Component Libraries for OPC Development
These products fall into a number of categories. Some offer simpler alternatives to the Data Access Automation DLL. Others allow code-free binding of OPC items to any properties of any controls on a Visual Basic form. A third category offers advanced visualization capabilities, either with or without OPC data binding.
France's 4CE Industry offers a number of ActiveX controls. OPCX DA aims to simplify OPC client development, while OPCX4Excel is specifically intended for embedding within Microsoft Excel.
Development licences start at 385 EUR for OPCX DA, and 303 EUR for OPC4Excel. Further fees are payable for additional runtime licences.
Free trial downloads are available on completion of a web form, and 4CE Industry is an OPC Foundation member.
Automated Solutions produces a number of ActiveX control packages for OPC client developers.
ASForms includes OPC data-bound text labels and checkboxes, while ASGraphiX includes more advanced visualization components: vessel, valve, motor, pump and pipe. Further ASGraphiX component suites are due to ship is the near future.
Contact Automated Solutions for pricing information.
Automated Solutions is an OPC Foundation member.
The Daedalus X-ray library includes a number of visualization and other components, including an OPC client control. Pricing (in EUR) works out at around 1500 USD.
The OPC client control may also be bought separately for around 650 USD. In our view, this represents poor value for money.
There is also a version of Daedalus specifically for use with Borland Delphi. See below for more information.
Data Layers' OPCWare Client Developer allows code-free binding to any properties of any controls on a Visual Basic form. Additional features include browsing of local or remote servers, and internal data buffering (to accommodate delays in the host program's data collection routine, e.g. while writing to a remote database).
OPCWare is compatible with any ActiveX container, and version 2.0 includes code samples for C#, VB.NET and other environments. Pricing starts at 450 EUR, and a free trial download is available.
Contact ICONICS for pricing information.
ICONICS is a member of the OPC Foundation.
Iocomp offers a number of packages of visualization components: Instrument Pack Standard (449 USD), Instrument Pack Pro (895 USD) and Plot Pack (695 USD). Plot Pack contains real time graphing components, while the other two products include various HMI gadgets (Instrument Pack Standard is a subset of the Professional Pack).
OPC client features are integrated into most components, though runtime charges apply if this functionality is used.
All products include both ActiveX and VCL components with full source.
Monitor's LiveX suite of ActiveX controls includes an OPC Data Control as well as a number of visualization components.
Contact Monitor Software for pricing information.
National Instruments' Measurement Studio includes an extensive library of visualization, analysis and other controls. OPC client functionality is available via a DataSocket control.
Evaluation downloads are available.
National Instruments is an OPC Foundation member.
Northern Dynamic offers ActiveX controls for both server and client development: SLIK-DA (server) and SLIK-DAC (client). Both products also support .NET using Windows Forms controls. See our Source/Toolkits page for more information.
Northern Dynamic is an OPC Foundation member.
Open Automation Software
As a bonus, the Symbol Factory library of over 3000 dynamic graphic symbols is included.
A single developer license costs 495 USD, with no runtime fees. A free trial download is available.
Some of Open Automation Software's OPC Systems.NET visualization components also include an ActiveX control implementation.
Open Automation Software is an OPC Foundation member.
Softing's OPC Toolbox ActiveX includes Client Controls for both Data Access and Alarms & Events.
The Data Access Client Controls package consists of two ActiveX controls: OPCDataControl and OPCDATreeView, which expose the full functionality of OPC Data Access 2 with minimal need for programming. You can try before you buy with a free demo download.
The Alarms & Events Client Controls package also includes two controls: OPCAEDataControl and OPCEventViewControl. As with the Data Access controls, much of the flexibility of the underlying specification is exposed, and with nearly all the programming removed.
Softing is an OPC Foundation member.
Software Toolbox offers a solution for OPC data binding for Visual Basic and Visual C++ developers. Their OPC Data ActiveX Control is non-visual at runtime, and data links are set up through easy to use property sheets.
Various licensing options are available; a single developer license with unlimited runtimes is priced at 795 USD. A free trial download is available.
Software Toolbox is an OPC Foundation member.
See our Delphi page for more information on using Delphi for OPC development.
Some of these components are also compatible with Borland C++Builder.
Produced by A Baecker, this is a very good library of visualization components at an even better price: only 60 USD, or 260 USD with source. New features are added regularly, and these are free to registered users (except for major upgrades). Trial downloads are available.
There is no built-in OPC functionality yet - this may be added in a forthcoming release - but this library could still save you a lot of time.
As well as an ActiveX product (see above), there is also a specific version of Daedalus for Delphi. The range of components here is broader than with Daedalus X-ray.
The pricing is also different, with the OPC client not forming a part of the main suite. Daedalus for Delphi costs around 800 USD, while a further 600 USD will get you the OPC client. Once again, we feel that the OPC client functionality is somewhat overpriced.
Horst-Dieter Kassl's component set greatly simplifies use of the OPC interfaces for Delphi and C++Builder client development. See our Delphi page for more information.
DSxP, the Delphi Scada eXtension Package, is a comprehensive collection of components for Delphi and C++Builder. Visualization components are data aware, and may be linked to data sources including OPC DA and XML-DA servers and relational databases. Additional functionality provides support for alarms, trends and data recording.
DSxP version 3.2 includes an OPC DA server component.
DSxP pricing starts at 490 EUR. A free evaluation download is available.
Prosys Sentrol is a comprehensive component-based OPC application framework, supporting both client and server development. See our Delphi page for more information.