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Avoid DCOM and Tunnel Across Firewalls and Networks. OPC DA Tunnelling PC to PC without DCOM Encryption between systems Across Firewall though single port. Presenters: Kevin Rutherford, Senior Applications Engineer Colin Winchester, VP Operations.

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Avoid DCOM and Tunnel Across Firewalls and Networks

  • OPC DA Tunnelling

    • PC to PC without DCOM

    • Encryption between systems

    • Across Firewall though single port


Kevin Rutherford, Senior Applications Engineer

Colin Winchester, VP Operations

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OPC Tunneling and Data Aggregation with OPC DataHub


  • Overview of the OPC Data Hub

  • OPC Data Aggregation - Why & How?

  • OPC Tunneling – How?

  • Live Demo – Tunneling & Logging Remote Data to ODBC Database

  • Additional Application Examples

  • Questions & Answers

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OPC Data HubFunctionality Overview


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1 to N OPC Clients

(i.e. HMI/SCADA)



OPC Data Aggregation What Is Aggregation?

  • Bringing together data from multiple sources

  • Data sources don’t all have to be OPC servers!

Aggregating to a Single Computer

Multiple & Varied

Data Sources

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OPC Data AggregationWhy Aggregate?

  • Insure common, consistent update rate

  • Limit # of OPC connections

  • Bring disparate data sources together (OPC, DDE, ODBC)

  • Overcome OPC server limitations

  • Overcome OPC client limitations

  • Reduce network traffic

  • Improve system performance

  • Save money on OPC client & server licensing with some applications!

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What is Tunneling? OPC Tunneling

  • Moving OPC Data via simple TCP/IP port connection

  • Eliminating DCOM and Expanding Data Transport Choices

Computer #1

Computer #2

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OPC TunnelingWhy Tunnel?

  • No DCOM!

  • No Remote Procedure Calls (RPC)

  • Handles Network Interruptions

  • Handles Low-bandwidth networks

  • Improve System Performance & Reliability

  • Reduce Network Traffic

  • Remove Firewall Issues

  • Connecting to Non-Windows Systems

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PC – 1 OPC Client

COM run-time

COM run-time

OPC Client





How Does OPC DA communicate between PC’s

  • An OPC Client connects to an OPC Server through COM

  • An OPC Client connecting to an OPC Server on a different machine connects through DCOM and must be authenticated.

I want to connect to you

Tell me your login name and password!

My user name is “fred” and password is “*****”

Let me check my Access Control List….

PC – 2 OPC Server

Yes, you are on my list… I will grant you access!

OPC Server

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OPC TunnelingWhy Tunnel with DataHub?

  • No DCOM! Or RPC – Easy to configure

  • Remove Firewall Issues – single port

  • Network Interruptions – more then DCOM

    • Heartbeat and reconnect settings

  • Low-bandwidth or Reduce Network Traffic

    • No polling

    • Single connection for multiple tunnels

  • Improve System Performance & Reliability

    • Mirrors data – both side share data

      • Clients connected to OPC DataHub always get an answer

    • Non-blocking calls

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OPC Tunneling Why Tunnel with DataHub?

  • Increase Data security (passwords & SSL)

  • Connecting to Non-Windows Systems

  • Multiple clients on same PC,

    • still one remote connection to remote OPC sources, managed by OPC DataHub

  • OPC DataHub tunnels DATA

    • Any data source – OPC DA, DDE, ODBC

    • Any data that DataHub can read.

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OPC Tunneling Why Tunnel with DataHub?

  • Other Tunnellers

    • Tunnel commands at the OPC protocol level and can only tunnel OPC Data!

    • Make connected clients wait on network timeouts

    • Multiple clients on same PC talking to remote OPC server = multiple connections

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Other Approaches

  • VPN

    • Does not solve

      • DCOM, Network stability, bandwidth and crossing domains


    • Not secure, more over head, not for high speed, limited products, OPC UA

  • OPC UA

    • Requires all products to support it

    • DataHub will add this

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3 Steps to Tunneling with OPC DataHub

  • Step 2: Connect Master to Slave

  • Step 1: Connect Master to OPC Server

  • Step 3: Connect OPC Client to Slave

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OPC Aggregation &Tunnelling

  • Live Demonstration

Laptop PC

Desktop PC

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Aggregation & TunnelingAdditional Application Examples

Aggregating & Tunneling to MES/ERP Systems

Aggregation Consolidates Plant Floor Data

Tunneling gets it to the front office

ODBC, API’s, DDE, Scripting, TCP/IP Available to tie in to MES/ERP

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Aggregation & TunnelingAdditional Application Examples

Aggregating & Tunneling OPC, Linux, ODBC and Excel!

Pull data from OPC Server Locally

Tunneled data to and from remote Linux Server – or any OS

ODBC Database connections to Database Server

All data pulled together in DataHub, charted in Excel with drag+drop


OPC Server


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TOP ServerInTouch to OPC Driver


Aggregation & TunnelingAdditional Application Examples

Tunneling to Bring HMI/SCADA Data Where You Need It

Aggregate data when needed

Tunneling to get the data where you need it

Web Interface Serves the data where & how you want it

ODBC, API’s, DDE, Scripting, TCP/IP to do what you want!

Factory Floor

Front Office

Standard TCP/IP Single Port Connections


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What Tools are Needed?

  • For all usage scenarios

    • No tag count limits

    • No limits on # of clients, # of servers used with a single DataHub

  • Aggregation on a Single PC – 1 DataHub License - $995

  • Aggregation + Tunnelling Scenario – 2 DataHub licenses (one per PC) - $1990

  • Demo site will pop-up after this presentation:

  • http://www.softwaretoolbox.com/opcdatahub/html/free_demo.shtml

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Contact Information & Other Learning Opportunities

  • Questions later?

    • [email protected]

    • [email protected]

    • 888-665-3678 or 704-849-2773

  • www.softwaretoolbox.com/opcdatahub

  • Other learning opportunities

    • www.softwaretoolbox.com/opcdatahub and click on Videos/Training

    • Visit www.softwaretoolbox.com/webinars