OPCAdapter is a software application for processing eventually visualising data from various automation devices of diverse suppliers with communication drivers implemented as OPC servers. For example: programming logical controllers (PLC), various intelligent sensors and actuators.
The advantage of the OPC technology is the fact, that it is very wide-spread industry standard. Its disadvantage is that it is based on the use of COM and DCOM technology and this fact limits its using almost only on Microsoft platforms. OPCAdapterremove this disadvantage, because data from/to OPC servers transferes from/to other applications, using communication driver over TCP/IP that does not use the COM and DCOM. This communication can proceed between two applications running on the same computer, or between two applications on two computers located in the different network domain or through Internet too.
For example the user application (which does not use COM) that is implemented in program language Java and is running on the same computer as OPCAdapter saves data collected using OPCAdapter to the database. This application represent the client to the OPCAdapter and OPCAdapter represents OPC client to the connecter OPC servers. OPCAdapter and this user application communicate among each other through Windows sockets.
Components of OPCAdapter software :
- OPCAdapter – NT serviceis runtime application without a user intreface
- application with user interface is applicable to create and tune a configuration of connected devices, or for simple monitoring of transferred data. It can provide the full OPCAdapter functionality, or it can be used onlz as configuration tool for OPCAdapter – NT service
- application OPCAdapterSocketClient is an example of the client of OPCAdapter, which simply presents data transferred from OPCAdapter through special communication protocol ovet TCP/IP layer. It is implemented in development environment Microsoft Visual C++ 7.x. and it is supplied with full sources files
- help file that includes detailed description of the communication protocol and manual for creating user client application, which are able to communicate with OPCAdapter
- it is able to connect/disconnect every OPC server extra or together
- it happens often in control and moitoring of technological process that it is necessary to power down some equipment and consequently its OPC server is disconnected too. OPCAdapter has the ability to set the period for automatically tryin to connect disconnected OPC server again
- the configuration, which is stored in XML file, gives the possibility to use it in the user client application on remote computer for construction of OPC servers address space