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Software Toolbox streamlines licensing model for OPC Data Client

Software Toolbox has changed the licensing model for the OPC Data Client, an OPC client development toolkit.

The new model provides all of the components of the OPC Data Client family in one installer and one license, thereby reducing the total cost of the components.

Previously, the OPC Data Client components were all sold as separate products. These components included the OPC Data.NET, OPC Data-COM and OPC Data-UA.

The release of the latest version combines the earlier separate products into a single installation package and is sold as a single license.

The product editions are no longer distinguished by the platforms or OPC specifications they support. Instead, the price list has been streamlined by unifying the different products into a single OPC Data Client product with just two editions: Standard and Ultimate.

The Standard and Ultimate editions differ mainly in the availability of advanced features, such as live mapping or support for the reactive programming model.

The live mapping model allows users to create logical objects behind the scenes that represent the actual plant equipment and then perform OPC operations on those objects as a whole.

This enables plant managers and automation professionals to more easily connect applications to meaningful business data. 

The reactive programming model, based on Microsoft Reactive Extensions, makes it easier to develop responsive, robust desktop applications that can accommodate a wide range of inputs coming from a variety of sources, at different rates and with myriad processing demands.

OPC data coming from manufacturing production systems is one of those sources, and OPC Data Client Ultimate Edition support for Reactive Extensions enables developers to build high-quality desktop applications.

“At Software Toolbox our goal is always to make finding a solution for our customer’s automation needs as easy as possible,” said Renee Sikes, OPC Data Client brand manager.

“The new license model provides one toolkit for virtually any type of custom OPC DA, A&E or UA client written in almost any environment. Customers no longer have to spend time selecting products or worry about licensing issues if they need to expand application functionality.  Now a single license purchase will future-proof all development needs.”

The OPC Data.NET component of the OPC Data Client allows users to develop OPC Data Access (DA) or OPC Alarms and Events (A&E) clients in any type of .NET application, such as a WinForm, ASP.NET or background service, written in any .NET language.

Similarly, the OPC Data-COM component can be used for OPC DA or A&E client development in COM/OLE environments. OPC Unified Automation (UA) clients are supported only for .NET.

Each component provides a simple class model that allows users to perform common OPC operations such as reading, writing and subscribing to items in the OPC server with as little as one line of code.

OPC is a standard for industrial communications designed to enhance connectivity and interoperability between different automation hardware and software systems used in oil & gas, power generating utilities, pulp and paper plants, building automation, discrete manufacturing, chemical and pharmaceutical factories, and other industrial automation environments.

OPC Data Client is available as a download or as an upgrade for users who currently own a license for one of the components.

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