Tag Name-based PLC driver

Is the Allen-Bradley Drivers the only ones that have name-based tag browsing? From what I have read, Modbus requires you to know the tag type and address ahead of time, Omron requires you to load or declare the tags on some pages in the gateway, Siemens requires you to know some cryptic addressing scheme. I tried a RedLion device that claims it works with OPC-UA…but while the tags are named in the software, they are referenced via an ID number…ain’t nobody got time for dat.
So, is there any other PLC out there that works as seamlessly as the A-B drivers allow?

What’s this mean? PLCs that support OPC UA should provide a comparable experience to the tag-based Logix driver with browse support.

Ok, so, while browsing for the tag provides a nice folder navigation with tag names, once you click on the tag, the resulting path reverts to that tag’s index number…for example ns=1;s=[RedLionDeviceName]25. The last time I checked this was more than a few years ago, but I don’t think there has been any improvement on this.

Sounds like poor implementation choice by Red Lion.

Other servers, e.g. the OPC UA server in a Siemens S7-1500, use a predictable NodeId once you understand the syntax choices they’ve made.

right, but even then, there’s nothing simpler than the [DeviceName]Folder/Path/To/Tag format that A-B offers. No prefixes to remember.

It’s a little nicer, but even as simple as it is you got it wrong from memory.

The full OPC Item Path from a Logix tag from our OPC UA server/driver looks something like this: [Ignition OPC UA Server]ns=1;s=[logix57]M1.AMPS

But magically, it works by simply specifying [logix57]PlantPAxObject.Tagname (no [OPC Server]ns=1;s= part).

So back to the original question, Siemens may come close…but from the examples in the manual, it is based on tag type and offsets, not tag name. Has anyone tested Productivity3000 from AutomationDirect?

Yes, it is magic, it’s a bunch of magic hacks to preserve backwards compatibility from older versions of Ignition, where we assume that you’re talking to our server and that if you don’t specify otherwise it’s ns=1 and a String-based identifier.

The examples in the manual are for Ignition’s Siemens driver, not for an OPC UA connection to the Siemens S7-1500 built-in server.

These are just Modbus when connecting from Ignition AFAIK.

Ahh, yes. Ok, so as long as the PLC manufacturer does a decent job on their implementation of OPC UA, then it should work similarly to the A-B format.

Right, that’s all I was getting at. Bad luck with Red Lion as your first experience I guess.

But overall, when it comes to the drivers we happen to have support for, you’re right that AB Logix is the best user experience (as long as you’re not hitting some firmware bug).