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Software Toolbox Enhances Custom OPC Client Toolkit Software

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 11, 2014 – Software Toolbox®, a leading supplier of manufacturing automation software, today announced the release of version 5.32 of the OPC Data Client, it’s OPC client development toolkit.

Included in the new release, is support for connecting to OPC UA servers in COM-based languages (which was previously only possible by use of a UA Proxy).  Developers are now able to develop OPC UA clients in COM-Based languages such as VB6, C++, and VBA.  The COM objects are implemented by exposing the objects written in .NET to COM.  This means that the very same code runs in the COM and .NET worlds, and the APIs are either identical, or very similar.

Other new features include enhancements to OPC UA browsing dialogs and controls that allow the user to test the TCP connection to a specified OPC UA server endpoint to verify network connectivity and confirm the presence of the OPC UA server.  The new browsing dialogs also allow the user to enter User Authentication Information when connecting to OPC UA servers.

“The latest version of the OPC Data Client continues to demonstrate the long-term value of the product,” according to Colin Winchester VP of Inside Sales at Software Toolbox, “by expanding OPC UA capability for COM legacy applications the OPC Data Client provides solutions that fit current needs and the needs of the future,”

For more information on everything included in the latest release, please see What's New Document

OPC Data Client 5.32 is available as a download or as an upgrade for users who currently own a license for one of the components here. Owners of a version 5.30 or 5.31 license are entitled to a free upgrade.  For details on how to upgrade an older license, please contact Software Toolbox.



Software Toolbox Product First to be Certified for OPC UA Client Development

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 27, 2014 Software Toolbox®, a leading supplier of manufacturing automation software, today announced that its OPC Data-UA toolkit is the first to be certified by the OPC Foundation for OPC UA client development.

“OPC UA continues to gain traction in the automation world as a highly robust communication protocol,” said John Weber, president and CEO of Software Toolbox. “It provides users with relief from common DCOM interoperability issues as well as increased control over security.”

OPC’s Certification Test Lab puts products through a set of rigorous and defined tests required by OPC certification test specifications.  The tests are designed to determine if an OPC client product follows best practices for implementation of OPC and integrates well with other products. The extensive testing protocol includes clearly defined interoperability review against reference OPC servers from industry leaders such as ABB, Cyberlogic, Kepware, Matrikon and Siemens. 

Tests also include extended analysis to assess memory leaks or instability, including studies conducted during periods of network disruption. The independent lab also intercepts OPC calls made between client and server and injects common and unusual errors into calls to ensure that the OPC client handles abnormal conditions in an orderly manner. 

The OPC Data-UA toolkit, which is a component of Software Toolbox’s OPC Data Client product offering, allows users to rapidly develop a custom OPC UA client application in various environments. The OPC Foundation certification was awarded to the latest version of the toolkit.

“The ability to create a compliant OPC UA client application was implemented in a flexible way, which doesn’t diminish the ability to have a highly interoperable client as well,” said Renée Sikes, brand manager for Software Toolbox’s OPC Data Client software development components.  “Recent versions of the OPC Data Client development components have also demonstrated a commitment to providing the most advanced OPC software by supporting the latest development platforms, including Microsoft technologies such as Reactive Programming Extensions and StreamInsight.”

 

Software Toolbox Offers New, Streamlined Licensing Model for OPC Data Client

New pricing model combines OPC Data.NET, OPC Data-COM and OPC Data-UA products into one installer, with one license. Sold as Standard or Ultimate Edition.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 25, 2013 Software Toolbox® today announced changes to the licensing model for the OPC Data Client, an OPC client development toolkit.  The new model provides all of the components of the OPC Data Client family in one easy installer and one license, significantly reducing the total cost of the components.  Previously, the OPC Data Client components were all sold as separate products.  These components included the OPC Data.NET, OPC Data-COM, and OPC Data-UA.

The release of the latest version combines the earlier separate products into a single installation package and is sold as a single license. The product editions have now also been simplified and are no longer distinguished by the platforms or OPC specifications they support. Instead, the price list has been streamlined by unifying the different products into a single OPC Data Client product with just two editions: Standard and Ultimate.

The Standard and Ultimate editions differ mainly in the availability of advanced features, such as live mapping or support for the reactive programming model. The live mapping model allows users to create logical objects behind the scenes that represent the actual plant equipment and then perform OPC operations on those objects as a whole.  This enables plant managers and automation professionals to more easily connect applications to meaningful business data. 

The reactive programming model, based on Microsoft Reactive Extensions, makes it easier to develop responsive, robust desktop applications that can accommodate a wide range of inputs coming from a variety of sources, at different rates and with myriad processing demands.  OPC data coming from manufacturing production systems is one of those sources, and OPC Data Client Ultimate Edition support for Reactive Extensions enables developers to build high-quality desktop applications.

“At Software Toolbox our goal is always to make finding a solution for our customer’s automation needs as easy as possible,” said Renee Sikes, OPC Data Client brand manager.  “The new license model provides one toolkit for virtually any type of custom OPC DA, A&E or UA client written in almost any environment.  Customers no longer have to spend time selecting products or worry about licensing issues if they need to expand application functionality.  Now a single license purchase will future-proof all development needs.”

The OPC Data.NET component of the OPC Data Client allows users to develop OPC Data Access (DA) or OPC Alarms and Events (A&E) clients in any type of .NET application, such as a WinForm, ASP.NET or background service, written in any .NET language.  Similarly, the OPC Data-COM component can be used for OPC DA or A&E client development in COM/OLE environments. OPC Unified Automation (UA) clients are supported only for .NET. Each component provides a simple class model that allows users to perform common OPC operations such as reading, writing and subscribing to items in the OPC server with as little as one line of code.

OPC is a standard for industrial communications designed to enhance connectivity and interoperability between different automation hardware and software systems used in oil & gas, power generating utilities, pulp and paper plants, building automation, discrete manufacturing, chemical and pharmaceutical factories, and other industrial automation environments.

OPC Data Client is available as a download or as an upgrade for users who currently own a license for one of the components here.  Contact Software Toolbox for details about upgrading existing licenses.

 

Software Toolbox Enhances Custom OPC Client Toolkit Software

New OPC Data.NET Features Codeless Development

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 3, 2012 Software Toolbox® today announced the release of OPC Data.NET Version 5.20.  Featuring native support for both 32- and 64-bit operating systems, OPCData.NET is a 100% managed .NET tool for developing OPC DA and A&E client applications in Visual Studio .NET.  The updated version of OPC Data.NET now offers new “codeless” development functionality, support for logical data objects and enhanced browser form control objects.

New user-friendly codeless functionality introduces both BindingExtender and DABinder components that extend the properties of controls and enables the user to easily bind OPC tag data directly to the control without writing code.  This feature supports all basic OPC functionality including reads, writes and subscriptions – now there is no need to know the intricacies of OPC.  The user can extend this functionality to common Windows form controls, such as textboxes and labels, or visual objects, such as Software Toolbox Symbol Factory or Industrial Gadgets libraries.

Another flexible new feature of the OPC Data.NET is OPC live mapping.  This feature enables the development of objects that correspond logically to the functionality provided by equipment or processes that are providing the OPC data.  For example, if one source of OPC data is provided by a boiler, you can create a boiler object in the code and describe how the object and its members correspond to your OPC data.  This allows you to perform OPC operations on the boiler object as a whole.

The OPC Data.NET 5.20 release also includes several new Windows Forms browser controls and provides functional and visual updates to existing browser controls.  One of the most useful new objects is the Generic OPC Browsing Dialog.  This object will allow the user to use one object to browse items in OPC DA, A&E or UA servers, rather than a separate object for each specification type, for increased efficiency.

The OPC Data.NET V5.20 is available for download here.  Contact Software Toolbox for additional information regarding upgrades for existing OPC Data.NET licenses.
 

Software Toolbox Releases a New Product For Custom OPC UA Clients

OPC Data-UA Provides A Simple Library For Creating Any Type of Custom .NET Application For Accessing Data From An OPC UA Server

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 20, 2012 – Software Toolbox®, a leading supplier of industrial automation software, today released a new product in the OPC Data Client line which includes support for OPC UA connectivity. The addition of the most recent OPC specification, OPC UA, expands the options for OPC Data Client connectivity, enabling it to connect securely to OPC data sources with the latest standards. 

“The release of the OPC Data-UA 1.0 reflects the commitment of Software Toolbox to open standards,” said Renee Sikes, brand manager for OPC Data Client at Software Toolbox.  “With this product customers can create an OPC UA client that can connect to any OPC UA server that supports the DA profile. It is a perfect complement to the existing OPC Data Client products, which provide custom access to OPC DA and A&E data.  This combination of support ensures the long-term usability of OPC Data Client for users.”

The OPC Data Client family of products includes support for developing OPC DA, A&E and UA clients for a wide variety of target environments including thick clients, thin clients, web services, Windows services, and more.


November 26, 2013 OPC Data Client 5.23 Released


December 21, 2011 OPC Data Client 5.12 Released

August 31, 2011 OPC Data Client 5.11 Released

August 1, 2011 OPCData.NET Version 5.10 Released

January 14, 2011 OPCData.NET Version 5.04 Released

November 4, 2010 OPCData.NET Version 5.03 Released

January 28,2010 OPCData.NET and OPCData-COM

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