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Compliance Corner – December 2020

    Virtual InterOp

    COVID-19 has made life difficult for all of us. Interactions are all on-line with no travel or gatherings. At an Interoperability Event (IOP), vendors test their products against a large group of other vendors’ products. But due to COVID-19 we cannot have such gatherings of large groups of people in a face-to-face IOP.

    The OPC Foundation IOP Task Force lead by Alexander Allmendinger has been working to establish the infrastructure that is needed to allow a virtual IOP. We ran a number of smaller global scope tests. This resulted in an architecture that we can try for a larger scale test. Later this month we will be running our first pilot virtual IOP for approximately 20 specially selected worldwide vendors. After addressing any issues resulting from the test run, we will have an official IOP available for all vendors to register for by the new year.

    A virtual IOP will be open 24 hours a day for the entire week, with vendors scheduling when they will be available for testing. Since vendors are worldwide, at times a vendor might be testing in the evening or in the early morning to match up to another vendor that is on the other side of the planet. The IOP team will maintain coverage during the event, to help with infrastructure issues and any questions that might arise.

    Compliance Test Tool

    We have a new beta version of the CTT available that provides support for Alarm testing. This new beta also includes numerous fixes. The Alarm testing required new infrastructure in the CTT, since Alarms are not something that can just be testing by interaction, but the CTT has to wait for an Alarm to occur, before the functionality described in 10000-09 can be tested. This new infrastructure will also allow us to enhance other parts of the CTT and to better automate Testing and to minimize Configuration that users of the CTT currently have to perform.

    Field Level Communication Certification

    With the new release candidate of part 10000-80, 10000-81, 10000-82, 10000-83, the Field Level Communication enhancement to the base OPC Specifications are quickly moving forward. FLC will require certification of all products that implement the enhancements. This requires additional effort to develop test cases and ensure testing is available when first products are released. The FLC steering committee has formed a new technical working group that has teamed with the Compliance Working Group to generate the test case definitions that will be required for certification of the enhanced OPC UA field level specifications. This group is actively generating test cases, but as always, the certification group it is continually looking for additional help.

    If you do have questions about the opportunities here, please do not hesitate to contact us at:

    Paul Hunkar
    Alex Allmendinger