To communicate with a programmable logic controller (PLC) through LabVIEW via OPC protocols, there must be OPC clients and a server capable of communicating with each other, and with LabVIEW. NI OPC Technologies can fill the role of client and/or server.
There are few possible configurations of OPC clients and servers that can accomplish this communication, depending on the OPC protocol to be use. At minimum, you will need to use the OPC UA API.
LabVIEW 2017 and later: OPC UA Toolkit stand-alone
LabVIEW 2016 and earlier: LabVIEW DSC Module (which includes the OPC UA API) – This tutorial walks through Connecting LabVIEW to Any PLC Using OPC Servers and DSC module
Note for OPC UA Toolkit Stand-Alone:
Additional Software Required
|2017 and later||OPC UA communication||LabVIEW OPC UA Toolkit|
|2013-2016||OPC UA communication using OPC UA API||LabVIEW DSC Module 2013-2016|
|8.x and later||Communicate with OPC Servers using Shared Variable Engine||LabVIEW DSC Module 8.x and later|
Communicate with OPC Server
The Tag Engine in LabVIEW DSC 6.x-7.1 can act as both an OPC client and as an OPC server.
|LabVIEW DSC Module 6.x-7.1|
|5.1 and later||Communicate with OPC Servers as DataSocket Client||Native LabVIEW functionality|
|5.0||Communicate with OPC Servers via ActiveX Automation interface||Native LabVIEW functionality|
When purchasing the module, you can choose from Development, Deployment or Debug/Deploy.
To download the software, select Full for the Development or Debug/Deploy License and Runtime for the Deployment license.
NI OPC Servers are individually licensed and are not licensed as part of the LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DSC) Module or NI Software Suites. When you install the DSC Module, NI OPC Servers is installed by default with a temporary license for a two-hour evaluation period.
A license is required for each computer that runs an NI OPC Servers instance. There is no difference between NI OPC Servers software on a development computer and a deployment computer. There is no run-time or deployment version of NI OPC Servers.
Note: NI OPC Servers can connect to NI OPC clients only. Use of OPC I/O Server in DSC is not affected by the activation state of NI OPC Servers.
Licensingoptions for NI OPC Servers 2012 or later:
NI OPC Servers (2010 and earlier):
LabVIEW OPC UA toolkit contains the OPC UA API that was formerly part of the LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DSC) Module and the LabVIEW Real-Time Module, starting 2017 it became a separate toolkit.
Note: NI Linux Real-Time based devices do not require a deployment license.
Note: The OPC UA Toolkit development license does NOT come with a deployment license. A separate deployment license must be purchased for each deployment machine.
From the 2017 release on, the LabVIEW OPC UA Toolkit became a standalone product. The LabVIEW DSC Module and the LabVIEW Real-Time Module no longer contains the OPC UA API. The LabVIEW OPC UA toolkit integrates secure and reliable communications in your LabVIEW applications. It incorporates a series of features for the creation of OPC UA clients, servers, and security management. In addition to the Data Access (DA) facet of the OPC UA Specifications, the toolkit also adds support for the Historical Access (HA) and Alarms & Conditions (AC) facets. The toolkit is compatible with both Windows and NI Linux Real-Time operating systems.
Depending on your application, you don’t need to install NI OPC Servers.
As mentioned in the licensing options, the OPC UA Toolkit development license does NOT come with a deployment license. A separate deployment license must be purchased for each deployment machine. You will need a deployment license for each deployment PC running a client or server built from components of the OPC UA Toolkit.
OPC Server does not have a new release every year and therefore does not necessarily need to be updated with every version if everything is compatible.
Currently, we have OPC server versions 8.6, 2009,2010, 2012, 2013, 2016. Below is a list of compatibility of LabVIEW to server. If there is a significant update of LabVIEW versions, you need to check for any compatibility issues with the code.
Supported OPC Server Version
LabVIEW 2013 and later
OPC Servers 2016
OPC Servers 2013
LabVIEW 2011 SP1/2012
OPC Servers 2012
OPC Servers 2009/2010
OPC Servers 8.6
LabVIEW 8.5 and earlier
Install an update to access OPC Servers 8.6