Wind River Platforms Connect Enterprise

Feb. 27, 2004
The company’s latest additions are designed to support improved communication between the shop floor and enterprise software applications.

Alameda, Calif.-based Wind River Systems Inc.’s real-time operating system, VxWorks, and its platforms for industrial automation, Platform for Industrial Automation and Platform for Industrial Devices, are the foundation for many programmable logic controllers, PC-based controllers, robotics and other intelligent automation devices. Connecting information from these automation devices to enterprise software applications is no longer a dream but a necessity. Therefore, the company has added communications capability to the platforms.

Marc Serughetti, director of marketing for industrial applications at Wind River, explains that the Web Services support is in the form of eXtensible Markup Language (XML), simple object access protocol (SOAP) and Web Service Definition Language (WSDL). These are supported in version 2.0 of the two platforms along with SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) Web Server and OPC.

“Customer concerns were first for the factory floor,” continues Serughetti, “So we included control networks capability like basic CAN (controller area network) plus the ability to plug in peripherals through USB (universal serial bus). Given the trend on the factory floor to use Ethernet, our focus was to work toward ensuring performance of an Ethernet driver within the TCP/IP stack. Second in importance is the area of enterprise connectivity. This includes functions like monitoring processes and connecting to enterprise resource planning (ERP). In this area, the big technology is enabling Web Services with XML, SOAP and WSDL. OPC is another piece of enterprise connectivity along with wireless support. We expect the most traction from Web services, XML and SOAP.”

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