When PTC acquired Kepware Technologies early this year, it was a key link between industrial devices and the Internet of Things (IoT)—the aim being to make KEPServerEX a strategic component of PTC’s ThingWorx IoT technology platform. By August, Kepware had launched KEPServerEX Version 5.21 with a fully integrated ThingWorx native client interface to provide a rapid connection to those industrial devices.
Now KEPServerEX Version 6—the first major upgrade of Kepware’s flagship industrial connectivity platform since Version 5’s launch in 2009—has taken several steps forward in Industrial IoT (IIoT). It builds on more recent technology developments, such as defense in depth, REST API capabilities and OPC UA to improve operational scalability, security and support.
The need for industrial connectivity has grown considerably since the last major release of KEPServerEX. “As the Internet of Things continues to influence industrial architectures, companies require a comprehensive solution that can communicate and analyze a greater volume, variety and velocity of data to a wider, more diverse set of client applications,” said John Harrington, vice president of product management for Kepware. “We’ve incorporated important usability and architectural enhancements that support these evolving industry standards into KEPServerEX Version 6. Enterprise-ready, IT-friendly and secure, Version 6 is a direct response to our customers’ expanding and evolving needs.”
The IIoT-friendly connectivity platform includes several enhancements:
- A new REST-based API enables off-site users to remotely apply programmatic changes to the configuration via third-party client applications. Customers can easily configure multiple KEPServerEX instances from their enterprise software, enabling improved security and collaboration between operations and IT.
- Localization for Japanese and German markets improves accessibility, productivity and safety for customers in Japan and Germany as well as global multinationals.
- Native development of core OPC UA technology provides improved performance, enhanced diagnostics, and a solid foundation for continued OPC UA functionality enhancements.
- Updates to KEPServerEX, the License Utility, and My Kepware streamline licensing for users.
- An enhanced user interface streamlines project setup and deployment, enabling more effective and efficient interactions with KEPServerEX. The updates also promote a safe user experience, enable increased productivity and improve accessibility.
- Now included as a complimentary core server component, the Security Policies advanced plug-in complements an industrial defense-in-depth strategy by enabling customers to assign security access permissions on individual objects based on user role.