OPC DataHub Bridges Multiple OPC Servers, Allowing them to Exchange Data

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Now any number of OPC servers can connect and share data among themselves. The OPC DataHub supports bidirectional data flow and linear transformations, with easy point-and-click configuration. Bridges can be local or across a network, using the OPC DataHub's built-in tunnelling capabilities.

Any fieldbus that connects to OPC can now be easily bridged to any other. This opens a lot of doors.

The OPC DataHub, newly released by Cogent Real-Time Systems, can connect to any number of OPC servers, and supports point-to-point data bridging among them. Bridges can be configured as forward, inverse, or bidirectional, and the OPC DataHub can transform the data mathematically as it crosses the bridge. A revolutionary bridging configuration interface allows single-screen setup and viewing of all bridges.

"Bridging two OPC servers is now as easy as 1-2-3," said Mr. Andrew Thomas, president of Cogent. "Click a source point, click a destination point, and then click 'Apply'. The data starts flowing immediately."

OPC DataHub support for linear transforms lets users convert data from one unit or scale to another. For example, it can convert a value in Fahrenheit to Celsius, or a 4-20 mA signal into a zero to 100% scale value. Conversions are done within the OPC DataHub as the data passes across the bridge from one OPC server to the other. To support more complex data manipulation needs, the OPC DataHub also comes with a built-in scripting language.

"One of the many applications for this technology is bridging fieldbus protocols," said Mr. Thomas. "Any fieldbus that connects to OPC can now be easily bridged to any other. This opens a lot of doors."

Because the OPC DataHub also supports OPC tunnelling, the different OPC severs can be anywhere on a network. They can exchange their data through firewalls, avoiding the problems associated with DCOM.

In addition to bridging OPC servers, the OPC DataHub also bridges other applications and operating systems. It can be used to bridge OPC servers and Excel spreadsheets, ODBC databases, web browsers, or applications running in Linux or QNX. All of these bridges support 2-way read/write access to and from OPC servers, as well as linear transformations.

The OPC DataHub builds on Cogent's established middleware technology, first introduced in 1995 and currently in use in thousands of systems worldwide. This technology allows users to seamlessly integrate data across multiple Windows, Linux and QNX platforms.

Founded in 1995, Cogent Real-Time Systems is the leader in real-time cross-platform data integration between Windows, Linux and QNX. Customers include the Bank of Canada, Cadbury Chocolate and the European Space Agency. Cogent leverages its experience in real-time data communications to provide the next generation of OPC products.

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Robert McIlvride
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