What is this Cloud Service?

The UA Office Link Cloud Service streams real-time data to and from the Internet with moderate latency (1 – 2 seconds) and moderate update rate (once per second) from one or more data sources to one or more data receivers, ideal for remote monitoring, KPI reports and business intelligence. Available data sources include OPC Office Link Classic and therefore any OPC DA Server. Data receivers include the OPC DA Server for UA Office Link Cloud that is installed with OPC Office Link Classic and your own Web applications that utilize the UA Office Link Cloud API. A universal connector for the UA Office Link application is on the road map.

Is it secure?

Yes. The service uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) for all data connections to and from the cloud. Optionally, data sources may send data end-to-end encrypted secured with a passphrase that is never sent to the cloud servers. Only receivers that also know the passphrase are able to authenticate and decipher the data. Individual users can be granted access rights to all or some of the data (per channel) and each user’s e-mail address and identity is verified against the UA Office Link Cloud account or, for planned Microsoft Office integrations, against the Microsoft Office account.

What data is stored in the cloud?

When you activate your subscription then an anonymous machine identifier (a number generated from your computer’s properties) and your account e-mail address is sent to the service. Your e-mail address is anonymized (hashed) and is, together with your machine identifier, encrypted and persistently stored into a database while your subscription is active. Similarly, e-mail addresses of users authorized to receive real-time data are anonymized, encrypted, and stored persistently into a database. The latest snapshot of real-time data received from the data source is stored in an in-memory database while the data source connection is active and is removed as soon as the connection is dropped. End-to-end encrypted real-time data remains encrypted while in memory since the passphrase for encryption/decryption is never sent to the server.

Sites, Channels, Topics and Tags

The UA Office Link Cloud Service can manage multiple data sources (called Sites, for short) that may be hosted in different locations around the world or simply on different computers within the same organization. How many data sources you may install depends on your cloud subscription. Generally, you will start with one data source installation and add more as the need arises.

Each Site sends data into the cloud through one or more channels. A channel is a separate data connection. Your subscription limits the number of channels that you may use and the number of tags (real-time values) that can be sent to the cloud through each channel. You can further organize tags within a channel through Topics. Topics group tags together for easier management.

The free subscription included in the OPC Office Link Client/Server editions allows for one channel with 50 tags. The standard channel size allows for 250 tags. If you wanted to send 2500 tags into the cloud then you would need 10 standard channels.

Users and downstream capacity

Your subscription determines the limits for the number of downstream connections, the number of users you may authorize to receive data and the total number of tags that users may receive concurrently. The free subscription included in the OPC Office Link Client/Server editions allows for two user connections and 100 concurrent downstream tag values, meaning that two users can receive all 50 data source tags at the same time. Note that the OPC DA Server for UA Office Link Cloud consumes one downstream connection and the UA Office Link Cloud Tag Explorer also consumes one connection while in use. You may want to customize your subscription so that the number of available connections is sufficient for your needs.