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 Local IO

Q: How is LIO different than OPC client toolkits?

A: There are two main differences beyond it being a native .NET assembly. The most important difference is that the other commercial toolkits basically provide a thin interface into the OPC server.  You start building your application from these basic APIs.  LIO on the other hand is a tag server component (dll) that links to your application and provides you native .NET style classes, events, properties, etc.  The OPC server keeps the LIO tag server up-to-date in the background without you doing any work.  Your application simply access the IOTags when ever it wants or uses Updated and PropertyChanged events to monitor changes or even communications failures to the OPC server.


Q: Does LIO support DCOM for OPC?

A: Yes.  One might think that the term "Local" in LIO implies no networking support.  However, this really refers to the application's client interface and not the supported protocols.  When we add Modbus TCP it will still be "Local" IO.  Once we move the TagServer to a Windows service and allow connections via .NET remoting, then we have a product called Remote IO.  (So this is a front-end term not a backend term.)  You can even use the TagServer class to get a list of network hosts and check for OPC servers of ANY type on any node via OPCEnum.


Q: Isn't LIO just an OPC client DLL?

A: Not really.  LIO is intended to encapsulate any possible industrial protocol with a generic real-time data access interface.  OPC was chosen to be the first interface implementation due to its wide acceptance and the variety of protocols supported by existing OPC servers.  LIO eliminates the need for protocols and replaces it with a simple generic real-time-data object interface.  In fact, event though some native OPC information is available, you cannot access any of the OPC specific COM functions through LIO.


Q: Can you use LIO in a Windows service?

A: Yes.  We have customers doing this now.  There are no UI MessageBoxes etc. that pop up while running unless you are already using the built-in UI.  All error messages can be received by your application via the TagServer's Errored event or they can be routed to the Windows Event Log for you by the TagServer class.


Q: How is LIO Licensed?

A: LIO is licensed on a per developer seat basis.  LIO can be installed on up to three computers per developer. There is no runtime license or license file for the developer's resulting application.   If you need to move your license to another computer, just email us and we will issue you another license key.

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