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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

Flexible Client Application Connectivity Options

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:
    • 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 History Capable Servers / OPC Historical Data Access Clients conform to the following
    • OPC Historical Data Access (HDA) version 1.1
    • OPC Historical Data Access (HDA) version 1.2
  • MatrikonOPC Alarm and Event Capable Servers / OPC Alarm and Events Clients conform to the following
    • OPC Alarms & Events (A&E) version 1.02
    • OPC Alarms & Events (A&E) version 1.10
  • All MatrikonOPC Servers / Dynamic Date Exchange Applications support the following formats:
    • 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
    Data Collection Options
    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 Device Connectivity

    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.

    OOP Design
    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 applications:

  • 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.

  • Tag Database and Browsing Options

    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

  • Browse Type
    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
  • Periodically regenerate
  • 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.

    Extensive Tag Management Options

    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:
    • 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.
    Flexible Tag Level Options
    Every MatrikonOPC Server gives powerful tag level configuration by using the Aliasing feature, including:
    • 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).
    Enforce Tag Level Security
    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.

    Diagnostic and Logging Options

    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 Sent
  • Messages Received
  • Messages Timed Out
  • Messages Retries
  • Messages Failed

  • Certified Compliant and Interoperability Tested

    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.

    Common User Experience

    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.

  • Configuration to Optimize for a Specific System

    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
        IT policies.

  • 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,
        High, Realtime).
  • 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
        manually (milliseconds).

  • Full Featured OPC Test Client – OPC Explorer

    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.



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