What Is OPC UA?

As the next-generation of OPC technology, OPC UA (Unified Architecture) is a major leap forward for secure, reliable and platform independent interoperability. OPC UA is designed for the transport of data and information from first-tier factory and process control devices through to the enterprise information system.

The OPC UA specification, first released in 2008, integrates all the functionality from the existing OPC Classic specifications into a single service-oriented architecture. It adds essential new features, such as platform independence, diagnostics, discovery, rendering of complex information models, security, and reliability. Additionally, OPC UA was released as an IEC Standard, IEC 62541 in October 2011.

OPC UA provides a single set of services for the OPC data models, such as Data Access, Alarms & Conditions, and Historical Access and can be implemented on non-Microsoft systems, including embedded devices.

OPC UA provides services for simple / complex information models of vendors and consortia to be “plugged in” to the address space of OPC UA. This information modeling feature allows generic software applications to browse, read, write and subscribe to a whole new world of information.