OPC UA Roadmap

The OPC UA road map highlights recent and future enhancements to the OPC UA standard. It provides a hint for next steps and the general vision.

In our road maps, you can learn about OPC UA innovations along three different timelines:

  1. Recent additions lists features that have been added to the latest version of OPC UA
  2. Features in work lists topics that the OPC UA working group currently addresses
    and that are intended to be added to the current version or to the next full version.
  3. Vision, provides a high-level and long-term perspective on innovations for OPC UA

 

Recent innovations in v1.04

Features worked on

2021 and beyond – Vision

  • 2019: Relate with established semantic models (Dictionary Reference)
    An infrastructure to reference from an OPC UA Information Model to external dictionaries like IEC Common Data Dictionary or eCl@ss.
  • 2019: Interfaces and AddIns
    Interfaces and AddIns complement the type model and can be used when subtyping is not suitable for a required Extension.
  • PubSub
    New communication schema to enable and optimize OPC UA for one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many  configurations.
  • JSON Web Token, OAuth2
    User identification using the authorization service well-established in modern cloud applications (Azure, Google, Facebook, …
  • Reverse Connectivity  Servers behind firewalls can use reverse connectivity.
  • SessionLess Services  Avoids session establishment for use cases where Servers are called infrequently.
  • Security
    New policies that use SHA256
    New policies that use Elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC).
  • Alias names
    Enables locating Nodes (Objects, Methods, or Variables) on a global level (e.g. in an entire system). An AliasName is an alternate well defined name. Global OPC UA discovery services maybe constructed that aggregate all AliasNames on OPC UA Servers in a system and then serve as a system-wide lookup service for Clients

  • Deterministic UA:
    Mappings to TSN. This project will add a transport mapping of OPC UA PubSub to Time Sensitive Networking (TSN). Based on this mapping, deterministic data exchange between UA applications is possible.
  • Field-Level Communication (FLC)
    The goal of this initiative is to extend OPC UA to the field by addressing all relevant use-cases for Process- and Factory Automation including for instance determinism, safety and Motion.
  • Harmonization of companion Standards
    Many organizations use OPC UA to model and expose their existing information. Sometimes, however, the definitions overlap or are identical. This project supports companion working groups to harmonize their models.
  • Provisioning Services
    These Services are designed to allow the security configuration of a Device to be managed over the complete lifecycle of the Device from manufacture to decommissioning. It requires a process to detect counterfeit or modified Devices before they are given access to a sensitive Network.
  • MQTT v5
    MQTT v5 offers features that are needed for routing and filtering by Brokers but also protocol improvements.
  • Semantic Validation
    This project will add new language elements to the NodeSet that allow adding semantic information that today is implied by type or browse names or is written in natural language.

The following features are under consideration. No concrete
specification work has been initiated.

  • Transactions
    With the increasing popularity of OPC UA in various industries, we also see more and more scenarios where OPC UA is used for Configuration. Simple configuration tasks can be solved with Methods, for more complex scenarios, transactions will be needed.
  • MetaData in the Cloud
    When data are published to cloud applications, most of the meta information that is in the Server’s AddressSpace is not part of these data. The “MetaData in the Cloud” project targets this deficiency.
  • Cloud-Relay
    The cloud-relay capability allows for connectivity between UA applications even when both Client and Server are behind separate firewalls.
  • Deterministic communication using 5G
    The 5th generation wireless systems will provide better performance and determinism. Similar to the TSN mapping a mapping of PubSub to 5G protocols may be considered
  • Additional protocol mappings for deterministic communication (using Wifi 6 and 7, Layer 3)
    Mappings to Wifi 6 and 7 will also be considered  for deterministic wireless and mobile industrial applications.
    Furthermore a mapping to Layer 3 network technologies with QoS support (e.g. future IETF DetNet) is expected to enable deterministic UA communication seamlessly routed over wired and wireless network segments.