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Download: OPC Gets Relational with Databases: Accessing SQL Server, Oracle and other Relational Databases Using OPC Whitepaper

In any industry, databases are the foundation of many automation applications. Databases are consistently used as a gateway to interface with the outside world, whether to a process optimization application, Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS), composition analyzer, or a custom, in-house application.

OLE for Process Control (OPC) has become the standard used by applications to poll devices for real-time data. This widespread industry acceptance has made it necessary for many organizations to convert archived data to real-time data and vice-versa. Some access methods already exist today, such as ODBC; however these methods are intended for relational data, rather than real-time transfers. To further complicate issues, products from Sybase, Oracle, and Microsoft all have their own Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that are used to optimize operations. OPC can take advantage of real-time values from what once was a relational database by using Generic Database Access (GDA) technology. This technology continues to reinforce why industry is turning to OPC as their connectivity standard.

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