OPC Server Features and Options
The Cyberlogic OPC Server has a modular structure that supports a variety of industrial devices and communication networks. The various communication subsystems, called driver agents, are plug-ins that you can easily add as required. As a result, the server maintains a set of common features, but has the flexibility to allow additional features as required by the specific driver agent.
This page describes some of the features and options available for the Cyberlogic OPC Server.
The Cyberlogic OPC Server, certified by the OPC Foundation, provides OPC connectivity for various networks, controllers and compatible devices. It supports major industrial brands, such as Allen-Bradley and Modicon.
Cyberlogic OPC Server is a core component of all Cyberlogic OPC Suites. Cyberlogic's OPC Suites are integrated, all-in-one products, and no third-party components are required.
The Cyberlogic OPC Server has integrated fault-tolerant communication features not found in other OPC servers. Multiple, priority-based access paths can be used to build a true redundant communication architecture below the server level. The built-in Health Watchdog monitors the health of all network connections to all physical devices. The auto-switching access paths can be configured to quickly redirect communications to an unlimited number of plant-floor devices and networks.
The Cyberlogic OPC Server guarantees minimal load on the communication networks through advanced message transaction optimizers. In addition to server-level global optimization, the high-performance server also offers unsolicited data updates with advanced message filtering from unwanted data sources to ensure data integrity and security.
Using Auto-configuration and DirectAccess™ features, a user can configure a minimal server setup with a single mouse click and gain access to all the registers in each network node without any user configuration. Power users can control many aspects of the server configuration. For enhanced security, write operations can be disabled for some or all of the data sources at data item, folder, device, device folder or network node levels. DirectAccess writes can also be disabled at each network node.
Since version 7, the DirectAccess feature has supported redundancy at device level. This allows all DirectAccess operations to switch seamlessly between redundant network nodes.
The OPC Foundation website recommends that "OPC Users should look for OPC Client and OPC Server products that have passed ‘Compliance Certification’ Testing and display the ‘Certified’ logo".
Triggers and switches are configured using simple dialogs. These dialogs then generate C-Logic™ code that is run by Cyberlogic's Math & Logic engine.
A trigger is a piece of logic that increments a counter each time a certain condition occurs (e.g., a certain time of day, an elapsed interval). Triggers are exception-based, meaning the value of the trigger should be monitored for any change.
Switches are level-based. This means that when the specified condition is active, the value of the switch is true. When the condition is no longer active, the switch value is false. The Shift definition is an example of a switch. The value is true at the beginning of during the entire shift. When the shift ends, the value is reset to false.Back to Top
The Custom Program feature of Math & Logic allows you to write programs in the C-logic™ programming language. These programs can include complex mathematical and logical functions that operate on one or more data items. The results appear as data items that are available to the OPC clients.
Basic OPC servers may provide a limited ability to simulate data or convert the values into engineering units, but rely on the client software to handle more complex calculations. A far better approach is to use Cyberlogic's Math & Logic to process the data in the OPC server. This lets you program the calculations and logical functions once for the entire system. You do the programming one time, in one place, using a single editor and programming language.
The OPC DA Driver Agent is a plug-in module for the Cyberlogic OPC Server. It gives the Cyberlogic OPC Server the ability to communicate to other OPC DA servers. This can be done whether the other OPC servers are on the local system or on another computer on the network, and can also be done regardless of the brand of OPC servers used.
With this plug-in, the Cyberlogic OPC Server can consolidate data from multiple OPC servers. This gives OPC clients a simple method of accessing data by hiding differences between device types and OPC server brands.
It also enables OPC server redundancy. An unlimited number of OPC servers can be configured as redundant OPC servers. With the integrated fault-tolerant communication of the Cyberlogic OPC Server, multiple, priority-based access paths can be used to build a true redundant communication architecture. The built-in Health Watchdog monitors the health of all connections, including those to other OPC servers. The auto-switching access paths can be configured to quickly redirect communications to an unlimited number of redundant OPC servers.
Crosslink is a plug-in module for the Cyberlogic OPC Server. This feature allows the OPC server to function as a data bridge between PLCs, between OPC DA servers, and between PLCs and OPC DA servers by using the installed Driver Agents.
It can read data from an input device and then write it to one or more output devices. These input and output devices may be OPC servers, PLCs or both, depending on which Driver Agents are installed. That allows you to transfer data from a PLC to another PLC, from an OPC server to another OPC server, from a PLC to an OPC server, or from an OPC server to a PLC. These transfers can be configured to occur at regular intervals, when the data changes, or when a trigger condition is detected.
The Data Logger is a plug-in module for the Cyberlogic OPC Server. It gives the Cyberlogic OPC Server the capability to log real-time data to a database for archiving, later analysis, and other purposes.
Logging data at the server reduces complexity and cost compared to client-based logging options. In addition, the OPC server can expose the internal status and diagnostic information of the logging operations as OPC data items which OPC clients can use to monitor and control the logging process.
Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft Access databases are all supported by the OPC Data Logger. In fact, the Data Logger can simultaneously write data to multiple databases, which may be of different types, using both local and remote connections.
The OPC Data Logger uses both disk and memory caches to preserve data records in case the connection to the database is slow or unavailable. Those caches are flushed to the database when the connection problems are corrected, preventing the loss of valuable data.