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The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) often refers to the idea of connectivity and interoperability between machinery found in the manufacturing industry. IIoT represents a significant opportunity to improve the efficiency of industrial automation processes and in other industries in general. A key challenge for IIoT is the wide and diverse nature of the devices, equipment, software and vendors that comprise the industrial ecosystem.
OPC-UA is an important standard in the industrial automation industry, ensuring interoperability between the many different types of machinery and software. OPC was initially release in 1996 but has evolved over time to become a flexibile and open standard called OPC-UA. OPC-UA has become one of the key standards behind the Industry 4.0 initiative in Europe and more specifically in Germany. It's also beginning to see traction in the United States.
This project provides all the tools necessary to implement OPC Unified Architecture (UA) client and/or server functionality in any JVM-based project.
The project provides:
- a stack implementation, compatible with the latest version (1.03) of the UA specifications.
- a SDK built on the stack that enables development of compliant UA client and server applications.
The separation between stack and SDK may seem arbitrary at first, but the distinction is common within the OPC-UA community and vendors as it allows SDKs that serve different needs to be built upon a common stack.
OPC Unified Architecture is an interoperability standard that enables the secure and reliable exchange of industrial automation data while remaining cross-platform and vendor neutral. The specification, currently version 1.03, is developed and maintained by the OPC Foundation with the guidance of individual software developers, industry vendors, and end-users. It defines the interface between Clients and Servers, including access to real-time data, monitoring of alarms and events, historical data access, and data modeling.
The OPC Foundation has been positioning OPC-UA as a contending protocol in the IIoT space, and seeing successful adoption, making it a natural fit for the Eclipse IoT ecosystem.
The initial contribution includes a fully functional stack, client, and server SDK, however the server SDK is missing certain functionality and API stability that has kept it from seeing a "1.0" release.
This missing functionality would be implemented during the incubation phase.
The stack is currently licensed under Apache and the SDKs under AGPL. All of the copyright and IP is owned by me. Whatever bureaucracy exists around transferring and changing licensing will need be executed.
The initial contribution is ready.
I expect that a production ready "1.0" release of all projects could be ready in either Q2 or Q3 of 2016.