FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions and Application Notes

We have documented the answers to the most frequently asked questions to enable you to easily and quickly find answers directly.


 

Are Softing OPC Servers 64-bit applications or can they be used on 64-bit systems?

Softing OPC Servers are 32-bit applications that can be used on 64-bit systems in 32-bit mode without any limitations or performance reduction.

Background information from the German Wikipedia entry (translated excerpt):
The advantages of 64-bit CPUs include an easier calculation of large integer values. This offers benefits, for example, for encryption algorithms, graphical calculations (e.g. fixed point arithmetic for computer games), 64-bit file systems, or multimedia formats (MPEG2, MP3).

Another advantage over 32-bit architecture is that 64-bit systems can directly address more than four GB RAM. This is useful for applications with large memory requirements, such as video processing applications and database systems, provided they have been programmed for a 64-bit system. In most other applications – in particular, office applications – there is no subjectively noticeable speed advantage.

How can I find the version number of my installed OPC product?

OPC Server: 
Softing OPC Servers provide an integrated web server interface where you can access the exact version information of an OPC server. To start the OPC server's web interface, open the context menu of the Tray Application and click “Show Web Pages.” The “Information” area can be accessed by all users
without any user login.

Note:
You can only access the web pages of the OPC server when the server is running!

Some of the tray applications also display the exact version information.

OPC Toolbox: 
In the OPC Toolbox, the exact version information is contained in the “SOVersion.h” file. The version number can also be determined from the version of the “OTB.dll” file. You can find these files in the following directories:

  • "C:\Program Files\Softing\OPCToolkit\V44x\Windows\core\common" and
  • "C:\Program Files\Softing\OPCToolkit\V44x\Windows\bin"



OPC ActiveX Controls:
 
You can determine the version number from the file version of “C:\Program Files\Softing\OPCActiveX\bin\soaxcmn32.ocx.”

The attempt to establish a connection to an OPC-Server which is running as a service fails.

Is it necessary to install the OPC Core Components on my computer before using any OPC Client or OPC Server?

The OPC Foundation provides the binaries needed to run DCOM OPC server and OPC client application as Windows Installer packages. 
It is necessary to install the "OPC Core Components" on each machine where an OPC server or an OPC client is installed. 
The latest version of the OPC Core Components Redistributables can be downloaded from the OPC Foundation web pages.

Is it possible to start the Softing OPC Demo Client with a specific configuration file?

Yes this is possible. First, create the desired configuration file (.soc) with the OPC Demo Client. You can then access the OPC Demo Client with this configuration by specifying the  parameter load.

SOClient /load filename.soc

This parameter can be passed either in the command line or in the desktop from the context menu "Properties".

Softing Traceoutput

Description of the Softing Traceoutput

Error messages beginning with 0x8

Generally the error codes beginning with 0x8 are operating system specific error messages. You can find a short description to such kind of error codes in the Microsoft Visual Studio Error Lookup Tool or in Internet.

Error message: Access denied (0x80070005)

The error 0x80070005 (Access denied) indicates a DCOM problem.

The problem often lies in the user context used by COM/DCOM to launch the OPC Server (Microsoft DCOM Identity Setting).  

The Identity setting (dcomcnfg) also plays an important role by a local connection and even with our OPC Tunnel! In order to handle the underlying OPC Server in the OPC Tunnel correctly, the identity should be set to "Interactive User".

This identity setting is applicable only when running in Application Mode and not as “Service”. Please configure the OPC Server/Client as “Application” in the OPC Tray (Running Mode) and change the identity in the DCOM configuration (dcomcnfg).  

In the most cases this DCOM setting is helpful. Otherwise, please configure a user with administrator privileges and password and start the application under this user (on client and server sides).

The DCOM settings are however not part of our scope since the DCOM is a service of the Microsoft Windows operating system. For further information about it please visit the Microsoft Websites.

Error message: RPC server is not available (0x800706BA)

When an OPC Client reports this DCOM error (0x800706BA) then the OPC Client is unable to connect to an OPC Server or loses an existing connection. The OPC Client doesn’t detect the loss of connection. The OPC Client can’t access data from the OPC Server. The callbacks for data exchange don’t get through from the Server to the Client.

This might have different reasons:

  • The OPC Server is not responding to a DCOM call due to deadlock / crash
  • The OPC Server is not responding to a DCOM call due to a bad DCOM configuration.
  • The Firewall is on
  • The OPC Server is not available due to network interruption.


The problem often lies in the user context under which the Server is running (DCOM Identity Setting). Therefore please configure a user with administrator privileges and password and start the application under this user. In the most cases this DCOM setting is helpful.

The DCOM settings are however not part of our scope since the DCOM is a service of the Microsoft Windows operating system. For further information about it please visit the Microsoft Websites.


 

Standard TCP / IP Port in the S7 communication

In general, the S7 communication is running via the RFC1006 Transport Layer. 
The standard TCP/IP port is 102.

The S7/S5 OPC Server can not read the S7 program files for newer version of Simatic S7 CPU types.

Adding Customized web pages for visualization of values.

How to use the built in S7-PLC redundancy feature?

Where can I find the configuration files of the S7/S5 OPC Servers?

It depends on which version of the S7/S5 OPC Server you are using. The format of the configuration was changed between the versions 3.1x and 4.0x.
 
Version 3.1x:
In the previous version of the S7/S5 OPC Server, the configuration was stored partly in the registry and partly in different XML files. 
The configuration for the NETLink PRO interface was stored in XML files located in the \NETLink folder of the S7/S5 OPC Server installation directory. 
All other interface configurations were stored in the registry in the keys:
HKLM\Software\Deltalogic\AGLink
HKLM\Software\Softing\S7 OPC Server
 
Version 4.0x:
In the new version, the entire configuration is stored in XML files (*.XML) that reside in the OPC Server installation directory (C:\Program Files\Softing\S7S5OPCServer).

Where the alias files and Step7 projects are stored is user-specific.
When updating to version 4.0x, please note that the old configuration will be automatically converted to the new format.

Version 4.1x:The entire configuration is stored in XML files (*.XML). Standard file location:- Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008:   C:\ProgramData\Softing\S7S5OPCServer - Windows XP, Windows Server 2003:   C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Softing\S7S5OPCServer

Reading out data in KG/KC format from an S5

To read out data in KG format (Real) from an S5, you need to use the S7 syntax instead of the S5 syntax (e.g. DB8.DBD0 instead of DB8DD0).

Connection to S7-1200/1500 fails

Error message in trace: „Could not be executed in cycle“

This error message in the trace file of the S7/S5 OPC Server indicates a possible communication overload between server and PLC. You can solve this problem by either increasing the update rate in the OPC client or reducing the number of polled items in a group.
 
You can get more details on this error by analyzing the Diagnostics web pages of the S7/S5 OPC Server (Cyclic Requests, Clients and PLC Connections). To access the Diagnostics pages, open the system tray application (right-click on the tray icon) and click “Show Web Pages”. Then log on as 'Administrator' (password 'ad').
 
Please note that you can only access the web pages when the OPC server is running. 
The “Diagnostics | Cyclic Requests” page provides a list of all the cyclic read requests of the OPC clients.  If an OPC client creates items in the OPC server, an update rate is specified for the items of a group according the group's properties. This web page shows you the cyclic requests that are executed for all items of the OPC clients. The update rate should be at least the average value of the associated group on this page. 
The update rate can only be set in the OPC client application you are using. When using the Softing OPC Demo Client, select the corresponding OPC group object in the tree on the left. Click the right mouse button, choose “Properties” from the context menu and set the update rate (a detailed description is provided in the Online Help under Softing OPC Demo Client -> DA Server access -> Displaying object properties). 
If supported by your OPC client, you can also set an update rate of 0. This setting will cause the OPC server to retrieve the data from the PLC as fast as possible.

Error message: “Quality BAD waiting for initial data”

Basically if you subscribe to an item on the OPC Server, which has not been accessed by any client before and the cache has not been initialized you will get the error “Quality BAD waiting for initial data”. Normally the OPC Server makes an initial read if you subscribe to the item the very first time. If you would successfully write an initial value to this OPC item then this message would disappear.

May be your configuration is not correct (addresses in the alias file or the one you try to access using S7 syntax doesn’t match the project on the PLC).

To get a better understanding you should have a look at the standard item "connected" in the Softing OPC Toolbox Demo Client which shows if the OPC-Server has a connection to the PLC or not:
0  = no connection, 
-1 = connection ok.

If the "connected" item value is 0, it means that the PLC is temporarily not accessible on the OPC Server. There is a problem with the connection to the PLC. Check the network connection.

Error message: PLC not found (0xFFF5001C)

PLC not found means that the S7/S5 OPC Server can not access the PLC any more.

Possible causes:

  • Network problems (ping ...),
  • Port 102 on the PLC is blocked,
  • Often an access problem to the PLC (for e.g. a PLC programmer occupies the software interface temporarily),
  • The configuration of the PLC does not match the configuration of the S7 OPC Server any more

If the PLC has an Ethernet connection you can try to “ping” the PLC.

When the communication port of the PLC is already used then try to switch between the connection types "PG" and "OP" and “others” in the Configurator. It could also help in such cases if the programmer configures more resources for the corresponding channel of the PLC in the STEP 7 project.

To get a better understanding you should have a look at the standard item "connected" in the Softing OPC Toolbox Demo Client which shows if the OPC-Server has a connection to the PLC or not:
0  = no connection, 
-1 = connection ok

The “Test” button offers a quick way of testing the connection which is currently selected in the Configurator. To this end, a direct communication connection (not an OPC connection) is established to the controller indicated by the channel and PLC number, and the MLFB number (serial number) is requested and displayed.

Depending on the results:

  • When no connection to PLC, not able to ping, Test button fails then there is a problem with the connection to the PLC. Try to check network connection or whatever interface you  use.
  • When ping and test are ok then maybe the configuration of the PLC does not match the configuration of the S7 OPC Server any more (you try to access items, which are not present on the PLC).

Error message: Timeout (0xFFF50004)

This error message is coming from the ACCON-AGLink and means Timeout. You can see all of the error messages from the AGLink in the file AGLink40_Error.eng, which can be found in the installation directory of the S7/S5 OPC Server.

If this error will be reported then the OPC Server has temporarily no connection to the physical device.

This might have different reasons:

  • Network issue. Check the network connection.
  • Port 102 on the PLC is blocked. Please check it with “Telnet IP 102”.
  • Communication port of the PLC is not free. Try to switch between "PG" and "OP" connections in the configuration.

 

How can I activate the slave functionality of the Modbus/TCP OPC Server?

How do I configure the Softing Modbus OPC Server to be able to access the data of a Modbus device?

Using Modbus Unit Identifiers in syntax items

The Item IDs of syntax items are structured in the following way: 
[<Modbus/TCP Device Name[<:Modbus/TCP Port Number]>/][<Modbus Unit Identifier>.]<Modbus/TCP Address>[:<Data Type>][<Array Boundaries>] 

Only the <Modbus/TCP Address> is mandatory. The other parts are optional. 

<Modbus Unit Identifier>
The Modbus Unit Identifier in the Modbus/TCP device. In Modbus, the Unit Identifier is used to address multiple logic devices via one physical device. This functionality is mainly used for gateways (Modbus RTU -> Modbus TCP). 
This part of the syntax is optional. The default value is "255"(0xFF). 
Example with Modbus/TCP Device Name and Modbus/TCP Unit Identifier:
GatewayIP/1.300010

Devices that support the Modbus RTU protocol can only be addressed via a Modbus gateway. As the gateway combines multiple Modbus RTU devices into a single IP address, the devices must have different Modbus Unit IDs to allow the server to distinguish them. This means that the Modbus Unit Identifier always has to be specified for Modbus RTU devices.  

Devices that support the Modbus TCP protocol can be operated directly, without a gateway. In this case, the device description indicates whether the Modbus Unit Identifier is required, how it is set, and how it can be modified. Many Modbus TCP devices ignore the Unit Identifier, so that it does not have to be specified in these cases.


 

In the integrated Web interface, you can edit the trace settings of the OPC server and view the trace output.

How do I enable the OPC Tunnel functionality in the PROFIBUS OPC Server?

The server-side functionality of the Softing OPC Tunnel product is integrated in the PROFIBUS OPC Server by default. The OPC Tunnel allows remote OPC communication without DCOM and across firewalls and provides user authentication functionality to protect your data from unauthorized access.

The OPC Tunnel functionality of the PROFIBUS OPC Server currently cannot be enabled with the Configurator. Therefore, you need to make a manual entry in the registry:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softing\PB OPC Server
    • Key: TunnelIpPort
      • Default = 0 (Tunnel disabled)
      • Default for activation = 56765

To enable the default port 56765, please create a text file containing the following three lines, save the file with the file extension .reg, and run this file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softing\PB OPC Server]
"TunnelIPPort"=dword:0000ddbd

Click “Yes” at the registry prompt.

The system then needs to be rebooted.

If you want to use a different port instead of port 56765, you can simply enter the relevant number manually in the registry.

Start Regedit:

Go to the key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Softing\PB OPC Server” and double-click “TunnelIPPort.”

Select “Decimal” and enter the required port address (default: 56765).

Click OK, close the registry editor, and reboot the system.

Changing the Slave Address with the Configurator

  • Detect devices: the configurator detects the slaves when you run the scanning process.
  • Important: Delete the cyclic data container (CyclicData) of the slave whose address you want to change
  • Then activate the configuration via the Toolbar (or context menu or F5). The PROFIBUS Master establishes a connection with the configured Slave.
  • Change the desired station address. Highlight the slave whose address you want to change, open the context menu and select "Properties". A dialog box opens in which you can set the desired address. Click “Apply” to confirm your settings. After about 10 seconds the “Apply” button becomes grey which means the device address has changed. Click “OK” to close the dialog.  
  • Deactivate the configuration
  • Activate the configuration again.

The slave can now be accessed with its new address.

The License Manager fails to detect the licenses on Softing interface cards on 64 bit systems

Please download and install the software patch from here LicenseManager_V306


 

Why do the servers without license run for less than the 72 h?

There can generally only be one reason:
The PC's system time is changed.
This is done either by a program that changes the time due to incompatibility with the operating system (e.g. STEP5 V6.x under Win2000 - the product is not enabled for this combination) or by other programs that should actually synchronize the system time in the network, but lead to problems in that they change the system time for a minimal time (in most cases, users do not realize this because it easily goes unnoticed).

In any case, the time in the Logger has to be checked to see if the server really runs for 72h in demo mode or shorter.

OPC server freezes and cannot be operated

After running for a while, the OPC server freezes. It then cannot be operated anymore and does not provide any data. All other programs on the PC and all other network functions continue to work as normal.

In all probability, a great many or all "Logger functions" have been activated in the OPC Server Logger. You might have verbose enabled. This may lead to the described effects on some PCs. If you disable Logger functions (default is "Show Errors"), the OPC server will run without freezing again.

No connection between INAT server and CP535 via H1

In all probability, different TSAPs are used for the H1 connection. The CP535 HW3 (according to Siemens there is only one firmware version in HW3) has the effect that the TSAPs are swapped when the CP535 HW3 acknowledges the network connection. As a result, the PC closes the connection and no network connection is established.

How to solve the problem:
It is essential to enter identical TSAPs for communication with the CP535 HW3. 

S7 standard TSAPs for OPC/DDE server

OPC/DDE communication with Siemens S7 controllers is normally done via default connections. This means that the connection parameter settings only have to be made on the OPC/DDE server side, not on the controller side (S7-CP):
In the OPC/DDE server, enable RFC1006 and select ISO-on-TCP (RFC1006). Here you need to enter the standard TSAPs in the HEX box:
Own TSAP: 01 00
Dest TSAP: 03 xy
(x = rack number multiplied by 2, where the first rack has rack number 0 / y = slot of the CPU)

An example is available for download as a PDF.

Why is -1 (VT_I4) output for the special item "STATUS" if the connection is working properly?

In older versions, there was an error in the output of the STATUS for a correct connection. This has been corrected in the newer versions.
Now -1 (VT_I4) is output for a properly working connection.

After connection interruptions to Siemens CP (PLC off/on, network disconnected), it may happen that the connections cannot be established anymore. In most cases the only thing that helps is to shut down the INAT server for a prolonged time.

This behavior may occur with Siemens CPs that have older firmware versions. For example, this problem occurs with a CP443-1 V2.0, whereas no errors occur with FW V2.6.

A correctly entered license (activation code) "disappears".

Although you can enter the same code again and thus re-activate the product, the activation is lost again when you exit and restart the program. 
In all probability, an incorrect "licensekey.txt" path is given in the title bar of the program's license window. 
Taking the OPC server (default) as an example, a correct path would be: C:\ProgramFiles\INAT\OPC Server Ethernet\license\licensekey.txt 

How to solve the problem: 
The following registry entry has to be deleted:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\INAT\License] 
"LicenseKey"="any path\\LICENSEKEY.TXT" 
The "license_pfad_delete.reg" registry file attached as a ZIP file for download will do this automatically. 
After a restart of the product, the correct "licensekey.txt" path is now given in the title bar of the license window. An activation code entered will be retained.


 

Is the Softing OPC Easy Connect Suite a 64-bit application?

The Softing OPC Easy Connect Suite is a 32-bit application that can be used on 64-bit systems in 32-bit mode without restrictions or performance reduction.

Background information from the German Wikipedia entry (translated excerpt):
The advantages of 64-bit CPUs include an easier calculation of large integer values. This offers benefits, for example, for encryption algorithms, graphical calculations (e.g. fixed point arithmetic for computer games), 64-bit file systems, or multimedia formats (MPEG2, MP3).
Another advantage over 32-bit architecture is that 64-bit systems can directly address more than four GB RAM. This is useful for applications with large memory requirements, such as video processing applications and database systems, provided they have been programmed for a 64-bit system. In most other applications – in particular, office applications – there is no subjectively noticeable speed advantage.

How to create and use a bidirectional OPC-Communication with OPC Tunnel?

How to configure redundant server connections?

EasyConnect V2.x OPC2Database on 64Bit Systems

If EasyConnect OPC2Database is used on a 64Bit system it is essential, that the 32Bit version of the ODBC Database driver is installed. EasyConnect is not able to use 64Bit drivers.

Where can I find the configuration files of the OPC Easy Connect Suite?

It depends on which version of the OPC Easy Connect Suite you are using. Directory structure and configuration file names were changed between the versions 1.x and 2.x.
 
Version 1.x:

  • file path: <installation directory> (C:\Program Files\Softing\OCT\)
  • main configuration file: OCT.xml
  • trace file: file name and directory are user defined (under Diagnostics).
  • Storage: file name and path for storage items can be arbitrarily defined (default: <installation directory>Storage.txt)
  • Task: Folder and file names for add-on DLLs can be arbitrarily defined (default: <installation directory>Mytask.txt)
  • Subscription file: subscription configuration file name and path can be arbitrarily defined (default: <installation directory>MySubscription.txt)
  • Filter file: Filter configuration file name and path can be arbitrarily defined (default: <installation directory>Filter.txt)

 

Version 2.x:

  • file path: depends on the used operating system:

- Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008:

C:\ProgramData\Softing\EasyConnect\ConfigurationX\

- Windows XP, Windows Server 2003:

C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Softing\EasyConnect\ConfigurationX

  • main configuration file: OSF_Runtime.xml
  • trace file: file name is user defined. Only the file name can be set (the path is the path of the instance)
  • Storage: Storage renamed to Local Items, configuration file name and path are always relative to the main configuration file. (Path=".\LocalItems\LocalItems.txt")
  • Task: folder and file names for add-on DLLs are fixed (Path=".\Tasks\Tasks.txt")
  • Subscription file: subscription file name and path are always relative to the main configuration file (Path=".\Tasks\Subscriptions.txt")
  • Filter file: filter file name and path are always relative to the main configuration file. (Path=".\Filters\Connection_2.txt"). The server connection name will be used as the name for the filter file.

Please use the menu items „Backup“ and „Restore“ in the Configurator (menu Configuration) for backup.


 

License Model

The following general types of licenses are available:

  • Node locked licenses with a corresponding software key.
  • Portable licenses with a hardware dongle for the USB port.

Note: If you want to use the USB hardware license keys (dongles) you also need to install the SafeNet dongle driver separately. This can be done either directly by selecting the SafeNet dongle driver in the dataFEED OPC Suite setup or by executing the corresponding link in the Softing License Manager start menu - Softing / License Manager / SafeNet Dongle Driver Installation.

Softing dataFEED OPC Suite V4.03 enables/disables functionalities based on licensed features. All supported features (available starting with version 4.00) are enabled by the following licenses:

dataFEED OPC Organizer Classic License, enables the following functionalities:

  • OPC Bridge.
  • OPC Server Concentrator
  • OPC Optimizer
  • Interface for the communication with different clients - OPC DA (V1.00, V2.05 and V3.00) and XML-DA
  • Interface for the communication with different server -  OPC DA (V1.00, V2.05 and V3.00) and XML-DA
  • OPC Filtering

Note: The number of possible server connection based on DA/AE client interface is limited to 1 DA (DA, tunnel or XML-DA) and 1 AE sever connection – the first configured connection will be establish and all others will be rejected at the initialization time.

dataFEED OPC Server Extension License, enables the following functionalities:
· All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license 
· Server connections (DA/AE, XML-DA or tunnel – this required also as OPC Tunnel as additional license) to external OPC Servers as data source – the following number of server connection can be activated as option into license (Please note that the corresponding licensed server connections are counted for all types of server connections together and not separately).

The following number of server connections should be available:

  • 50 server connections  


Attention: The overall number of actually used licence items is computed at runtime over all local dataFEED OPC Suite applications currently running on the corresponding computer. The configurator, however, shows only the license items used by the actual configuration.

dataFEED OPC Tunnel License, enables the following functionalities:

  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license
  • OPC Tunnel DA server interfaces
  • OPC Tunnel DA client interfaces (the number of tunnel server connections is limited to 1 by Base DA license or to a specific number by Server Extension license)  


dataFEED OPC Organizer UA License
, enables the following functionalities:

  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license
  • OPC UA Server interfaces


dataFEED OPC Data Handler License
, enables the following functionalities:

  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license
  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer UA license
  • OPC to File add-on
  • OPC to Database add-on
  • Server to Server add-on (Exchange)
  • Client to Client – Storage local items (internal address space)
  • Store and Forward add-on


Note: The maximum number of items used for all running instances/configurations into add-ons is limited to 10.000 collector item.
Note: The number of server connections is limited to 1 by the dataFEED OPC Organizer Classic license. If you want to use the exchange functionality for Server to Server communication, the dataFEED OPC Server Extension license is needed.

dataFEED OPC Server Siemens License, enables the following functionalities:

  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license
  • Siemens family PLC connections (unlimited number of device connections)


dataFEED OPC Server Rockwell License
, enables the following functionalities:

  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license
  • Rockwell family PLC connections (unlimited number of device connections)


dataFEED OPC Server Mitsubishi License
, enables the following functionalities:

  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license
  • Mitsubishi family PLC connections (unlimited number of device connections)


dataFEED OPC Server Modbus License
, enables the following functionalities:

  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license
  • Modbus family PLC connections (unlimited number of device connections)


dataFEED OPC Server B&R License
, enables the following functionalities:

  • All features enabled by OPC Organizer Classic license
  • B&R family PLC connections (unlimited number of device connections)


dataFEED OPC Suite License
 – Enables all available functionalities from Softing dataFEED OPC Suite product.
Note: Maximum number of server connections allowed by this license is 50. If more then 50 server connections are needed a Server Extension license with a higher number of allowed server connections must to be activated.

Installation and Activation of Licenses
All licenses can be installed and activated with the external Softing License Manager. If there are no licenses installed, Softing dataFEED OPC Suite is executed in a time/function limited Demonstration Mode.

Attention: If the actual licenses are changed during the runtime of the local dataFEED OPC Suite application, the local dataFEED OPC Suite application will be stopped and the configurator and the tray application will show the yellow 'Demonstration Mode Expired' icon for the corresponding configuration.

Demonstration Mode

If no license is installed on the local computer Softing dataFEED OPC Suite runs for 72 hours in a limited demonstration mode. All dataFEED OPC Suite features are enabled, however the available license items are restricted to the following values:

  • 10 server connections.
  • 250 data items.


When the demonstration period ends after 72 hours, the local dataFEED OPC Suite application stops all functionalities. The user is notified by a warning message from the dataFEED OPC Suite tray application, and both the configurator and the tray application show the corresponding yellow icon.

Restarting the local dataFEED OPC Suite application will start a new 72-hours demonstration period.

Note: The demonstration mode is only available if no licenses are installed on the corresponding computer. Installing at least one license key will disable the demonstration mode completely.

Does the OPC Easy Connect Suite work with the product dataFEED OPC Suite?

The datafeed OPC Suite is 100% compatible to the already discontinued OPC Easy Connect Suite, replacing this product. Therefore, it is possible to install Easy Connect on the client side and dataFEED on the server side and vice versa. The tunnel functionality is always guaranteed.

Column name restriction using MS Access Database (OPC2Database)

The name of a column in an MS Access Database must not contain any special characters or spaces. Otherwise writing values into the Database doesn’t work correctly.

Connection to S7-1200/1500 fails

How to configure trace outputs to file

Trace outputs, also called diagnostics information, can be configured in the dataFEED OPC Suite Configurator in the section Settings -> Diagnostics.

In the Trace Levels group box the different trace levels (the amount of data to be traced) can be defined for each of the four trace groups. The following trace groups are available: 
• Error Messages, 
• Warning Messages, 
• Information Messages and 
• Debug-Messages

To enable tracing to a file the Trace to File checkbox must be checked.

Note: When the local dataFEED OPC Suite application is restarted the contents of the trace files are backed up. The backup is only performed for the previous log files when a new session of the local dataFEED OPC Suite application is started and not when the log files reach their maximum size during the application runtime.

If asked for the trace files in a support case, you can find them in the following folder:
%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Softing\dataFEED OPC Suite\ConfigurationName\

Please note that this folder can vary depending on the Microsoft Windows operating system and the language version used.

The backed up trace files have the following names: 
OSF_Runtime_backup#numberA.log
OSF_Runtime_backup#numberB.log

The actual trace files have the following names
OSF_Runtime_currentA.log
OSF_Runtime_currentB.log

Note: The tracing mechanism is circular meaning that it writes data to two separate files. When the first file reaches the Maximum file size the trace mechanism overwrites the second file and so on.

Note: When the local dataFEED OPC Suite application starts it automatically renames the two trace files from the previous session as the most recent backup files. If Number of backup files is set to 0 then the trace files from the last session will not be backed up.

Attention: Please make sure that you have enough free space for the ongoing trace files (e.g. twice the Maximum File Size) plus additional space for the backup files (if Number of backup files is greater than 0).

For a more detailed description see the online help chapter Configuration -> dataFEED OPC Suite Configuration -> Settings -> Diagnostics

Configuration Backup and Restore

The Backup and Restore features in the Configuration main menu allow exporting and importing different configurations in order to migrate the server and all of its settings from one machine to another.

The Backup menu functionality performs a complete export of the currently loaded configuration into a single backup file. The backup process can be started by clicking the corresponding entry on the Configuration main menu. The action is only available if a configuration is currently loaded. The resulting backup file will be a binary file (.OSF) containing all the data relevant to the configuration.

The Restore feature allows importing a previously exported configuration from a backup file. The restore process can be started by clicking the corresponding entry on the Configuration main menu. A file open dialog appears where you can select the backup file. If the selected file is a valid backup file, the restore procedure will start and the resulting configuration will be opened on completion.

Changing the default configuration when the Configurator is launched from the shortcut

If you have deleted the "Configuration1" configuration and then click on the dataFEED configurator shortcut, a default configuration with the name "Configuration1" will be created again.

If you want to change the configuration name, you can do it using the XML configuration file. To do this, open the XML configuration file of the dataFEED configurator, which you can find in the folder here: 
C:\Program Files (x86)\Softing\dataFEED OPC Suite\OSF_Configurator.xml

In the "Options" section, you can specify the default configuration names.

  <Options
    MultipleConfigurations  = "true"
    AutoExpandedNavigator   = "false"
    ShowHelpAtStartup       = "false"
    DefaultConfig           = "true"
    DefaultConfigName       = "Configuration1"
  />

Change the value of the "DefaultConfigName" parameter from "Configuration1" to your desired configuration name. Then save the XML configuration file to save the changes.

Connection problems to the underlying OPC Server with the message ‘First connect not executed’

The connection to the underlying OPC Server cannot be established. 
In the log file of the dataFEED OPC Suite you can see the following entry: „First connect not executed“

Workaround:

  1. Notice the DCOM Identity settings for your OPC Servers:
    • Start "dcomcnfg" (enter Windows key + R and "dcomcnfg.exe").
    • In the tree view navigate to: Component Services – Computers – My Computer - DCOM Configuration.
    • Select your OPC server (right side).
    • Open the context menu (right mouse button) -> Properties.
    • Select the "Identity" tab.
    • Write down the settings and close the window.
  2. Set exactly the same Identity settings for the dataFEED configuration: 
    • Navigate to Softing - dataFEED Configuration1 in the tree view. You will see two entries for that, once for DA and once for AE. Repeat this step for both entries as this is easier. Select the tab "Identity"
    • Now set exactly the same values as you have noted down from your OPC Server which you would like to connect to (see above).
    • Close this window by clicking on ok and redo the same step and settings on the second entry.

    If the identity setting is not possible because this option is grayed out, then close this window and go to the dataFEED configuration. Change the execution mode first from the menu of the dataFEED Configurator (Local Application -> Run mode). Select another entry as before. After that, process the DCOM settings with step 2. again.

  3. Then restart the Softing dataFEED OPC Suite. 

The connection to the underlying OPC servers should now be successfully established.

Error message: "BadNotSupported" when writing from an UA client to a DA server

Browsing and reading values from an UA OPC Client to the configured DA OPC server work fine. However writing of an OPC item is acknowledged with "BadNotSupported".

The Softing dataFEED UA Client transmits an OPC item with time stamp, quality and value per default.

According to the OPC specification, writing the time stamp and quality is optional. 
Some DA OPC server doesn’t support it. If the underlying DA OPC server doesn’t support writing the time stamp and quality, then writing is acknowledged negatively with the error message "BadNotSupported".

Workaround:
You can configure in the XML configuration file of the dataFEED OPC Suite whether writing of the time stamp and quality should be transferred to the underlying DA OPC server or not.

To do this, please open the XML configuration file:
C:\ProgramData\Softing\dataFEED OPC Suite\<Configurationname>\OSF_Runtime.XML

In the "UA_Server" section, change the line as follows:
<UA_Server RebrowseTimeoutInterval="10000" Enabled="true" WriteFiltering="V">

With this entry, WriteFiltering="V", only the value of the OPC item is transferred without time stamp and quality.

Please save the XML configuration file, and then restart the dataFEED OPC Suite.

How to speed up the startup process?

Please uncheck the “Validate items” check box in the “Advanced Settings” dialog. 

Select in the navigator control on the left side of the Configurator main window the section Settings -> Advanced. In the dialog window you will find the mentioned check box “Validate items” below the section “Global DS-OPC and DS-Tunnel Settings”.

This entry decides whether the item IDs from a dynamic server connection subscription should be validated or not. If no validation is performed all item IDs from the subscription file will be accepted by the local dataFEED OPC Suite application for a dynamic source. 
Leaving out validation increases the item adding speed.

How can I configure an S5-PCLink connection in the dataFEED OPC Suite

Settings in the S5-LAN-Manager:
For S5 Protocol please set the S7/S5-Server-Port to 2002 in the S5 LAN Manager configuration.


For S7 Protocol the S7/S5-Server-Port should be set to 102.


Settings in the dataFEED OPC Suite:
Please restore the sample configuration file S5-PCLink-Verbindung.osf where both connections to the same S5 PC Link are configured.

Please note that the used ports in both configuration, dataFEED OPC Suite and S5 LAN Manager, should be the same.


 

Step5 displays "Error 0334" when I want to establish a connection via the S5-PCLink

Please download and install the software patch s5vir122.exe from our download area.

I cannot change any settings in the S5-PCLink (e.g. IP address, name, etc....) with the S5-LanManager

Firmware version 1.03 or newer is installed in the S5-PCLink (check S5-LanManager).

Please download an update of the S5-LanManager from our web site. Replace the installed files (C:\Program Files\Softing\S5-PCLink\... ) with those from the S5LanManager_update.zip file.

Communication with the PLC is sporadically broken or cannot be established at all

On S5 PLCs of type S5U115-944 and -928B, the power sources needed by our S5-PCLink are often defective. This is indicated by a failure to connect to the PLC (green LED on S5-PCLink flashes once approx. every 4 seconds) or a broken connection at irregular intervals.

Pinging the S5-PCLink works.

Solution:
You will need a power source adapter that can be added between the PLC and the S5-PCLink, and provides the power sources. 
Please contact our sales department if you need this adapter.

What is the default IP address of the S5-PCLinks (factory setting)

There is no default IP address setting. The IP address is automatically assigned by the DHCP server per default.

If there is no DHCP server available, then the module will use a random address from the IP address space 169 - ... (after about 1 minute).

In case the device will not be shown in the S5-LAN-Manager then connect it directly with a crossover network cable and your PC. Please disable the Firewall. You can then configure the device in the S5-LAN-Manager. (For the operation mode this function is not necessary).

S5-PCLink is not found in the S5-LAN-Manager

Possible causes:

  • IP address / port is blocked by the firewall . Please disable the firewall and then search again in the S5-LAN-Manager. Ports see below.
  • A virus scanner could also block the communication, so please turn off the virus scanner.
  • There is a router between the PC and the module (especially NAT router), which does not forwards the search to the broadcasts.
  • If a VPN connection is used then the required ports must be free.

 

Ports

  • 65467 (UDP): Search S5-LAN by S5-LAN-Manager/PLCVCOM
  • 65467 (TCP): Search S5-LAN by S5-LAN-Manager/PLCVCOM
  • 10010 (TCP):  PG port ( PLCVCOM )
  • 2002  (TCP): S5 server port ( VIPA )
  • 102   (TCP): S5 server port ( RFC1006) 

 

Alternate solution:

In case the device will not be shown in the S5-LAN-Manager then connect it directly with a crossover network cable and your PC. Please disable the firewall. You can then configure the device in the S5-LAN-Manager. (For the operation mode this function is not necessary).

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