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OPC Working Groups Continue Development Efforts

With multiple meetings, seminars and forums scheduled in May, June and July, there’s no summertime break for the busy team members whose task it is to develop and deliver new OPC functionality.

Aw 5631 Opc Events

OPC vendors continue to develop the OPC Unified Architecture, in preparation for the first release of the specifications. The team meets almost weekly, using collaboration software and audio conferencing, and it held two face-to-face meetings in May and June.

There is a clear commitment by the vendors to develop the OPC Unified Architecture specifications and deliver products based on OPC UA. These vendors have dedicated resources to working groups for OPC enhanced certification, and to an early adopter development program for OPC UA—which is developing the wrapper, or adaptor, to seamlessly integrate the existing installed base of OPC products into the OPC UA.

The OPC Unified Architecture takes on new meaning for software developers in Japan. There is a dedicated commitment from these vendor companies to deploy OPC UA natively into their current and future OPC products. In June 2005, two developer workshops were held on OPC UA, in Tokyo and Osaka. Ron Sielinski, of Microsoft, and Thomas Burke, of the OPC Foundation, were the keynote speakers at both events, and were joined by the OPC Japan members, who presented the details behind the rapid deployment and adoption of OPC UA by the product developers in Japan.

Performance and collaboration

At the ARC Advisory Group’s forum held in Boston in June, the theme was performance and collaboration. Highlighting this theme was a demonstration of the integration and interoperability that can be achieved with the Business-to-Manufacturing Mark-up Language (B2MML) standard, an eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML) extension to the ISA-95 integration standard, promulgated by the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society. A clear message that came out of this interoperability demonstration was that OPC UA combined with B2MML is an ideal vehicle to deliver secure, reliable interoperability.

Also held in June was a virtual meeting of OPC Foundation members and the Microsoft Manufacturing Users Group (MSMUG). Over 30 end users participated in a brainstorming session focused on developing the processes for validating reliability and certification of OPC products.

OPC Foundation continues to collaborate with the working group for Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) standards development. A steering committee was formed, and several meetings in May and June were held to foster a close working relationship. A meeting in Minneapolis is planned for mid-July to promote interoperability among the standards.

The OPC Foundation will participate in several trade shows this fall, including the ISA Show in Chicago, in October, and the SPS/EAA Drives Show, Nuremberg Germany, the System Control Fair, Japan, and the Automation Fair, France, all in November. For more information on these events, visit www.opcfoundation.org.

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