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.2003
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.2009
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.The OPC Foundation supports over 480 members across China, Europe, Japan and North America.

Reference: Jürgen Lange, Frank Iwanitz and Thomas Burke. “OPC from Data Access to Unified Architecture.” 4th rev. Edition. Berlin: VDE VERLAG GMBH, 2010. ISBN 3-978-3-8007-3242-5