OPC UA via HTTP REST allows IT-Applications access to OPC UA applications and their data described in over 90+ standardized domain-specific information models
The OPC Foundation has announced that it expands the OPC UA standard with a RESTful interface to allow access from anywhere in the world to information made available by implementations of over 90 standardized information models by IT-applications.
This extension was requested by IT companies to ensure efficient and standardized access to important information: IT-applications need the ability to utilize the data from OT to use it in concepts like Data Spaces, Digital Twins and the Metaverse. These solutions often share information between multiple companies. In many cases, they exchange the necessary information via proprietary HTTP REST-Interfaces.
OPC UA is already equipped with many building blocks, such as session-less services and security features. Those building blocks already cover many aspects required to provide standardized information via RESTful interfaces. With the addition of HTTP REST, applications outside of the OPC UA ecosystem can now access this information. The OPC UA specification includes the transfer of meta-information such as server timestamp, source timestamp, value, and quality of the individual information. Direct access via OPC UA allows these pieces of information to be shared up to the cloud and used in applications like the digital twin.
The expansion of OPC UA with REST is less likely to be adopted at the field level, but in gateways and cloud services. Cloud companies can now access standardized information and use it efficiently to optimize the business processes of their customers and unlock new use cases.