Compliance Corner – March 2021

The OPC Foundation has been aggressively working on enhancing its certification program. We have scheduled a Compliance Test Tool release (CTT) for the end of March. This release will include Alarm & Condition (A&C) testing. With the A&C testing we have added a new manner of performing the test. In the previous versions we always operated as a client and initiated a command and observed the results of the command. This style of testing does not work well for A&C. Most A&C configurations do not include instances of alarms. They usually have alarm engines that just generate the events and do not expose the alarm instances in their AddressSpace. Thus all interaction has to be with the generated event. Furthermore we did not want to require vendors to generate custom configuration that would be used to activate on demand alarm generation.

What we really want to test, is what the end-user would see when deploying the product. So for alarm testing we now listen to the server. By listening, what we mean is that instead of issuing a command and expecting a change, we respond to the information that is coming from the server. This would be more inline with how a typical alarm system is handled; an alarm screen would be subscribed to alarms and an operator would take actions on the alarms. For A&C testing, think of the CTT as an intelligent alarm screen. It will subscribe to alarms and then respond to the alarms that are reported. The tests that are defined in the A&C test case section are not executed in order, but are executed as instances of alarms are received that meet the requirements for the various tests. The key point is that a server will be required to have a simulator or some source of data that actually changes and will generate events and alarms. It is also important that all alarm types that are to be supported are generated by the server.

This same style of testing, where the CTT just listens and then checks off test cases as having been passed will apply to other functionality in the future.

 Just a reminder, we have a Virtual InterOp scheduled for the week of April 12th-16th.

Registration is open and available here: https://opcfoundation.org/event-details/?ee=281. This workshop will utilize the new virtual environment that we prototyped back in December. You will need to register early, to ensure space and there will be some required network set up.

Interested in being part of the Foundation’s 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

Paul Hunkar
Alexander Allmendinger