Configure More Meaningful Topics for Clients That Are Easier To Use

Aliases for topics provide more control of your client access path

The TOP Server Alias Map features provides a number of benefits including backwards compatibility for replacing legacy servers as well as a way to assign more meaningful and shorter names to complex tag references.

This can be particularly important for client applications with a size limit on tag address paths. The latest version of the server automatically creates the alias map based on channel, device and group naming but users can also add their own alias map entries for flexible naming conventions.

Users can also filter the server-created aliases out such that the only ones visible are their own custom aliases. This is important for large projects where the number of system generated aliases can be quite large.

Topic aliases for SuiteLink and DDE are automatically generated

By default the access path for an OPC connection is <ChannelName>.<DeviceName> for dynamic tags and for static tags and groups the access path is <ChannelName>.<DeviceName>.<GroupName>.

Automatically created alias names for
topics that can be used in SuiteLink and DDE client applications such as AVEVA InTouch replace the dot with an underscore.

Since those can be quite long depending on your channel, device and group naming conventions, the Alias Map provides the flexibility to create shorter, more meaningful topics for use in any client application.

TOP Server Alias Map Key Features

Some of the functionality available with the Alias Map includes:

  • Automatically creates Topics for DDE and SuiteLink Clients
  • Create your own Topic names
  • Control the update rate for DDE and SuiteLink Clients via Scan Rate Override
  • Create your own OPC Path instead of using the default paths
  • Export, modify and Import CSV when you have a significant number of changes to make
  • Using Alias names in your client application eliminates the need to make changes in your client application if you change your TOP Server channel, device and/or group names

Configuring a new custom topic alias

The Alias Map should show up in the left-hand tree view in the TOP Server Configuration by default. (If Alias is not visible, go to the View menu and enable Alias.)

Highlighting Alias will display any currently configured aliases. (If you're looking for system-generated aliases and they are not visible, right-click on Alias and select Show auto-generated aliases.)

To create a new alias, simply right-click on Alias and select New Alias.

  • Name - This is the topic alias that you will use in your client application.
  • Description - This is an optional description for the topic alias.
  • Mapped to - This is the channel, device and optional group that the topic alias represents in your project.
  • Scan Rate Override (ms) - This overrides the default scan rate specified by SuiteLink and DDE client applications. Leave this at zero to allow the client to control the scan rate.

Important Notes:

  • If the Alias map is not available, go to the View menu and enable Alias and it should appear as an option in the tree view.
  • If the system-generated Aliases are not visible in the Alias map, right-click on Alias and select Show auto-generated aliases.
  • The system-generated aliases cannot be edited for any properties other than Scan Rate Override and they cannot be deleted.
  • There is no limit to the number of aliases that can be defined.
  • Multiple aliases can be defined for the same mapped channel, device and optional group combination
    • This can be useful for specifying a different topic with a different scan rate for groupings of tags that need different scan / update rates in your client application.

Get Started Now

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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