OPC Server for EcoStruxure Building Operation

Share EBO values and alarms with any OPC Client

The EBO-OPC server software allows Schneider Electric’s customers who are using the EcoStruxure Building Operation(EBO) to easily share EBO data with other systems via OPC DA or OPC UA.

For example: Reporting tools, SQL Databases, SCADA/HMI, other BMS systems, Linux systems and embedded devices.

Both OPC DA and OPC UA are supported. The EBO-OPC server software utilizes Schneider Electric’s SmartConnector technology to ensure the best performance.

Multiple OPC clients are supported.

OPC-DA and OPC-UA support

OPC-UA is the successor to OPC-DA. It has many benefits, one of the most prominent being that it is platform agnostic. OPC-UA can be implemented on anything from a tiny embedded to device running Linux, to a desktop running Windows, or a server running the OS of your choice.

For any new development, given the choice, OPC-UA should be used. The only reason to use OPC-DA at this point in time is if you’re connecting to a legacy product that only supports OPC-DA and cannot be replaced or upgraded.

EBO OPC Server Features

The EBO-OPC server supports both OPC-DA and OPC-UA.

OPC-UA is the successor to OPC-DA. It has many benefits, one of the most prominent being that it is platform agnostic. OPC-UA can be implemented on anything from a tiny embedded to device running Linux, to a desktop running Windows, or a server running the OS of your choice.

For any new development, given the choice, OPC-UA should be used. The only reason to use OPC-DA at this point in time is if you’re connecting to a legacy product that only supports OPC-DA and cannot be replaced or upgraded.

OPC DA is based on the Microsoft’s DCOM technology and had some significant limitations inherent to that technology. To get away from the limitations of the DCOM technology and address some other issues identified while using OPC, the OPC Foundation developed and released a new version of the OPC protocol called OPC UA. Thanks to its new properties and well-designed architecture, the OPC UA protocol is rapidly gaining popularity among automation system vendors. OPC UA gateways are installed by a growing number of industrial enterprises across the globe. The protocol is increasingly used to set up communication between components of industrial internet of things and smart city systems. The security of technologies that are used by many automation system developers and have the potential to become ubiquitous among industrial facilities across the globe is one the highest-priority areas of research for Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT. This was our main reason to do an analysis of OPC UA.

The EBO-OPC UA server support standard OPC UA security by using certificates. Without a certificate the OPC UA client will not be able to connect.

The EBO-OPC server allows customers to share EBO alarm information with any UA or DA OPC client. The OPC item may display True/False value or the EBO alarm state (0=Normal, 1=Active, 2=Acknowledged, 3=Reset, 4=Disabled).

Forcing EBO points(values) is a crucial component of your EBO control system. If you share your data with OPC clients, it is also important to share the force-status (“Forced” or “Unforced”) with the OPC clients. Furthermore, the OPC clients can also force and release the EBO points.

A SmartConnector extension processor discovers all EBO values including values in remote controllers defined in the EBO (Operator Workstation).

When the EBO-OPC server detects that the EBO system (Enterprise Server) is not running, it will mark all items’ quality as “Bad” letting the OPC client that there is a problem.

When the problem is resolved, the items’ quality will be changed to “Good”.

The EBO-OPC server utilizes the Schneider Electric’s SmartConnector system, thus ensuring the best performance! Only when the value (or alarm status) changes in the EBO system, it is pushed by the EBO to the OPC server and then to the OPC client system. The EBO-OPC server uses subscription based notifications and thus polling is not required.

The EBO-OPC server runs as a Windows service. The benefits of a Windows service:

  • You can control the user (and the rights associated with this user account) which starts the process
  • an Automatically started process means the desktop need to be on, not user logged, for the service to run
  • a policy on failure can be defined (try to restart n times run a specific program if fails)
  • a dependency can be defined (if you depend on other services)

The number of the EBO values you can share with the OPC clients is virtually unlimited. The only limit is the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer.

EBO OPC Server Technical Specifications

  • Microsoft Windows® 2012/2016/2019 Server, Windows® 10 64 bit
  • Microsoft .NET version 4.5 framework
  • Microsoft SQL Server or SQL Server Express version (required for the SmartConnector)
  • Schneider Electric SmartConnector version 2.4.17 or higher
  • Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Building Operation (EBO) workstation version 1.9 or higher
  • Physical or Virtual server