Some time ago, S4 and Open Automation Software initiated discussions because of a project they won to support every location of a major multi-national corporation. Because this client inherited the BAS in their buildings in as-built, as-is, condition, it was anticipated that some percentage of those facilities would require integration to legacy Metasys® installations. Open Automation Software was proactive in their anticipation of this need. As the discussions continued, we mutually determined that this was a perfect match for the S4 Open: OPC-N2 Router - in large part because of our ability to transparently co-exist with the legacy installation. Although the specific facilities where the OPC-N2 Router would be used have not yet been identified, S4 saw the strategic value in this relationship and invested in setting up an interoperability test in our test labs.
Part of what we discovered in the process of reviewing their training materials and videos was that Open Automation Software primarily focuses on enterprise level systems and that their product capabilities would add value to services offered today by many S4 integration partners with a minimal overlap in features of their currently offered products.
Jack McIntyre, EVP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Open Automation Software shared the following information about their products. Our Competitors Imprison Real Time (Automation) Data, OPCSystems.NET Liberates Realtime Data. We make it accessible from anywhere in an Enterprise to anywhere in an Enterprise.
Steve Jones, managing partner of The S4 Group, commented that the interoperability testing between the S4 Open: OPC-N2 Router and the Open Automation Software environment went very smoothly! The OPC Proxy Server instantiated by our S4 Open Management Console made the OPC N2 Router look like a local OPC Server on the machine hosting the Open Automation Software - eliminating all DCOM security and configuration issues. The Open Automation Software point discovery feature successfully discovers our OPC Proxy Server on the local machine and I can successfully navigate the OPC environment to select the points. Once the points are brought into the Open Automation Software environment, I can see that the point attributes came along properly and the point value is being updated as expected.
Recent S4 development activity has focused on our S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router. We have not forgotten about the S4 Open: OPC-N2 Router and OPC UA will soon be added as further upstream protocol. It includes the native and the Web Services portion of OPC UA. Historically, if you purchased the OPC-N2 Router, or the BAC-N2 Router, the only upstream open protocol that was supported was the one native to the purchased product. In the near future we will offer the option of supporting BACnet and OPC upstream open protocols at the same time, thereby providing the ability to simultaneously support the publishing of legacy N2 data to a current generation traditional building automation system and to the Open Automation Software platform.
See http://opcsystems.com/ to look at the details of the Open Automation Software products. In general, they make it very easy to gather large volumes of real-time data and either redistribute that data to other applications or present it to enterprise users who are not the traditional BAS user. The Open Automation Software product augments the capabilities of traditional BAS and SCADA systems. This means that it will both add value to what our current distributors and integration partners have to offer to building owners and create more demand for S4 products. This looks like a win for everyone involved.