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From Christofer Dutz <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] The State and Future of PLC4X
Date Thu, 18 Apr 2019 09:38:44 GMT
Perfect ;-)

Am 18.04.19, 11:34 schrieb "Julian Feinauer" <>:

    Hi Chris,
    So lets simply use the terms opc-ua server or bridge and opc-ua client : )
    Do you agree?
    Am 18.04.19, 11:32 schrieb "Christofer Dutz" <>:
        Hi Julian,
        That's what I mentioned in the other email.
        We have to be careful with the term OPC-UA Support and differentiate between OPC-UA
Server and OPC-UA Client (PLC4X opc-ua client)
        I was talking about a OPC-UA Server ... you seem to be about a client. For the Server
we wouldn't need the feature you are mentioning.
        Am 18.04.19, 11:27 schrieb "Julian Feinauer" <>:
            Hi Chris,
            there are two ways.. and you are doing the other one, I think : )
            You are talking about the OPC UA interface for other drivers, or?
            There, you do that implicitly by your config, so this is fine.
            But, especially when we start to implement an OPC UA Driver, this will fall on
our feet : )
            Am 18.04.19, 11:19 schrieb "Christofer Dutz" <>:
                Hi Julian
                I don't agree that we have to do the other first.
                Right now I was thinking about building a configuration that could offer a
complex type structure to OPC-UA clients but map simple Addresses to elements of such a tree.

                So I think we could start without refactoring.
                Am 18.04.19, 09:15 schrieb "Julian Feinauer" <>:
                    Hi Markus,
                    I agree with you.
                    And, as one can see in my mail.. there are multple efforts which are currently
                    So perhaps, if we focus a bit, we should reach first results pretty fast.
                    But I think one necessity is a refactoring to a complex type model.
                    I will file a Jira for that.
                    Am 18.04.19, 09:06 schrieb "Markus Sommer" <>:
                        Hi all,
                        I was at the Hannovermesse and the industry clearly relies on OPC
UA. If PLC4x could realize a very fast OPC UA, this would be a massive advantage over other
                        Best regards
                        Freundliche Grüße
                        Markus Sommer
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                        -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
                        Von: Julian Feinauer <> 
                        Gesendet: Mittwoch, 17. April 2019 09:07
                        Betreff: [DISCUSS] The State and Future of PLC4X
                        Hi all,
                        as we had a lot of non-technical discussions and topics the last time
(the coming of age of a software project, I guess) it’s time for us to go back to the real
fun part and do technical shit.
                        I had a lot of discussions (on list and off list) with several people
like Chris, Matthias, Björn, Tim and others and wanted to share my thoughts on the future
of PLC4X as I see it (from a solely technical perspective).
                        Currently, I see several “fronts” or centers of activity (or where
I think we should spend it).
                          *   Language adoption – We should define and deliver APIs and
bindings for other languages to bring what we currently have to other people and other communities.
The activities we have there are currently (from my head): Markus and C++, Björn who wanted
to investigate C# and the “Interop Server” which I played around a bit (in fact, Matthias
made a python binding yesterday…)
                          *   Driver Generation – This is a well-known Topic which is currently
driven by Chris. This is a large topic, which includes
                             *   Model Generation (currently dfdl and state-xml)
                             *   Templates for many languages (will partially derive from
                             *   A build process, to wire both together
                             *   Some kind of Test Suite to check the correct generation of
                             *   Automated Documentation / Spec Generation (!!
                          *   Ecosystem / Tools – We have a set of tools that are based
on PLC4X and which enable to do things which where unthinkable before. Some are
                             *   Scraper – A tool to scrape massive amounts of data from
multiple PLCs based on a yml configuration, this is mostly driven by Tim
                             *   OPC UA Server – Yet to come. Maps OPC UA requests to PLC4X
requests which then go native to the PLCs. Matthias started some work on this, Tim looked
over it and I think Chris plans on implementing something here also
                             *   We had multiple discussions about tools that “guess”
something about locations of variables or their types. Chris brought that up yesterday and
plans to do something there, Matthias and I discussed this several times and we plan to also
do something with one or two students there
                          *   New programming models – As plc4x is open, it allows us to
implement new programming models on top of it. The best example I can give is OPM, the JPA
equivalent of PLC4X. The idea is to work with POJOs and annotations and EntityManagers (as
Beans) and have a “type safe” and Business-esque way to communicate with PLCs.
                        Here I see a lot of potential and possible next steps could be (discussed
by Matthias and me)
                             *   “Richer” Typesystem (not just primitives and Arrays as
currently) which covers complex objects
                             *   Mapping of complex objects from POJOs to PLC segments (Like
structs in S7 or ADS)
                             *   Auto-generation of annotated POJOs from PLC programs (much
like JPA or the C# ORM does that based on an existing database). This could be a “killer-feature”
as it would really allow type-safe end to end communication with the plc with zero plc specific
                        Other Topics in this area that can be named are
                             *   A connection pool to share / reuse connections for efficiency
(which was implemented by Sebastian and is absolutely crucial for us!)
                             *   A central monitoring component (similar to how a Webserver
monitors each side access and the results and latencies and so..), I am currently working
on this and hope to provide a PR soon
                        Of course, all of this is solely based on my personal opinion or things
that came out in discussions with other involved people.
                        For me, this structure makes sense and perhaps it helps us to “broaden”
our scope a bit from the initial focus (drivers, drivers, drivers) to the new picture which
evolved over the last to years.
                        Of course, feel free to agree, disagree or participate with other
                        PS.: I could offer to bring this in a more “presentable” form
and prepare a short “overview” talk about this for the next meetup, if interesting

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