End of Year
This year was busy with many new activities related to certification. We have worked on all aspects of the certification program, including better marketing and elaboration, working with companion organizations to extend the scope of certification, and of course the continued improvement of coverage and automation of base OPC UA testing functionality.
Over the year the OPC Foundation certification group has been involved in many major shows as well as having a presence at OPC Day activities. During these shows and activities, we have spent time answering questions about the certification process and general questions. We have found that end-users are having a growing interest in certified products and we are seeing vendors respond. We have had more products in the certification test lab this year than planned and are already seeing an increase in demand for next year. Some of this demand is attributed to the continued work with Companion Specifications.
A number of Companion Specifications have started providing testing and sometimes also certification, including several specifications that require products to be certified, such as O-PAS and MDIS. These Companion Specifications include:
- Machine Tools
To help support Companion Specification certification, the Compliance Test Tool (CTT) has received enhancements, both in terms of capabilities and in ease of integration of Companion Specification testing.
Besides just Companion Specifications the OPC Foundation has released some major new base additions such as UAFX. UAFX defines an information model that provides the capability to dynamically create communication channels between controllers, including the ability to verify target application and establish control over the target device. The UAFX specification requires certification. We have been active in defining test cases, generating automated test scripts, and even enhanced testing of offline configuration capabilities defined in the UAFX specification. Some of these should be available in second quarter of 2023.
We have also been active with Ethernet-APL, which is a standard that allows Ethernet traffic over 2-wire cables including power distribution. We believe this standard will help modernize the automation device market. The testing for this has been created by a consortium of standardization bodies. These bodies have agreed to have harmonized tests and even to share test results for products that might support more than one communication standard.
Yet to Come
In the coming year we will continue expanding test case definitions to ensure that the ever-increasing scope of OPC UA functionality has test coverage. We will also continue to expand support for Companion Specification certification. We will work with the appropriate Working Groups directing and assisting them in defining testable Profiles and ConformanceUnits, defining test cases and finally automating the testing. The CTT capabilities will also be expanded to cover additional communication protocols like OPC UA PubSub over MQTT, new security protocols such as ECC, and the so-called global services aspects like Alias Names, Certificate Management or Key Management. In addition, we will continue the process of improving automation client testing.
If you do have questions on these topics or are interested in getting involved in our activities, please do not hesitate to contact us at compliance[AT]opcfoundation.org
Paul Hunkar & Alex Allmendinger