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 innovations lists features that have been added to the latest version of OPC UA
  2. Features in progress 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. Future vision, provides a high-level and long-term perspective on innovations for OPC UA


Recent innovations

Features in progress

Future vision

  • 2023: OPC UA Field eXchange (UAFX)
    Version 1.0 of UAFX for Controller-Controller (C2C) has been published. It is based on PubSub and includes offline configuration.
  • 2022: Cloud Library
    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 “Cloud Library” project targets this deficiency.
  • 2023: Device Onboarding
    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.
  • 2022: MQTT v5
    MQTT v5 offers features that are needed for routing and filtering by Brokers but also protocol improvements.
  • 2020: ECC Security
    New policies that use Elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC).
  • 2020: 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 may be 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.
  • OPC UA Field eXchange (UAFX)
    The working groups works on additional use-cases including Controller-2-Devices (e.g. IOs and Motion.
  • Harmonization of companion Standards
    This project supports companion working groups to harmonize their models to limit overlap. This is a continuous work that stared in 2019.
  • Cloud Initiative
    The initiative aims for an OPC UA cloud reference architecture. It is set to reduce costs and improve the usability of OPC UA Information Models for cloud-based use cases. It targets edge-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud communication patterns.
  • AI Initiative
    AI’s capabilities to streamline various aspects of manufacturing, from code generation to data analysis, and to redefine the user interface within factory environments will be considered. The impressive number of OPC UA industry models will allow easy integration of AI into the industrial landscape.

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.
  • 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.