by Nathan Pocock, Director of Compliance, OPC Foundation
2014 was another successful year for OPC Certification:
- Compliance Working Group added 978 test-cases for History, Alarms/Conditions, Events, and Information Modeling
- Compliance Test Tool released 2 new versions
- Certified 18 products from 64 tests (so far)
- Added more information/tutorials for building high quality applications.
Certification awareness and demand continues to grow. We expect a demanding 2015 as Test Lab availability in Q1 is rapidly diminishing. We encourage vendors to schedule testing now. Our primary goal for 2015 is to help vendors achieve certification on their first test so that we can increase the overall number of certified products per year; this will be possible because of a new tool that we are designing that will help members prepare adequately.
Three Interoperability workshops (IOPs) were held in 2014: Phoenix, Arizona; Tokyo, Japan; and Nuremberg, Germany. The best-attended event this year was Nuremberg, with over 40 attendees representing 24 companies and featuring a swathe of UA products in both software and hardware (embedded) form. This must-attend event offers real value as 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.”
An important concept was successfully proven at the IOP workshop in November: Virtual Interoperability Workshop (V-IOP). This concept allowed vendors physically located in Canada (Cogent), Germany (Beckhoff), Japan (Anotherware), and the USA (Kepware) to connect to a Microsoft Azure virtual network enabling participants to connect their OPC products to each other to conduct IOP testing.
Some refinements are needed before the concept can be fully realized in 2015. It was very evident from the conversations of IOP observers that this concept is of extreme importance as many signed-up to help test the next prototype. This concept is the start of something BIG leading to other innovations (currently in planning) that will help members to build quality products and conduct superior testing.
We will look forward to 2015, which will be another busy year as we:
- Enhance the UA CTT for History, Alarms/Conditions, Information Modeling, and more…
- Work on new tools to ease the development of certifiable products
- Increase the number of interoperability workshops and the quality of testing conducted
- Increase the number of certified products
Don’t sit back and watch as this unfolds…get involved: join a working group; contribute in the development and enhancement of these programs, utilities, and concepts; and help us help everyone make UA successful.
Contact the Compliance department if you have questions about joining a working group, the certification program or testing.