dataFEED OPC Suite

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

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.