Monday, July 25, 2016

An automation and controls industry first - PAC Project.

Opto 22 has announced immediate availability of version 9.5 of PAC Project™, a Microsoft® Windows®-based integrated software development suite for industrial automation, process control, remote monitoring, and Internet of Things applications.

About PAC Project
The complete list of PAC Project components:

PAC Control—an intuitive flowchart and scripting control programming software application for developing control programs that run on SNAP PAC controllers. Ideal for sequential control, batch and process control, PID loop control, and more. Using the built-in scripting language OptoScript™ simplifies complex math, conditional branching, and string handling.
PAC Display—a human-machine interface (HMI) development application used to create graphical interfaces to monitor and operate a control system. Support for alarm management, recipe handling, operator logging, real-time and historical trending, multimedia, and unlimited tags puts PAC Display on par with competing HMI development applications costing thousands of dollars more per seat.
PAC Manager™—a configuration and maintenance tool used to set up and inspect controllers and I/O data in real time.
EtherNet/IP Configurator—a configuration tool for establishing communication between an Allen-Bradley® PLC system and intelligent remote SNAP I/O.
SoftPAC™ (included with PAC Project Professional™ or available separately)—a software-based programmable automation controller for PC-based control.
OptoOPCServer™ (included with PAC Project Professional or available separately)—an OPC 2.0-compliant server used to consolidate and publish SNAP PAC System™ data to OPC-aware clients, including third-party HMIs such as Wonderware’s® InTouch, Intellution’s® iFix™, and Iconics’ GENESIS32™ and GENESIS64™.
OptoDataLink™ (included with PAC Project Professional or available separately)—connectivity software used to enable bidirectional data transfer between the SNAP PAC System and enterprise databases—such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, and MySQL—without brokering the data through an HMI.
    The most significant addition in this version is new firmware for Opto 22 programmable automation controllers (PACs) that includes an HTTP/S server with a RESTful API, providing developers with secure, programmatic access to control variables and I/O data using any programming language that supports JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). This new capability closes the IT/OT gap, allows for rapid Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) application development, provides for secure data exchange using open Internet standards, and reduces time to market in machine and system design.

    The addition of a secure RESTful server and an open, documented API to a programmable automation controller (PAC) is a significant, ground-breaking industry innovation, because REST architecture and associated technology are intrinsic to the Internet of Things and paramount to web and mobile-based application development. Opto 22’s implementation of REST directly into a commercially available, off-the-shelf industrial PAC is unique in the market and places the company as the first and only industrial automation and controls manufacturer to offer this industry-changing technology.

    Other features found in this new version include new tools to develop modular control applications with nested subroutines, new debugging tools to reduce development time, support for a worldwide installed base of legacy Optomux® I/O systems, and integration of third-party systems and protocols with the IIoT. To provide enhanced security and auditing for HMI access, PAC Project now offers sophisticated user groups and data rights, as well as the ability to embed video directly into HMI windows.

    An Industry First
    PAC Project 9.5 provides updated firmware for Opto 22 SNAP PAC S-series and R-series controllers that enables a secure HTTPS server on PAC controllers. Combined with a RESTful open and documented API, this new version allows developers to write applications that access data on the PAC using the developer’s programming language of choice with the well-known and widely supported JSON data format. This new capability allows software and IoT application developers to decrease time to market, reduce the development learning curve, and eliminate layers of middleware for secure Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications.

    Firmware version 9.5 for SNAP PAC R-series and S-series PAC-R and PAC-S controllers enables REST endpoints for both analog and digital I/O points as well as control program variables including strings, floats, timers, integers, and tables. REST endpoints are securely accessed using the new, fully documented RESTful API for SNAP PACs. Names of RESTful endpoints are derived from a configured PAC Control program strategy file and are therefore unique to each PAC’s program and I/O configuration.

    Client data requests are returned in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format, enabling PAC controllers and I/O to be used with virtually any software development language with JSON support, including C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, node.js, Python, PHP, Ruby, and many more. Database support is also available for database tools that work with JSON, like MongoDB®, MySQL®, and Microsoft’s SQL Server®. With the release of PAC Project 9.5, developers are no longer tied to a specific manufacturer's software development environment. They can use the development environment and language of their choosing to write new software, create web services, and build Internet of Things applications.

    RESTful data from PACs is secured using TLS encryption over HTTPS connections authenticated using basic access authentication (Basic Auth). RESTful data access can be restricted to read-only use, or allow reading and writing to I/O and strategy variables. The HTTP/S server is disabled by default and must be configured and enabled to operate, preventing unwanted or unauthorized access to the controller over HTTP.

    Also included in this release are two Node-RED nodes, used for communicating with SNAP PAC controllers through the RESTful API with Node-RED, a visual tool for wiring up the Internet of Things. Node-RED is an open-source, graphical, flow-based application development tool designed by the IBM® Emerging Technology organization that makes wiring up APIs, represented as “nodes,” simple and easy to do. Node-RED is particularly useful for developing IoT applications that interact with cloud-based platforms and APIs, such as IBM Bluemix®, IBM Watson™, Amazon’s® AWS™ IoT, AT&T® MX2, Microsoft Azure®, and Google Cloud Platform™.


    More information on working with the new RESTful server for Opto 22 PACs, reviewing the open and documented RESTful API for SNAP PAC controllers, and using SNAP PAC Node-RED nodes.

    @opto22 #PAuto 

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