OLE for Process Control Specification

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What Does OLE for Process Control Specification Mean?

The OLE for process control specification (OPC) refers to a published series of standard system interconnectivity specifications. These specifications are based on Microsoft’s OLE component object (COM) and distributed component object models (DCOM).


All OPC specifications are maintained by the OPC Foundation, a non-profit organization.

Techopedia Explains OLE for Process Control Specification

OPC is a series of open standards for open connectivity. OPC’s first standard is known as the OPC data access specification (OPC DA). There are now hundreds of OPC data access servers and clients.

OPC technology attempts to provide lower connectivity costs to software vendors, while providing user flexibility. The original specification standardized process data acquisition, which was also used for other types of data such as alarms, events, historical data and batch data. Users may also select software suppliers based on features; and custom interfaces are not required.

Other advantages of OPC technology include:

  • Higher-Quality Connectivity: The OPC DA specification codified the interconnectivity mechanism and testing for compliance.
  • Standardized Software Components: These allow shorter user project cycles, lowering costs.
  • Technical Reliability: OPC is based on industry standards.
  • Accessibility:OPC files are accessible via ZIP utilities.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.