Tradeshows & Events
The OPC Foundation has been busy with several shows, in which OPC technology is being showcased. These include Hannover Messe in Germany, Automate in Detroit, MI (USA) and ARC forum in Orlando, FL (USA).
At these shows, the OPC Foundation provides demonstration of new functionality and makes announcements of new releases. The release might be new specifications, new working groups, or new CTT releases. One new Release Candidate specification announcement was the UAFX specification set.
This is a new major core part of OPC UA. This major addition requires certification. A vendor cannot claim to support UAFX without becoming certified. Part of the effort, provided by the FLC initiative, is the definition and generation of all test cases associated with the UAFX specifications, further that 85-90 % of all test cases are automated. The target is to have testing available within 6 months after the final release of the specification.
More Working Groups have started requiring certification for their companion specification. Groups such as OPAF (O-PAS Specification) and MDIS require certification.
These forums also serve as a manner for the OPC Foundation to collect feedback from end-users and vendors. Many discussions occur on general OPC UA, but there are also discussions on certification. Vendors ask detailed questions related to the certification program, such as test coverage or details related to specific tests. They are interested in the process and testing details to prepare for certification.
End-users typically discuss issues they have encountered with uncertified applications. The OPC Foundation explains how these scenarios are covered by certification testing and even how they can make use of the tools provided by the OPC Foundation to confirm the source of an issue (i.e. is it the Client or Server that is misbehaving). The OPC Foundation is always pushing to increase automated test coverage, and the feedback from shows can help direct its efforts.