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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