Test your clients before the devices are available with simulation

Simulation options enable client testing before devices are online

When designing and configuring a control system, it's common for client application configuration to be occurring in parallel with network and controller or device setup. As such, it's feasible that the team working on the client side setup might need to connect to TOP Server and the network and/or devices might not be online yet.

TOP Server supports several simulation options that enable any client application to connect and "communicate" without generating bad quality, no values and a bunch of error messages. This allows verification that the client-side connection is as close to good as possible without delaying to wait on the network and/or devices.

Device Simulate mode enables connectivity to your actual devices hierarchy in TOP Server

Simulate Device mode will let you read and write to tags configured in the TOP Server or let you add tags dynamically. When beginning your project, this can be helpful in many cases to check that the tags in your Client Application are valid for the type of device you are connecting to.

It helps with ensure your syntax is correct.  Just be aware that Simulate mode does not generate changing simulated data values. While your client will be able to connect to configured tags on a Simulate mode device and receive good quality, values will be fixed at "0".

For actual simulated changing data, you'll want to use one of the following simulation options.

Simulator and Advanced Simulator drivers offer simulated data for testing

The TOP Server installs with a project called simdemo.opf that opens the first time you install and launch the TOP Server. This project gives you an example of what can be done with the different types of simulation tags in the Simulator driver, which provides the ability to generate simulated changing data.

You can even create tag names in the Simulator driver that match the ones you will be using in the Client Application. Using the Alias Map, you can then set up the connection to be identical to what you will be using for the actual TOP Server device driver.

The TOP Server Simulator Suite includes not only the Simulator driver but also the Advanced Simulator driver which makes it possible to generate "live" data from any ODBC data source.  This is useful for scenarios where you have historized data from an actual production location and want to more closely simulate a real-world environment.

For more information on advanced TOP Server simulation possibilities or for using the Simulator in production and long-term testing situations, refer to the Simulator Suite page.

Important Notes:

  • Starting with V6.13, the Simulate Device mode now supports separate client applications sharing/receiving the same value updates for the same tags even if they are not using the same update rate.
  • Prior to V6.13, if you have two client applications connecting to the TOP Server when the Simulate Device mode is checked the values from one Client Application are not shared with the other client application unless they are using the same update rate.
    • It is best to use the Simulator driver if you need to test writing from one application and seeing the result in the second application.
  • While Simulate mode enables client connectivity to devices and tags with good quality, it does not generate changing simulated values - for that, you need to use one of the "Simulator" drivers in the TOP Server Simulator Suite.

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The demo is the full product once licensed. Once a client application connects to the  TOP Server, the TOP Server 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 TOP Server runtime service.

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