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What is OPC-UA?

OLE™ for Process Control (OPC) is a standards-based approach for connecting data sources (e.g.: PLCs, controllers, I/O devices, databases, etc.) with HMI client applications (graphics, trending, alarming, etc.).  It enhances the interface between client and server applications by providing a universally supported and well-documented mechanism to communicate data from a data source to any client application.&nbps; Included are not only a detailed guide on how to pass the data, but also specific information on other attributes to supplement that data, such as range information, data type, quality flags, and date and time information.

OPC-UA, or "Unified Architecture", unites legacy OPC standards such as OPC-AE (Alarm & Event), OPC-DA (Data Access) and OPC-HDA (Historical Data Access) into one complete specification.

Any OPC client application can connect to any OPC server.  In other words, OPC offers true Plug-and-Play capability in the fields of HMI and industrial automation.  OPC server types include OPC Data Access (DA), OPC Alarm & Events (AE) and OPC Historical Data Access (HDA).

The AlarmWorX64 application, which has both client and server components, is an example of a real-life data display where the focus is on alarm and event type data that is specified by the OPC-AE standard.  You can configure AlarmWorX64 to display real time alarm events inside a viewer application that originates on an alarm server application that is monitoring alarm-based OPC-AE devices.