Wonderware to support OPC UA standard development

By Plant Engineering Staff June 27, 2006

As OPC advances toward the OPC Unified Architecture, the OPC UA must advance toward a development of an OPC UA standard. Wonderware announced its commitment to this initiative for use in its plant information and automation software.

The underlying ArchestrA software architecture upon which Wonderware software is built supports the existing OPC standard, and will also support the new OPC UA. The OPC UA will offer a common data model and device communications environment for plant connectivity by leveraging Microsoft .NET and Web Services functionality.

The OPC UA standard upgrades OPC communications from Microsoft COM/DCOM technology and features enhanced reliability, security and robustness while maintaining a common data model, interoperability and integration. The OPC UA will offer best-of-breed integration with Microsoft’s latest technological advances. It also will provide the framework for platform neutrality, enabling real-time and historical information interoperability between systems. OPC users will be able to easily integrate OPC UA technology into existing OPC implementations and OPC UA will offer integration with Microsoft Web Services and plant management technologies.

“The OPC UA standard provides greater security and data integration than existing OPC standards, facilitating enterprise connectivity with control systems,” said Rashesh Mody, Wonderware’s chief technology officer and the OPC Foundation’s chief architect. “Wonderware fully supports the development of this industry standard, which offers plug-and-play migration and improved device communications for Wonderware users.”

Wonderware, a business unit of Invensys Systems, Inc., became a charter member of the OPC Foundation in 1996 and continues to be an early adopter of new OPC technologies. The Invensys business unit has a long history of support for multi-vendor device connectivity. Wonderware has demonstrated its commitment to industry standards by hosting the majority of the OPC Foundation’s North American interoperability workshops in addition to its active participation in compliance development.

“Wonderware consistently demonstrates dedication to delivering quality products, and has been a leading influence and active participant in the development of all OPC specifications, including the new OPC Unified Architecture,” said Thomas J. Burke, president of the OPC Foundation. “Wonderware’s commitment to secure, reliable interoperability based on the OPC Unified Architecture sets the stage and raises the bar for all the industry with its perseverance in supporting open standards.