OPC Foundation: OPC Xi helps .NET clients, COM-based OPC Classic clients integration

OPC Xi enables .NET clients and existing COM-based OPC Classic clients to access OPC Classic servers at the same time.

11/17/2009


Source: OPC Xi at www.opcfoundation.org/xi

Source: OPC Xi at www.opcfoundation.org/xi

OPC Foundation added OPC Express Interface (Xi) to the OPC Foundation technology portfolio, the organization announced Nov. 16. OPC Xi is a new interface based on Microsoft .NET Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) technology.

OPC Xi is designed for secure reliable access to real-time, historical and alarm and event based information. The specification is said to complement OPC UA (Unified Architecture) and COM-based OPC Classic technologies.

Collaborative effort

The OPC Xi interface results from collaboration among several OPC vendor companies from the process industry to develop an easily integrated and secure solution for a variety of plant communications. OPC Xi was developed to provide a .NET-based migration path from OPC Classic. OPC Xi also may be used as a standard .NET WCF interface for newly developed OPC servers.

"The OPC Foundation Board of Directors has adopted Express Interface (OPC Xi) as a standard OPC interface. OPC Xi has been designed as a complementary interface that enables .NET clients and existing COM-based OPC Classic clients to access OPC Classic servers at the same time. OPC Xi also can be used as a standard OPC interface for newly developed .NET servers," says Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation president. He said the move was in response to feedback from members asking for a backwards compatible .NET interface for OPC Classic servers.

Products expected within a few months

In the next few months, OPC Xi products will be released, including toolkits, clients and servers, the organization said. OPC Foundation is based in Scottsdale, AZ.

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- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, electronic products editor, Manufacturing Business Technology , www.mbtmag.com