Microsoft operating systems dominate the industrial automation landscape. Automation vendors begin using Microsoft’s COM and DCOM in their product offerings. 1990s
1995Automation vendors Fisher-Rosemount, Intellution, Opto 22 and Rockwell Software form a task force to develop a standard for data access based on COM and DCOM, and call it OPC, an abbreviation for OLE (Microsoft Object Linking & Embedding) for Process Control.
The task force, established a year earlier, releases version 1.0 of a simplified OPC specification for Data Access (DA) in August. Within the first year, several other software and hardware vendors began using OPC as their mechanism for interoperability. It soon becomes clear that a more formalized organization of compliance, interoperability, certification and validation is necessary. The OPC Foundation is established at the Chicago ISA Show in September.1996
1998The OPC Foundation begins converting its existing specification to web services.
OPC Alarms & Events (OPC AE) specification is released.1999
2001OPC Historical Data Access (OPC HDA), Batch and Security specification are released.
OPC Complex Data, Data eXchange and XML-DA specifications are released.

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA), comprising of 13 separate parts, is created by the OPC Foundation.
The original OPC specification is now referred to as “Classic OPC” or OPC Classic.

2004OPC Commands specification is released.
OPC UA version 1.0 becomes available.2006
2007OPC Certification Program and Test Labs are introduced.
Automation vendors begin offering the first products based on OPC UA.
OPC UA version 1.01 becomes available.
OPC UA for Analyzer Devices (ADI) is released as a companion specification driven by the Pharma and Chemical manufacturing industries.
2010The first embedded OPC UA devices are released.
OPC UA for IEC 61131 is released as a companion specification.
IEC 62541 is released (UA).2012
2013OPC UA 1.02 is released.
OPC UA for ISA-95 is released.
OPC UA for Devices 1.01 is released.
The OPC Foundation supports over 480 members across China, Europe, Japan and North America.
OPC UA v1.03 released
IEC 62541:2015 Version releasedIndustrie4.0 reference architecture Modell (RAMI4.0) is listing OPC UA for communication layer
VDMA set goal to develop standardized Information models for Factory Automation with OPC UA
2016OPC Lab in Europe establishedAutoId companion specification for identification devices like barcode, OCR, 2D code, RFID, NFC, RTLS, sensors and mobile computing
PLC FunctionBlocks for OPC UA based controller-controller communication
The OPC Foundation supports over 490 members across China, Europe, Japan and North America.
MDIS companion specification: Oil and Gas standard for interfacing the Subsea Production Control System
CNC companion specification for interfacing Computerized Numerical Control Systems
FDI companion specification for host systems that manage field devices during their entire LifeCycle
VDMA published “Industrie4.0 Communication Guildeline based on OPC UA”
2018OPC UA v1.04 released

Total of 18 companion specifications released including specifications for Energy Automation (based on IEC61850), Tobacco industry, multiple fieldbus mappings, PackML, AutomationML

About 20 working groups developing further OPC UA companion specifications for additional machines or Industries

The OPC Foundation supports over 636 members across China, Europe, Japan and North America.