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OPC Introduction

The following introductory materials should be helpful. Mail us if you know of other items you'd like to see on this page.

What is OPC?

See this What is OPC? feature from the site of OPC Foundation, the not-for-profit body which oversees the OPC specifications.

OPC logo

Also useful is an introduction to OPC Technology, posted to The Code Project by Suchit of GE India.

OPC Multimedia Tutorial

screen shot

This excellent tutorial from OPC specialist MatrikonOPC requires the Adobe Flash Player. It covers the basics of OPC, as well as the Data Access and Historical Data Access specifications.

The OPC Multimedia Tutorial is streamed from the MatrikonOPC website.

OPC Data Access

For most people, when they speak of OPC, they usually mean the OPC Data Access set of specifications.

The current OPC Data Access specification is version 3.0. However, there is currently very little software which implements Data Access 3.0. The vast bulk of software which uses OPC is designed around the Data Access 2.0 specification (actually version 2.05a).

These documents provide introductions to OPC Data Access:

A brief introduction to OPC Data Access
(from CERN)
OPC Data Access 2.0 Technical Overview Presentation
(from GE Fanuc Automation, formerly Intellution)
OPC Data Access (OPC DA) Versions & Compatibility
(from MatrikonOPC)

OPC Unified Architecture

OPC Unified Architecture (UA) is the next generation of OPC. It brings the existing specification domains together with a single coherent data model and uses web services, rather than Microsoft COM, for messaging.

See our OPC UA page for more information.

Latest Developments

The OPC Foundation newsletter, OPConnect, carries features on current OPC initiatives.

Getting Deeper

All OPC specifications may be obtained from OPC Foundation's Downloads page.

book cover

You may also like to purchase the book OPC - Fundamentals, Implementation, and Application by Frank Iwanitz and Jürgen Lange of Softing.

See our Bookshelf page for other books relating to OPC.

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