Building an OmniServer Protocol is So Much Easier than Custom Code

Tell OmniServer how to talk to your devices

OmniServer uses a "protocol" to communicate with your device.  What is a protocol?  Essentially, it's a collection of patterns of bytes or characters used by the device to communicate.

Let's think in terms of two different types of basic transactions:

  1. Sends from OmniServer to the device
  2. Receives from the device to OmniServer

So the first step is knowing what pattern (i.e. the protocol) the device uses for sends and/or receives.  Most device vendors provide documentation that will detail this type of information and that documentation can be used to tell OmniServer how to communicate.

Find Out More About Using OmniServer With Protocol Documentation

Have questions?  Check Out These FAQs!

Visual Protocol Editor reinvents custom driver creation

The Visual Protocol Editor makes it easy to take what you learn from your device protocol documentation and build an OmniServer protocol, lowering your protocol configuration time by up to 40%.

It provides the following flexible features to help create a custom driver from your device's protocol documentation - all without custom code.

  • Table-based configuration for most common OmniServer components including Items, Topic Variables, Register Numbers and more
  • Drag-and-Drop Support for building protocol messages
  • Define Favorite sequences - Save time and effort by saving your own custom protocol sequences for repetitive protocols
  • Create custom layouts - Maximize efficiency when building protocol messages by only displaying the protocol components/sequences you need

Watch the Visual Protocol Editor in Action

Free protocol evaluations and powerful testing and diagnostic tools help you get started

We offer you the following options and resources to ensure you can get up and running with OmniServer:

We also provide numerous how-to documentation, videos and other resources to help you get started.

Don't have time to build your own OmniServer protocol?  Contact us about our cost-effective paid consulting services.

Frequently Asked Questions - Using OmniServer

  • How can I know if OmniServer will work before I buy it?

    You can always test drive a fully functional trial version of OmniServer before you purchase. The only limitation on the trial version is a two hour time limit, after which the server can be restarted. You can get the trial version here.

    We also encourage you to contact us for a free evaluation of the protocol information you have available. Our protocol experts can look at the information and give you a good idea of how a protocol might be implemented in OmniServer before you get started.

    You can also request our free Protocol Implementation Guide for OmniServer to help you get started.

  • I have the demo of OmniServer. What do I do now?

    OmniServer works by modeling the data stream coming in from the device or being sent to the device. This modeling is called a protocol. Within this protocol you will tell OmniServer how to interpret (or put together) the data stream and what data is to be passed between your client application and the device.

    So the first thing you need is a protocol document for the device. The protocol information is usually found within a user's or programmer's manual that may have come with the device. Somewhere within the documentation is an explanation of how data is passed between the device and the host computer (OmniServer).

    Without this information, OmniServer will not be able to communicate with the device.

    Click here for a blog post on reading and interpreting device documentation

  • I have the protocol document for the device. What now?

    Included in the OmniServer Help File is a list of tutorials for all the major classes of devices. You can match your device to one of those tutorials and use that as a place to get started.

    If you would like our protocol engineers to provide a free evaluation of the protocol with some advice on how to proceed, please contact us to arrange for us to receive your protocol documentation.

    You can also employ our Engineering Services to help you understand or even develop the protocol. Please see the ordering page under "Add-On Consulting Services" for more information and basic pricing.

  • How do I test my OmniServer protocol?

    OmniServer installs with a powerful OPC Test Client that makes it easy to test your connection via OPC DA before you have your final application ready.  Eventually you will need a client program that supports OPC UA, OPC DA, SuiteLink, DDE or FastDDE.  Most (if not all) HMI / SCADA / MES / Historian applications support one of the above, as do most popular database and spreadsheet programs. 

    OmniServer is a pure software server and, as such, will not poll or write to your device unless the client application is asking for at least one piece of information as defined in your protocol.

    Once a client connection is made with OmniServer from the client application, OmniServer will begin communicating with the device. We have some details regarding client connectivity available here and we also have how-to videos here.

    Click here for a blog post about connecting and testing with a protocol.

  • Nothing is happening. How do I troubleshoot my protocol?

    The following are the most common reasons you might be having protocol or communication issues:

    • Do you have a client application connected and requesting at least one of the items in your protocol messages?  This is required for OmniServer to communicate - it will not communicate by itself.
    • While you faithfully followed the protocol documentation from your device vendor, that information could have potentially forgotten to explain or explained incompletely some required formatting such as starting or terminating characters.
    • To err is human - your protocol might simply have a typing error resulting in your pattern not fully matching the actual data your device requires.
    • Perhaps the COM or Ethernet device settings don't fully match what is required to connect to your device.

    Our Troubleshooting Guide or our Online Resources will guide you through how to troubleshoot your protocol. We suggest you use these resources first to eliminate basic issues. If you continue to have problems, please contact our support team.

  • Everything is working great. Where do I purchase OmniServer?

    Purchasing OmniServer is an easy and painless process. Click here to visit our ordering page.

Get Started Now

The demo is the full product once licensed. Once a client application connects to the OmniServer, the OmniServer runtime will operate for 2 hours at a time. At the end of the 2 hour demo period, the demo timer must be reset by restarting the OmniServer runtime.

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+1-704-849-2773 (Global)