Compliance Test Tool (CTT)
The new CTT features for testing information models, that resulted from the release of the MDIS certification testing, also resulted in enhancements for the CTT infrastructure. These enhancements allow us to more easily support other information model testing. The enhancements also allow us to improve testing performance in some cases and to test some base OPC UA features that were not well tested. We have also started on enhancements that will include better support for event processing and testing. We are working on providing complete coverage for all OPC UA features and to provide extended testing, such as security reviews and fuzz testing, but more on this in a future article.
We have been very active in information model testing with multiple groups. We created a new standard presentation that will be distributed to all companion standard groups. This presentation provides an overview of the process a companion standard should follow to ensure that certification of the Companion standard and corresponding information model can easily be accomplished. In coming articles I’ll try to cover some of the key companion standards that are pushing for certification.
Open Process Automation Forum
One of these standards groups is the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF). ExxonMobil worked with The Open Group to form this standards body. The body has many major end-users, DCS companies, and IT companies as members. The OPC Foundation has been working with the OPAF on the new set of standards they are developing (O-PAS). O-PAS is an open, secure, and interoperable process control architecture. It is a standard of standards, with OPC UA as a central component. OPC UA will provide the secure communication between components, including the transportation of the information models.
OPAF is and has been working hard to get their next version of the O-PAS standard released by the end of the year. This next release will include all that is required for interoperability between the various components and will target having certification in place. [Note: O-PAS is more than just OPC UA; it includes a physical platform definition and additional standard protocols for network configuration. For more information see http://www.opengroup.org/open-process-automation/forum].
One key point is that the forum has mandated that all products be certified and that the verification of functionality be accomplished in independent test labs. Since the OPC Foundation already can provide certification/verification for both its standard and information models, the OPAF goal of having certification available in a timely manner for the next release is very possible. The OPC Foundation is a member of OPAF and has been and will continue to take an active part in specifying and providing certification for O-PAS products.
The OPC Asia IOP was held June 20-22 in Tokyo and was a success. It was well attended, with 22 products being tested representing 10 companies including companies from outside of Japan. The attendees successfully tested communication and interoperability between their products. The attendees also heard presentations about new functionality and Certification. The IOPs are highly valued by the OPC Foundation members to validate their products’ interoperability with their competitors’ products. I promise it is an exciting event for the product managers and developers.
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The OPC Compliance working group has been working on a review of the test case and scripts associated with History. We are hoping to have the History work completed in the next couple of months and are looking for vendors that have experience with History to help with the reviews. Such work would give a History vendor a leg-up on certification.
Interested in being part of the important certification strategy? We are always looking for volunteers to help us make the OPC Foundation certification process work for you! Please contact us at Compliance_AT_OPCFoundation.org