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OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA)

OPC UA is a cross-platform standard for moving data between sensors and cloud applications

What is OPC UA?

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a standard for data exchange from sensors to cloud applications created by the OPC Foundation as a way to satisfy the growing demands of computerization within several leading industries. OPC, which stands for Open Platform Communication, created an OPC Server, which allows for the translation of information from multiple sources to the client providing access data that can be used effectively. This ability to transfer information between multiple platforms and devices easily, is known as the OPC UA Standard, and it is widely recognized as an instrumental resource for communication. Additionally, the OPC UA Standard, ensures that data access is integrated, consistent, reliable, and safely accessible.

Benefits of using OPC UA

It is important to understand what makes an OPC Server unique is its independent platform capability. This provides accessibility to both high-end and generic devices by having the independence of not having to use one platform, OPC UA also allows for cloud-based configuration between any device or server accessed. This level of scalability and flexibility was recognized as imperative by the OPC Foundation.

What makes OPC UA essential is not just its multi-platform capabilities. The OPC Foundation ensured the OPC UA could facilitate security systems reliant on authentication & encryption. OPC UA, also provided clients with on-demand access, the ability to analyze complex data systems, and provided the ability to adapt interfaces. The OPC Foundation also ensured that OPC Classic and OPC UA could be integrated by providing downloadable COM proxy wrappers. This advancement was recognized and OPC UA became utilized by companies around the world including the automation industry, hardware and software giants, and most recently through product demonstrations.

How does OPC UA work?

OPC Classic Specifications, the first version of OPC lacked this capability, as it was originally created for technology surrounding Microsoft utilizing a software component known as D COM (Distributed Component Object Model). Recognizing that this data access was imperative, three more OPC Classic Specifications were created: OPC Access Data (OPC DA), which detailed how software interpreted and recounted data, OPC Alarm and Events (OPC AE) which tracked and alerted systems within client software, and OPC Historical Access Data (HDA) which focused on data collection that was time stamped and investigative analysis surrounding this critical data.

The OPC Foundation, recognized the OPC Classic Specifications as a critical system but also comprehended the urgent necessity for a framework that allowed for self service, cloud based configuration, and that provided security to accessible data. In 2008, the OPC Foundation created OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA), which still allowed clients the use of OPC Classic Specifications, but also provided a means for clients who utilized other platforms to have safe and reliable data access.

The OPC Foundation revisited OPC Technologies and then created OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) as a way to ensure the safe transferring of information within computing systems. OPC UA provides an essential OP UA Standard that focuses specifically on data being communicated in an effective manner. OPC UA also provides a secure exchange of information essential to the communication of data between platforms. This is as a result of the OPC Foundations ability to utilize OPC Technologies and provide enhanced utilization that includes cloud based configuration through its multi-platform capabilities. In closing, OPC UA must be recognized as an essential communication system that is critical for leading industries that utilize reliable informative data within their organizations.

InfluxDB can be used to store and process data from OPC UA in several different ways:

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