The OPC Foundation concluded the 2014 European Interoperability Workshop (IOP) in November. There were 40 attendees representing 23 member companies with 59 products tested.
This event showed the future of OPC UA with some vendors testing embedded UA Servers/Clients; some testing Cloud-based UA Clients/Servers; some testing Development toolkits; some testing Gateway devices (UA to Modbus/Fieldbus, etc.); and others testing the more traditional PC-based applications.
Enterprise management of UA applications and certificate management was a key part of the workshop as participants tested a Global Discovery Server (GDS) from GE. This is a brand new concept for OPC UA that will allow large organizations to centralize management and provisioning of OPC UA Servers and Certificates, while allowing UA Clients to easily find/query UA Servers within the enterprise LAN/WAN. The GDS concept is described in UA Specification Part 12 – Discovery.
A Virtual Interoperability Workshop was successfully tested which allowed participants in Canada, Japan, and the USA, to remotely participate in IOP testing with vendors who were physically present at the event. This concept is something that the OPC Foundation has spent several months working on in partnership with Microsoft. Virtual IOPs will go live in 2015; first date TBA.
IOPs are a “must attend” event for anyone preparing their OPC UA and COM-based products for market. Attendees can test and debug their applications while running against dozens of other vendor products in a real-world environment. When asked about the value of the Interoperability Workshops, Haishi Ban, of Microsoft says “It’s great opportunity to test our products with real devices and partners, and it’s also a great opportunity to hear direct feedback from them.”
The next IOP workshop will be hosted by Honeywell, in Phoenix, AZ, the week of April 20, 2015.
For more information about Interoperability Workshops, please contact the Compliance department.