Volunteers sought for OPC Foundation Enhanced Certification Task Force

By Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation President

To OPC End-Users and Product Vendors,

WE ARE WORKING collectively with a number of companies and organizations in the pursuit of providing secure reliable interoperability for the movement of data/information from the factory floor to the enterprise. One of the integral parts of secure reliable interoperability is the ability for the vendors to deliver quality certified products that exceed the expectations of the end-user community.

Part of the collaboration and enhancing the OPC foundation certification process is the formulation of a team of end-users, system integrators, consortiums, other industry standards, and vendors who will drive & define the development and validation of the OPC foundation enhanced certification program.

The Interoperability & Certification of OPC Products validating the compliance to the OPC specifications is the focus of the OPC Foundation certification. We as the OPC Foundation want to increase the quality and reliability in combination with performance and ease of use, as part of the focus for adoption of the OPC specifications for automation and beyond.

The OPC Foundation currently provides Interoperability work shops (IOP) and automated Compliance Test Tools (CTT) to help facilitate Interoperability. It has been recommended that an Independent Test Lab should also be created. This would further assist member companies with interoperability and it would allow end users to ensure interoperability for a given selection of OPC products.

This new Enhanced Certification Committee will be responsible for reviewing existing Compliance procedures, determining if an Independent Test Lab is desired, generating a definition of what this test lab should accomplish, reviewing what other standards perform in this regard, generating a detailed specification of the testing that will be performed by the Test Lab (this includes What, When and How, not just a list of tests) and managing the initial start-up of a test lab. It has been recommended that this test lab initially focus on Data Access (DA) testing, with an immediate follow-up on Unified Architecture (UA) testing.

The OPC Foundation is interested in having end users, System Integrators and OPC Vendors being members of this committee. Although not required, Committee members with a familiarity with formal software testing, product testing or certification testing would be beneficial.

The Committee will be holding an initial meeting in Cleveland July 18th-19th. Starting at noon on Monday and ending by 4:00 on Tuesday. Details on logistics for the event will be emailed to the individuals joining this team.

The majority of the meetings beyond the first kickoff meeting will be held electronically. We encourage your participation and feedback in helping define the requirements to improve the OPC certification at a minimum.

All interested parties should contact Paul Hunkar at paul.hunkar@us.abb.com. Additional details will be provided.

For additional information about this new OPC foundation and certification committee please contact either Paul or myself with respect to this important initiative.

Thanks in advance.

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