the OPC Foundation. By the time you read this message, we’ll be well into the third quarter of 2008, where OPC Unified Architecture continues to be the dominant theme. The many significant events this year have resulted in significant announcements by vendor companies who are embracing and deploying products based on the OPC UA technology. At the same time, the OPC Foundation has a very good plan that allows Classic OPC to be easily migrated to, and be interoperable with, OPC UA.
Events of 2008 are building on the momentum created by the early OPC UA Developer Conferences (DevCons), held in Munich in October 2006 and in Phoenix, Arizona, in June 2007. More than 250 people attended the Munich jumpstart event, which was highlighted by a technical overview of the OPC UA specifications that were released in June 2006. The Phoenix DevCon in 2007 featured critical demonstrations, including the OPC UA platform-independent strategy, implementation of OPC UA in several brands of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and the display of full mesh interconnected object models. About 140 people attended this DevCon, which was sold out 60 days prior to the event.
The Foundation has also hosted several OPC UA “Plug Fests,” which are interoperability workshops focused on OPC UA. The first event was held in October 2007 in Erlangen, Germany, at Ascolab headquarters, where 15 vendors participated in interoperability testing. The second Plug Fest, held in Boston in June 2008, included 20 vendors.
Also this past June, we held an OPC UA Developer Workshop in Phoenix. This sold-out, hands-on event provided a solid foundation for attendees to learn the ins and outs, and bits and bytes, of OPC UA technology. The workshop included a detailed walk-through of the code for the platform-independent C++ implementation, as well as a detailed walk-through of the C# reference implementation. Ascolab was the trainer for the C++ implementation and the OPC Foundation was the trainer for the C# version. I’ve listed the companies who participated in the event at the end of my article.
The OPC Foundation is planning an OPC UA DevCon and Workshop to be held in Munich in October 2008, as a more detailed follow-on to the previous developer conferences and workshops. Highlights of the Munich events include a review of the July 2008 OPC UA specification update and release, as well as the efforts to release OPC UA specs through the IEC international standards organization. We again anticipate sell-out crowds, so check the Foundation Web site at www.opcfoundation.org and register early for these popular events.
With many of the vendors natively deploying the OPC UA technology in their products, we’re looking forward to new product announcements in the coming months. In parallel we have a very robust OPC Classic Migration Plan to OPC UA, allowing existing classic OPC products to easily be interoperable with OPC UA products.
Our popular North America road show training programs have continued in 2008, with dates still scheduled for Richmond, Virginia, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. These events are great opportunities for end-users and system integrators to learn how to capitalize on their use of OPC technology and corresponding OPC products. In addition to a roll-out of new seminars for 2009, we're also offering the same training material in a webinar format. Stay tuned to the OPC Foundation Web site for details on all events and opportunities.
In fact, the OPC Foundation Web site, at www.opcfoundation.org, is the first source you should turn to for information on our training events, developer workshops and to access the comprehensive OPC product catalog. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with the OPC vendor, integrator and end-user community and with your OPC Foundation. As always, we’re interested in your input and ideas to continue to expand OPC’s role as industry’s foremost interoperability standard.
OPC UA Developer Workshop Participants:
Auburn Systems, LLC
Ayres Systems, Inc.
Capsher Technology, Inc.
Digital Electronics Corporation
EDF R & D -- STEP Department
Gallagher Group Ltd
Informetric Systems, Inc.
NEXUS Solutions Inc.
Open Automation Software
Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG
RONAN Engineering Company
The Gleason Works