MatrikonOPC Server Features, Benefits and Options
Flexible Client Application Connectivity Options
Dedicated Device Connectivity
Tag Database and Browsing Options
Extensive Tag Management Options
Diagnostic and Logging Options
Certified Compliant and Interoperability Tested
Common User Experience
Configuration to Optimize for a Specific System
Full Featured OPC Test Client – OPC Explorer
Extensive Client Options
MatrikonOPC Servers have been designed to support a wide range of
connectivity options for typical client server technologies:
All MatrikonOPC Servers / OPC Data Access Clients conform to the following specifications:
Data Collection Options
MatrikonOPC History Capable Servers / OPC Historical Data Access Clients conform to the following
- OPC Data Access (DA) version 1.0a
- OPC Data Access (DA) version 2.0
- OPC Data Access (DA) version 2.05
- OPC Data Access (DA) version 3.0
MatrikonOPC Alarm and Event Capable Servers / OPC Alarm and Events Clients conform to the following
- OPC Historical Data Access (HDA) version 1.1
- OPC Historical Data Access (HDA) version 1.2
All MatrikonOPC Servers / Dynamic Date Exchange Applications support the following formats:
- OPC Alarms & Events (A&E) version 1.02
- OPC Alarms & Events (A&E) version 1.10
- Microsoft DDE - CF_Text Format
- Microsoft DDE – XL_Table Format
- Microsoft NetDDE – Network Dynamic Data Exchange
- Rockwell Automation - AdvancedDDE Format
- Invensys Wonderware – FastDDE/SuiteLink Format
Client applications may select their data collection method:
Poll/Demand read for deterministic collection or Advice/Report by Exception for increased
through-put performance, and reduced network traffic, a hybrid ‘Refresh/Polled-Report by Exception'
or any combination of the three.
Multiple Client Connections
Client application connectivity options offer software unlimited,
multiple, concurrent client application connections.
No Additional Hardware Required
MatrikonOPC Servers are designed to enable multiple, concurrent
device level protocols to be accessed on the same PC hardware.
Dedicated Software Connection
MatrikonOPC Servers have been designed to optimize data access to each
particular family of device or protocols by offering a dedicated software approach. Other OPC Servers
follow the ‘All-in-one’ or ‘Swiss Army Knife’ approach, where a single software process handles multiple
disparate device families. Unlike OPC Servers that allow for process lock-ups, timeouts, or system malfunctions
in one device family, impact the timely data transfer to other systems,
MatrikonOPC Servers provide dedicated device family connectivity.
Multiple Device/Protocol Support
All MatrikonOPC Servers provide software unlimited, multiple
device level connectivity, for devices and/or protocols of a common family.
All MatrikonOPC Servers are designed using Object Oriented Programming Methodology (OOP).
MatrikonOPC Servers follow the three tenets of OOP design; encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism,
which are the pillars of code re-use. This design approach offers the all benefits of framework based
Centralized code base for maintenance and enhancement.
Wide range, multiple deployment for maximized field proven code.
Common user experience for configuration and set-up.
Dedicated device connectivity for optimal data access and through-put.
All OPC Browsing Methods Supported
All MatrikonOPC Servers support the following OPC Browse interfaces:
OPC DA 1.0a – IOPCBrowseServerAddressSpace
OPC DA 2.0 - IOPCBrowseServerAddressSpace
OPC DA 2.05 – IOPCBrowseServerAddressSpace
OPC DA 3.0 - IOPCBrowse
OPC HDA 1.2 - IOPCHDA_Browser
OPC A&E 1.02 – IOPCEventAreaBrowser
OPC A&E 1.10 – IOPCEventAreaBrowser
All MatrikonOPC Servers support both the OPC Hierarchical and Flat browsing formats.
Servers can also be configured to force a flat browse structure if required by the client application.
Automatic Tag List Generation
Although every MatrikonOPC Server supports the OPC Browsing interfaces,
the underlying device or protocol dictates what tag information can be auto discovered, and when this
action can occur. All MatrikonOPC Servers will auto generate the tag list or item database for any device
or protocol that provides this feature. All tags or OPC items that are available for access in the underlying
system are automatically exposed to the OPC client application via the Browse interfaces, with no configuration
required by the user. Depending of the specific device, MatrikonOPC Servers also offer configuration options
as to when the tag generation occurs, including:
Automatically on Start-up
Dynamically build ‘on-the-fly’ during run time
CSV File Import/Export
All MatrikonOPC Servers support the ability to generate the tag list or item
database by importing a standard comma separated variable or CSV file. This file can be created using
whatever application the user chooses, including Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, NotePad, TextPad, etc.
All MatrikonOPC Servers support the ability to export the tag list to a CSV file.
XML File Import/Export
All MatrikonOPC Servers store their configuration files, including the tag database
information as a standard XML document (eXtensible Markup Language). All MatrikonOPC Servers support the ability
to save configuration information using the XML format. The XML based configuration files can be set to
automatically load on start-up, or on demand.
Import Third-Party Configuration Files
Some devices or systems require the user to pre-configure the
tag list or address space using vendor supplied applications. In many cases, the MatrikonOPC server can
directly import these files. In cases where the MatrikonOPC Server does not support the native interface,
any third party ASCII or Text based configuration file can be automatically imported after it has been
converted to the previously mentioned CSV or XML file formats.
Customizable Tag List
Every MatrikonOPC Server supports the ability to customize the tag list or browse
structure, even if the underlying device or system does not natively support browsing! Every MatrikonOPC Server
supports a powerful tag Aliasing capability that lets users customize the OPC Server address space to meet their
particular application needs. The features include:
Flexible Tag Level Options
- User defined tag or item names.
- Create custom browse structure – customized root name.
- Add user defined groups and/or create multi-level hierarchies.
- Point and Click configuration interface that supports Browsing.
- Convenient CSV or XML file import/export.
- Ability to create writable holding register or ‘dummy’ tags.
Every MatrikonOPC Server gives powerful tag level configuration by using the
Aliasing feature, including:
Enforce Tag Level Security
- Change or override tag name or ItemID.
- Override the exposed Datatype.
- Force a tag to be Read-Only.
- Change the tag update rate or scan rate.
- Powerful scaling options on the tag input and output:
- Linear Scaling with Clamping Feature.
- Square Root Scaling with Clamping Feature.
- Gain/Offset Scaling with Clamping Feature.
- Linear Scaling with Clamping Feature.
- User-Defined Expressions.
- Mathematical / IF-ELSE Logic.
- Database and Variable support.
- Functions (Date/Time, Math, Trig, Stat, Logical, String, etc).
Are their cases where you want OPC clients to only access some but not all
tags in the OPC Server? Every MatrikonOPC Server can restrict OPC clients to only enable access the
preconfigured tag database. This security feature is especially powerful when combined with the tag level
Read only feature.
General Server Activity Logging
All MatrikonOPC servers offer a wide range of diagnostic logging
options, configurable to the user’s needs, including:
Configurable log filename and location.
Multiple log levels available (High, Medium, Low, Debug).
Change logging configurations ‘on-the-fly’ so run time operations are not
affected by trouble shooting activities.
Buffer writes to memory for increased performance, or commit all writes to disk
immediately for critical log capture scenarios.
Enforce maximum log size to prevent disk overflow.
Optionally display logging information to screen as it updates in real time.
Detailed OPC Diagnostic Logging
Sometimes in depth troubleshooting is required to determine a low level or
compliance related issue. All MatrikonOPC servers offer the ability to capture all OPC interface method calls
and callback information. This interface level logging captures all parameters, result calls and other
valuable information for troubleshooting.
Selective Filter Logging
There are occasions when a key log message is difficult to find in a massive
log file, or lost when a buffer maximum is achieved. The MatrikonOPC selective filter logging feature
enables the user to create a separate log file to capture any message that contains user defined filter strings.
Run Time Communication Diagnostics
All MatrikonOPC servers support diagnostic counters that track
communication messages between the OPC Server and the underlying device or protocol. The counters supported include:
Messages Timed Out
OPC Compliancy Tested
The OPC Foundation has developed a standard software test tool, called the
Compliance Test Tool or CTT. Vendors who are members of the OPC Foundation can use this tool to
Compliance Test their OPC Servers, and submit the CTT generated, encrypted file to the OPC Foundation.
All MatrikonOPC Servers have been certified using the OPC Foundation OPC Compliance Test Tool.
OPC Users should look for OPC Server products that have passed the compliance tests for all
specifications that the product supports.
OPC Interoperability Tested
Every year the OPC Foundation hosts Interoperability (IOP) Workshops at various
locations around the world. All OPC vendors are invited to these Interoperability Testing event and test
their OPC products with the other OPC vendor products. The interoperability test process requires that
OPC vendors run a series of standard tests for each combination of an OPC Client and an OPC Server product.
Members of the MatrikonOPC Development group attend these IOP Workshops every year.
OPC Users should look for OPC Client and OPC Server products that have been tested with several products
from other OPC vendors for each of the specifications that the products support.
Consistent User Interface and Configuration
MatrikonOPC supplies OPC Servers for literally hundreds
of systems, devices and protocols. We understand the impact and training required when introducing new
software into a system. With this in mind, all MatrikonOPC servers offer a consistent graphical user interface.
Point and click configuration
MatrikonOPC servers are designed for ease of use.
Standards based configuration
All MatrikonOPC server configuration files persist as a standard XML document
(eXtensible Markup Language). These can be created using the text editor the user chooses.
Load and Save Options
All MatrikonOPC servers offer the ability to:
Auto-load configuration file on Startup.
Auto-save configuration file on Shutdown.
Load/Save configuration files on demand.
Auto launch configuration interface on Startup.
Run OPC Server as a Service or Interactive
All MatrikonOPC Servers can be easily configured to run as
a Windows Service, or run in an Interactive mode. All servers support running as a service under
Windows NT/2000/XP/Server2003. This is an important feature, as there are many situations where the user
requires this ability, including:
OPC Server must auto-start after a reboot, or on system startup.
OPC Server must run, unattended with no user interaction.
OPC Server must run on a PC that will not normally be logged on.
OPC Server must run under a specific DCOM configuration, due to security or
Configure Application Priority
All MatrikonOPC Servers are capable of co-existing on the same
PC hardware with a host of other OPC Servers or Third Party applications. Sometimes a user requires
the ability to ensure the OPC Server has sufficient operating priority. All MatrikonOPC Server have
the ability to set the following system priorities:
Priority Class - Sets the default process priority level (Normal, Idle,
Process Affinity - Sets which processor the server process may run on (CPU 0,
CPU 1, CPU 2, CPU 3, etc).
Optimize Server Shutdown
If there are no OPC Clients currently connected to an OPC Server, should it shut down?
This is an important operating optimization that will be specific to each user. Therefore,
all MatrikonOPC Servers have the following shutdown options:
No Shutdown – The OPC Server will continue to run, even if no
clients are connected.
Shutdown Delay - Period of time to wait after last OPC client disconnects before
automatically shutting down (milliseconds).
Shutdown Time - Specify a maximum amount of time to wait for OPC clients
to disconnect after the shutdown notification has been sent when shutting down
OPC Explorer Included with every OPC Server
The MatrikonOPC Explorer is a full featured OPC client
designed to help in the installation, testing, and configuration of OPC compliant servers. This sample
OPC Client enables connections to any OPC Data Access server, and has the following features:
Interoperability (IOP) Workshop certified.
Supports access to local or remote OPC Servers.
Enables users to browse the list of available OPC servers, including remote PCs.
Supports both the OPC Enum or the Registry methods of server browsing.
Supports connections to multiple OPC servers concurrently.
Session configuration (including OPC groups and OPC items) can be saved and
re-used in another session.
Configuration files are save in standard XML file format.
Supports read/write access of individual OPC items, set of items and refresh of
complete OPC groups.
Access to OPC item properties.
Configurable Template generator for bulk configuration.
Automatic signal generation for simulation testing.