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    Migration from Classic OPC to OPC Xi

Today there are thousands of applications that exchange data based on the OPC DA specification.

For local communication DCOM is a good solution with high performance.
In a network configuration the DCOM security configuration is tricky and the cause of most difficulties with OPC DA applications.
DCOM is not suited for communication through firewalls and the Internet.

.NET applications need a .NET wrapper to be able to use DCOM communication. Because OPC never standardized a DA .NET interface there are many .NET wrapper vendor products with different interfaces.

Webinar Recordings

The OPC Training Institue and Advosol jointly hosted a 3-part Xi webinar series about migration from classic OPC to OPC Xi.

  • Migration from Classic OPC to OPC Xi. Watch the Recording
    The presenters discuss the Xi technology and migration options with converters and dual-mode applications.

  • Hands-On: Migration to OPC Xi with Converters. Watch the Recording
    The configuration and use of OPC Xi converter utilities is demonstrated.

  • Hands-On: Migration to OPC Xi for Software Developers. Watch the Recording
    The development of OPC DA / Xi clients and servers is demonstrated with Visual Studio.



OPC Xi addresses the existing issues with the DCOM based classic OPC applications. Xi base on the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) instead of DCOM and specifies a .NET interface with the functionality of classic OPC specification DA, HDA and AE.

The Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) handles local and remote communication with a choice of different communication protocols. Applications can configure the communication for their performance and security needs.

OPC Xi specifies a .NET interface with the combined functionality of the classic OPC DA, HDA and A&E specifications.
Xi has a quite simple data model and is designed for straightforward conversion between Xi and DA/HDA/AE.

The Advosol PaXi component makes the development of interoperable Xi client applications simple and quick. It provides classes similar to the widely used OPCDA.NET component and supports all Xi specified features.

The XiPLUS server toolkit is designed with an interoperable Xi server and plug-in .NET assemblies for the application specific handling of the DA,AE,HDA server functionality.



With thousand of classic OPC application in use it's not possible to just switch to another communication standard. A stepwise transition needs to be possible.
Since Xi is designed for interaction with classic OPC, converters can easily be implemented with high performance.

Using external converters existing classic OPC applications can be mixed with new Xi applications without having to be modified in any way.
However, one goal of Xi, the elimination of DCOM, is not achieved. DCOM issues can be minimized by locating the converter on the same machine as the DA application. DCOM then does only local communication. The remote communicaiton is handled by WCF.

Advosol offers both types of converters:

  • XiTOCO is a Xi server that can access OPC DA, HDA and A&E servers.
  • XiOXS is a Xi server that aggregates multiple DA and Xi servers.
  • OXS is an OPC DA server that can aggregate multiple Xi and DA servers.

A pair of Xi converters can be used as the bridge for connecting remote OPC DA client/servers. This solution has performance comparable to tunnellers but doesn't use proprietary interfaces.



In the design of new applications the question arises if they still should be built as classic OPC or as Xi applications.
For client applications Advosol offers a software component that frees the designer from having to make this decision.

The Advosol OPCDA.NET component is the most widely used .NET wrapper for .NET OPC DA client applications.
A layered set of .NET classes provide convenient features for all kind of requirements.

The DANW-Xi option extends OPCDA.NET with Xi support.
Instead of wrapping client requests to OPC DA DCOM calls, Xi server calls are made. No external converters are required and DCOM is completely eliminated in Xi server access.



Developers of new servers have to decide to either stick with classic OPC or make the step to Xi.
Advosol offers an alternative.

The Advosol DANSrv server toolkit is designed as a generic server that handles the OPC DA DCOM interface and a .NET plug-in assembly with the application specific server features. It can be extended to additionally support A&E.
The HDANsrv toolkit is structured identically to act as a compliant OPC HDA server.

The XiPLUS server toolkit is designed to use the same plug-in assemblies. It can be configured to support any combination of DA, AE and HDA functionality.

The server developer builds the plug-in assembly for DA and/or HDA and can use it with either the Xi or the classic OPC generic server.


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