Cloud Initiative

Digitalization in manufacturing is resulting in a world divided between those who possess and effectively utilize data and those who lack access to those resources. This is a barrier to both corporate success and macro-economic growth. Legislators (such as the European Union with the upcoming Data Act) are responding to this by requiring vendors to share data among much broader eco-systems. In parallel to requiring broader eco-systems, central use-cases for traceability like the European Union Digital Product Passport (DPP), Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) reporting in-line with the new European Union Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and security aspects like in the European Union Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) are defined.

At the OPC Foundation, we believe that this will create a greater need for interoperability of end-to-end information models and data communication to support these legislative demands.

We will replicate the best-practice collected in the OPC Foundation Field Level Communications Initiative bringing in experts in applications to complement the technology experts from the OPC Foundation. The OPC Foundation Cloud Initiative will bring harmonization of existing working groups on actionable user challenges and opportunities for enhancement and initiating new working groups to develop OPC UA technology into new cloud-centric applications.

Today, OPC UA has established itself as the industrial interoperability standard in on-premises, OT environments, field-level communication, as well as industrial Edge applications.

Therefore, it is not surprising that OPC UA users also want to leverage their existing investment in OPC UA Information Models and communication patterns in IT and cloud applications by creating secure, interoperable cloud architectures. These architectures must focus on open solutions for data analytics, digital twins, industrial metaverse, and artificial intelligence; but also avoid vendor lock-in. They must further define edge-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud communication patterns and means to securely store OPC UA Information Models in the cloud.

Thankfully, the OPC Foundation established several working groups in this area years ago and can now combine them under a single OPC UA Cloud initiative. This will also help bring clarity to seemingly overlapping national and international standards and other initiatives in this area.

The Steering Committee of the OPC UA Cloud initiative is responsible to recommend, harmonize, and steer the activities of the individual technical working groups and create best practices, an overall reference architecture, as well as open-source reference implementations, combining the output of the individual working groups. This will not only lead to greater interoperability between different cloud solutions and enable the use of OPC UA Information Models for semantically-rich data analytics in the cloud, but also lead to cost reductions of these solutions.

The OPC Foundation is asking for your interest in joining the OPC UA Cloud initiative.
Please contact

Technical Working Groups of the OPC UA Cloud initiative:

UA Cloud Library – A query-able online store of OPC UA Information Models
CESMII and OPC Foundation developed a specification for an Internet-hosted database containing OPC UA information models. This database can be made publicly accessible through a RESTful interface. User access control will be handled through a separate identity provider. This cloud library can be made available to manufacturers who are looking to leverage industrial assets containing non-standardized information models for their SCADA or analytics systems.
Find more information here: Cloud Library for UA Information Models – OPC Foundation

OPC UA over MQTT Working Group – secure transport from edge to cloud and cloud to cloud.
The MQTT sub-group is part of the OPC Foundation OPC UA working group and discuss uses cases for integration of OPC UA with MQTT and to propose potential extensions for the OPC UA specifications. The MQTT sub-group will discuss uses cases for OPC UA in edge and cloud messaging environments using MQTT.
The OPC UA over MQTT Prototyping Group and the OPC UA over MQTT Testbed are strongly aligned with each other. Non-exclusive examples for work items are:

OPC UA REST Interface – cloud-based OPC UA server access
The REST group, as a sub-group of the OPC Foundation UA Working Group, discuss use cases for the integration of OPC UA via REST and propose potential extensions for the OPC UA specification. It is a special-purpose sub-group meant for IT (especially REST) experts and participants who work in Edge and Cloud computing areas to focus on discussion for these use cases.
The REST sub-group discuss uses cases for OPC UA in Edge and Cloud computing environments using the proposed HTTP REST. Non-exclusive examples for work items are:

    • Generic REST interface definition for common OPC UA services (Read, Write, Call, …)
    • Standardized mapping of OPC UA service parameters to datatypes commonly used in RESTful APIs
    • How the existing session-less OPC UA service can be used with a REST interface.
    • Define a concept to provide REST interfaces for Companion Specification use cases.
    • Define requirements for security.
    • Building prototypes and a demonstration.
    • Define an OpenAPI-compatible REST interface using Swagger.Find more information here Unified Architecture Core – UA REST subgroup – OPC Foundation

OPC UA WoT Connectivity – standardized industrial connectivity software configuration
Define how to configure the OPC UA Information Model that exposes the underlying devices described by WoT Thing Descriptions via an OPC UA Server that acts as a protocol mapping and data model mapping service from non-OPC UA asset interfaces to OPC UA.
This service is often run on Industrial Edge gateways. It accesses non-OPC UA assets (like Modbus assets or assets with a proprietary interface) and maps the asset’s data model into an OPC UA server address space. The schema for the mapping to OPC UA will be provided by W3C Web of Things standard in Thing Description JSON-LD format, which will potentially be extended to cover all required protocol bindings (see
Find more informatin here Web-of-Things Connectivity – OPC Foundation

OPC UA Industrial Metaverse Working Group
This working group successfully demonstrated the use of OPC UA information models for the following use case:

  • Remote or on-premises condition monitoring using augmented and virtual reality technology.
  • Remote assisted maintenance of machinery carried out by local workers with the assistance of remote experts.
  • Production processes training in safe, simulated environments for real-world tasks in hazardous environments.
  • Manufacturing logistics planning and execution using head-up display technology for drivers of transport systems.

Find more informatin here: Metaverse – OPC Foundation

Currently getting established

  • OPC UA AI leveraging Large Language Models Working Group
  • OPC UA Data Spaces Working Group


List of open-source reference solutions (by OPC Foundation and external 3rd party)

  1. UA Cloud Library
    Cloud-neutral reference implementation
  2. UA Cloud Publisher
    An OPC UA PubSub telemetry publisher
  3. UA Cloud Commander
    An online command & control app for OPC UA servers
  4. UA Cloud Action
    A cloud-based app to trigger an action for UA Cloud Commander
  5. UA Cloud Dashboard
    An online dashboard for OPC UA PubSub data
  6. UA Cloud Twin
    Digital Twin adapter for OPC UA PubSub data from the Digital Twin Consortium
  7. UA Cloud Viewer
    An online viewer for OPC UA Information Models
  8. AAS Repository
    An Asset Admin Shell Repository with OPC UA modelling support
  9. UA Edge Translator
    A reference implementation for industrial connectivity software
  10. IIoT Starter Kit
    A set of quick-start samples for OPC UA over MQTT

Validation & Certification

In addition, the OPC Foundation will establish a new validation and certification program for OPC UA Cloud interoperability as the leading cloud vendors like Alibaba, Amazon, Microsoft, SAP and Siemens already support OPC UA to some extent, but no rules (for OPC UA Cloud) govern this support to date.

Contact point

  • Stefan Hoppe, President OPC Foundation