Download: Matrikon Windows Security Configuration for OPC Classic Communication

The connection between an OPC client and an OPC server is one of the most basic functions of all OPC applications, and yet it is also one of the most common issues experienced in commissioning of a new system, modifying or adding a new component to an existing system, or simply troubleshooting a production system. In order to successfully resolve issues involving application connection it is important to understand the basic components of the connection process and how they affect connection.

All OPC communication is based on the proprietary COM technology integral to the Windows operating system. In fact, the connection between OPC applications is defined not by the OPC specification, but by COM. The connection process is therefore a COM process and is subject to the security apparatus in Windows. As most systems where OPC applications are employed are distributed systems and depend on various networking technologies, these must also be examined to ensure that they are not responsible for the lack of connectivity.

This document presents a process for ensuring that the connection between OPC applications is not compromised by the security configuration of either the Windows platforms on which they are installed or the network apparatus that connects them. For the most part this will involve reducing the various security mechanism to near non-existence. As this can pose serious security risks in itself, we will work from the inside out to ensure that system-wide security is minimally impacted.

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