OPC DataHub Puts OPC Data into Cell Phone Displays using AJAX

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The latest release of the OPC DataHub uses AJAX technologies to put live, real-time data into web browsers or web-enabled cell phones.

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Now there is a way to leverage a company's investment in OPC, and get valuable data from the shop floor into the pocket of any manager or executive who needs it.

The OPC DataHub from Cogent Real-Time Systems now offers a way to create dynamic web pages without any ActiveX objects, .NET programming, or Java applets. The OPC DataHub's new built-in web server is capable of sending real-time data to a web page using client-side scripting. Dynamically updating data can be viewed in any web browser, PDA, or cell phone capable of using HTML and Javascript. Wi-Fi enabled devices can even access data without accruing cellular connection charges.

"Today's professional wants always-on access to his data," said Andrew Thomas, president of Cogent Real-Time Systems. "AJAX by itself is a leap forward in web technology, and when you connect it to a real-time data feed through the OPC DataHub, you get a truly dynamic system."

AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML. It is a group of web technologies that use client-side scripting to allow a web server to send and receive data--without having to refresh the page in the browser. This means data displays can be updated instantaneously, using minimal system resources. The only requirements for the client side are the ability to display HTML, and to run Javascript. This makes AJAX an ideal technology for cell phones and PDAs.

OPC is the leading protocol for data communications between industrial hardware devices and Windows software. The OPC DataHub is a memory-resident real-time middleware application that collects data from OPC servers and other sources, and redistributes it to any number of clients. Now, with its built-in web server and AJAX, the OPC DataHub can send OPC data in real time to a web page on a PC or cell phone.

"AJAX opens a new window of opportunity for OPC users," said Mr. Thomas. "Now there is a way to leverage a company's investment in OPC, and get valuable data from the shop floor into the pocket of any manager or executive who needs it."

The OPC DataHub is a single tool for OPC tunnelling, bridging, and aggregation, as well as for connecting OPC servers to Excel, ODBC databases, and the web. The new web server in this latest release of the DataHub greatly enhances its web capabilities, which also include ASP-based reports and live data updates using Java applets.

Besides AJAX, the latest version of the OPC DataHub shows many other improvements. Its new bridging interface sets up OPC server bridges with a few mouse clicks. There are more options for connecting to OPC servers. It is now easier to write data to ODBC databases. The DataHub's tunnelling interface now offers more synchronization options for new or renewed connections, and the data flow can be read-only, write-only, or bidirectional.

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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