OPC UA (OPC Unified Architecture)

Industrial M2M communication protocol. As the latest of all OPC specifications of the OPC Foundation, OPC UA differs significantly from its predecessors, especially in its ability to not only transport machine data, but also to write machine readable semantic descriptions. OPC UA is a service-oriented architecture whose structure consists of several layers. All basic services are abstract method descriptions that are protocol independent.

They provide the basis for the entire OPC UA function. Through the transport layer, these methods are executed using a protocol that serializes/deserializes the data and sends it over the network. The OPC information model is a full-mesh network of nodes, which represents not only the user data of a node but also meta and diagnostic information. A node is similar to an object from object-oriented programming.

New and important features of OPC UA are redundancy, heartbeat for connection monitoring in both directions and the buffering of data, and acknowledgements of transmitted data. Interruptions in the connection therefore no longer lead to immediate data loss, but can be requested again.

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