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The 6 –Steps Guide to Success with OPC UA
Six Defined Steps to maximize your investment in OPC UA

Manny Mandrusiak

Manny Mandrusiak
Vice President OPC Marketing,

OPC Foundation

Contributing Editor

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During 2010 one of the OPC Foundation’s goals was to debunk the myth that using OPC UA technology was to complex and difficult to use with existing OPC products.  Those myths are absolutely that –myths. Granted at first glance the sheer magnitude of what can be done with OPC UA would no doubt present the daunting problem of where to start product development.  The fact that OPC UA also contains a scalable information model often sets to confuse those who want to develop in OPC UA.  It simple can do so many things that the Foundation decided it was time to create an easy to follow guide for Developers’ wishing to achieve one of two  main objectives:

  1. Those wishing to Wrap an existing OPC Classic products, and
  2. Those who wish to develop native OPC UA products

The 6 – Step Guide is designed to be a vertical agnostic document that is aimed directly at design engineers, technology decision makers, system integrators / architects and software developers. 

The guide is written to be used by developers who are planning to build OPC UA products using the Microsoft .NET environment.   Developers are able to create OPC UA products for the embedded market, but those steps are outside the scope of this guide.

If a developer chooses to wrap an existing OPC Classic Product they are looking at doing one of two things.  They are either looking to wrap an existing OPC Classic Server so that it can share data with an OPC UA Client, or they are looking to wrap an OPC Classic Client to enable it to pull data from an OPC UA Server without doing any OPC UA code development.  This can be accomplished by using the OPC Foundation OPC UA Wrapper (  This maybe a solution for a developer or system integrator who is involved in a project with extensive legacy equipment connected with OPC Classic products. 

Ideally developers will want to develop a native OPC UA interface to maximize on the increased performance and scalability that the OPC UA Specifications offer.  Using the 6-Step Guide native OPC UA development becomes as easy as downloading the OPC Foundation Quick Start Source Code (  The Quick start enables developers to use the referenced .NET SDK template to quickly and easily create an OPC UA Server and/of UA Client.

Naturally any products created using the 6-Step Guide must be tested for Compliance and reliability at the North American OPC Foundation Test Lab.  Testing ensures interoperability with other OPC Foundation member products and provides guaranteed levels of performance and maximization of the OPC UA specification.  The OPC Foundation established the OPC Certification program to assist vendors verify that their OPC Servers/Clients achieved the end-user requirements of plug-and-play interoperability, robust behavior and meet or exceed performance expectations by providing well-defined behavior, documentation and Test Tools for the testing of OPC Servers and Clients.

Certification of OPC UA products is extremely important to individuals in the Building Automation space looking to use OPC technology.  It establishes credibility for OPC UA products, and that has been an issue for Building Automation Developers in years past.  OPC Certified products will ensure that:

•    OPC UA Products are fully compliant with the Specifications
•    OPC UA products remain backward compatible and interoperable with OPC Classic Products
•    OPC UA products can successfully interoperate with other Foundation member products
•    OPC Foundation members follow best-practices when designing their products to ensure robustness

Certification of OPC UA products in the North American Test Lab is going to be a major focus for the OPC Foundation in 2011.  More information on the OPC Foundation Test Lab and its Certification process can be found at

The complete 6-Steps to Success with OPC UA can be downloaded at

Additional information about OPC UA can be found at the OPC Foundation website



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