Archestra: a new framework for automation

Wonderware Corporation has previewed its new ArchestrA framework, a common set of infrastructure services, rather than an off-the-shelf product, that allow different applications to work together.

‘By allowing different applications to run seamlessly on top of a common infrastructure, application developers can concentrate on making the best use of their expertise, rather than consuming redundant time and effort on the ‘plumbing’ underlying the application,’ said Joe Cowan, Wonderware president and CEO. ‘ArchestrA is the result of this development effort.

‘This new operating environment, which runs on top of the Microsoft Windows OS and its associated enabling software, consists of the primary functional services that are needed to build any product for an industrial automation application,’ Cowan continued. ‘It’s intended to abstract users from the complexities of the underlying technologies so that they only need assembly or configuration skills, not sophisticated programming skills, for developing automation applications.’

‘Users can now concentrate instead on satisfying their industry’s domain requirements, with which they’re already familiar. By using our plant-centric, Component Architecture Model for their system design, they also can now reuse engineering from project to project, often using as much as 70 percent of the engineering developed for previous projects in their new projects.’

ArchestrA saves both control and process or production engineers from having to know the ins and outs of developing the core technologies common to virtually all automation applications. Its new design and development environment offers the ability to handle event-based processing, scripting and calculation.

ArchestrA provides standardised ways to manage alarms and events, data historisation and, in parallel with Windows, security management. It enables integration with and data acquisition from all types of field control and sensor devices and it uses inter-object communications and name service management to simplify tasks. It automatically provides version management and control capabilities as well as centralised license management and deployment, and centralised system diagnostics and administration.

‘One of the important features of ArchestrA is that it provides mechanisms for easier internationalization of applications via a common base for localisation in multiple languages, which can be critical to today’s global corporations,’ Cowan said. ArchestrA will be rolled out to Wonderware OEMs, value-added resellers, system integrators and end user customers through the remainder of 2001.

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