SOURCE: Kepware


June 15, 2010 08:30 ET

Kepware Releases the Next Generation of DNP3.0 Drivers

KEPServerEX Version 5.3 Released, Delivering DNP3.0, Automatic Device Discovery, and Link Tags

PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwire - June 15, 2010) -  Kepware Technologies, the leader in Communications for Automation, announced today that it has released KEPServerEX version 5.3. This release adds the DNP3.0 (Distributed Network Protocol) Ethernet and DNP3.0 Serial drivers to the KEPServerEX v5 Suite, and also marks the addition of new product features. The Automatic Device Discovery feature for SNMP and Ping drivers allows KEPServerEX to scan a network, detect devices, and then select devices and their associated tags for import. Furthermore, the Advanced Tag Option now contains the ability to link data between any tags defined in the KEPServerEX namespace.

New initiatives such as Smart Grid were a significant factor in Kepware developing the latest generation of CNP communication drivers. Kepware foresees that the DNP communication protocol will play an important role in the Smart Grid success because of its high reliability, improved security capabilities, large install base and ability to monitor data in real time. "Real Time" communications via DNP3 over Ethernet or Serial networks will provide utility professionals an instrumental tool in monitoring various points of data within the grid, ensuring maximum uptime and efficiencies.

The DNP protocol was developed as a standards-based interoperability solution between substation computers, RTUs, Intelligent Electronic Devices, and master stations. Kepware's new DNP3 Ethernet and Serial drivers were improved significantly, making it a far more capable product for Smart Grid and green applications. It is utilized in many industries, including Electric Utility/Power Distribution and Water/Waste Water Management. The unique capabilities of the DNP drivers provide utilities professionals with a comprehensive communication solution at an affordable price. The DNP3.0 Suite allows users to automatically connect, control, and manage devices from local or remote substations.

"Infrastructure applications require the deployment of open communications frameworks that are based on industry standards and facilitate the sharing of data throughout their organizations," according to Craig Resnick, Research Director, ARC Advisory Group. "Without open, scalable, and standards-based architectures, interoperability between disparate devices is difficult and expensive, especially due to the enormous number of device suppliers and wide variations in the age, technology, and generations of the devices. Open standards are key to providing connectivity and communications for both existing and newly acquired devices and systems. Adding DNP3.0 Ethernet and DNP3.0 Serial drivers to KEPServerEX version 5.3 will help address the needs of the infrastructure industries to achieve lower asset lifecycle costs and total cost of ownership of their disparate devices, in a scalable fashion, through adherence to open industry communication standards."

Additional enhancements made to the DNP drivers include improved optimization for low-bandwidth and noisy communication channels, as well as new diagnostic messages for better management of errors, alarms, and general notifications. The DNP drivers are available as a Serial and Ethernet bundle called the DNP Suite. They are also part of the Power Distribution Suite, which includes several other drivers relevant to the market.

"The markets which utilize DNP3.0 encounter a number of unique communication challenges," states Tony Paine, President of Kepware Technologies. "In listening to our customer base, it was evident that we needed to allow for more flexibility in the layout of DNP network configurations, especially in the area of telemetry-based requirements. This newly revamped solution will now allow users to serialize communications across multiple DNP communications channels."

The 5.3 release also delivers a significant new feature to the Advanced Tag option for KEPServerEX: Link Tags. This feature allows users to bridge data between tags from one driver to a separate driver utilizing different protocols. Data may be bridged from tag-to-tag within the same driver with KEPServerEX system tags or through any KEPServerEX plug-in. This greatly expands the user's control of data.

Additional driver enhancements include an intuitive Automatic Device Discovery feature for the Industrial SNMP and Ping drivers, Allen-Bradley ControlLogix support for RSLogix v18, and Siemens support for the S7-1200 PLC. Twenty other additional KEPServerEX drivers also received updates.

About Kepware:

Kepware is the world leader in communication software for automation and offers a unique experience in both OPC and communication protocols. Since 1995, Kepware has focused on the development of communication drivers to automation controllers, I/O, and field devices. Applications include M2M (Machine to Machine) and M2E (Machine to Enterprise) communications. Operating system support includes Microsoft Windows Desktop, Windows Server, and Windows Embedded (Windows CE and Windows Embedded NT/XP). Today, with over 140 communication protocols, and through the efforts of our direct sales, distribution and embedded partners, Kepware is the leading provider of communications with annual shipments exceeding 100,000 units. Kepware's responsiveness to customer needs and strong partnerships with other leading automation suppliers ensures that your next application will be a success. Ask around and you'll hear why automation professionals everywhere consider Kepware Technologies "Automation's Best Friend."

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