Dienstag, 10. Januar 2012

The idea to develop the first OPC client for Android came to me shortly after buying my first smartphone.It was June 2010, a very hot summer.
Suddenly I had a revelation:
" The automation geek lying in the mediterranean sun, a holiday of relaxation
far from the daily routine.
An unexpected phone call interrupted brutally the reverie. The younger
colleague engineer reports a malfunction to some production line. He is
completely lost.
By holding the line, the automation geek is starting the OPC XML DA app and
monitors some data......Aha... I knew it... The same bloody sensor...
After 5 minutes he is enjoying a cold beer.. The lovely wife is asking:
Problems dear ? No, nothing serious.."
Could be a realistic scenario ?
I don't know, but for one thing I am sure:
The smartphones and tablets will be omnipresent in our lifes; their extraordinary functional richness, programmability, increasing power, amazing interconnection capabilities and the huge developers community will make them eventually embraced also by a rather conservative world like Industrial Automation.
Sorin Topan
Softing Industrial Automation
Technical description
  • Generic OPC XML DA client
  • Minimum Android SK version: 1.5
  • Pure Java application
  • Free
  • English Interface
  • Support for XMLDA 1.0 specification
  • Subscription (polled refresh) based read of data
  • Support for all data types defined in the OPC XML-DA Specification
  • Check of server status
  • OPC servers namespace browsing
  • Display of items properties
  • Support for basic authentication
  • Multiple opc servers access
  • Unlimited user defined grouping of items
  • Disabled data writes (for safety reasons)
  • Disabled synchronous read (for performance reasons)
  • Data disconnection on timeout to avoid freezing of the app for slow or unresponsive connections
  • Display of quality of data using color codes (red, green, yellow)
  • Intuitive identification of data changes
  • Line graphs to display variation of numeric data (current value, min, max, min min, max max)
  • User defined number of historical values stored in the graphs
  • Deactivation of graph function (for performance reasons)
  • Deactivation of historical values storage for numeric items
  • Limited footprint on the system


  • The application comes preinstalled with default settings for accessing an online OPC XML DA server published by Softing Industrial Automation Gmbh.
  • This server is intended to be used only for testing purposes; its namespace is exposing a wide variety of item data types in order to demonstrate the functionality of the Android OPC.XML.DA client.
  • The communication can be started by tapping the toggle button on the main screen.
  • Defining the access to other servers, and logical grouping of the items to be read is made by accessing the system menu.
  • Browsing through the namespaces of the defined servers and adding or removing items to/from the groups is done by checking/unchecking them.
  • Is reccomended to split the monitored data into multiple groups; adding too much items to a group can affect the update rate of data.
  • Visualization of the properties of a specific item is possible by tapping it.
  • In order to connect servers in addition to the pre-configured one, the user has to fill a registration form.Once defined multiple servers connections respectively groups of OPC items, switching between them is done by tapping the arrow buttons on the top of the main screen.
  • The quality of the item values is indicated intuitively by color codes (red for bad, yellow for uncertain, green for good).


  • synchronous read of data (mid 2012)
  • OPC UA client (end 2012)


Mittwoch, 2. November 2011

Softing launches first OPC Android App

Softing has launched the first Android App in the Android market that is able to connect to an OPC server. In a first version the OPX XML DA application is suitable to connect to any OPC XML DA server. At startup, the application is connected to a demo sever, which can be changed after registration.

The application allows an easy browsing of the address space and of the data of the OPC Server. 

The App can be found under: Android Market