What is OPC Expert?

OPC Expert is a tool to view OPC data and troubleshoot connections

The first important observation about OPC Expert is it’s only a single executable. You do not need to install OPC Expert and OPC Expert does not make any registry changes. So you can even run OPC Expert from a USB stick.

Connecting to an OPC Server

Let’s connect to an OPC server on a network computer. Let’s open the “Entire Network”, then “Workgroup,” and finally we see some computers.  Your network will have different names, but for this tutorial we will be using these.  When we open this computer we can see it has some OPC servers on it as well.  Let’s open the Simulator OPC server, and drill inside to see the items.  Just double-click each time to take an action.  Finally we can see some items here, and we can subscribe to their data as well.  You can press the right-arrow key instead of the mouse.

Let’s connect to one more computer. Let’s open the remote computer, now, open the Simulator OPC server.  This time, OPC Expert doesn’t give us a checkmark.  Instead, we see an exclamation mark, so we know we have to pay attention.  The event log already shows me a problem, but we will look at it shortly.  Even though OPC Expert detected a problem, it still enables me to see data in my OPC servers.  Let’s drill in and subscribe to some items. The exclamation mark indicates I have a problem with these items.  When I look at the Message Window, I can see OPC Expert tells me there is a problem.  When I double-click the warning message, I get a verbose description of the problem, its cause, and even how to fix it.  Now I know what to do.

In this tutorial we used OPC Expert to connect to local and remote OPC servers and view real-time automation data.  We also saw how OPC Expert automatically detects problematic OPC connections and provides repair recommendations.  OPC Expert is easy to use and is a favorite tool for people handling OPC technical support. 

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