Ignition has a built-in OPC-UA server that includes all of the drivers in this section, but if your devices aren't listed here, there is another way to connect to them. Ignition can quickly and easily connect to third party OPC servers via OPC-UA or OPC-DA (using the OPC-COM module) for devices that do not have a supported driver. This opens up the possibilities to connect Ignition to any device with servers like Kepware, Matricon, etc. With over 100 driver suites each, you are sure to be able to connect anything to Ignition.
OPC-UA is the new Unified Architecture for connecting to OPC devices. Probably the best feature of this new standard is that it can be used on any OS, it is not tied to Microsoft like its predecessor is. Many companies make an OPC-UA server, and between them grant access to hundreds of driver suites, giving you access to thousands of available devices through Ethernet, serial, and other types of communication. If Ignition doesn't have it already, you can still get your data in.
Connecting to an OPC-UA server is simple (locally or remote), but because of the increased security, you need access to both the OPC server and Ignition to complete the setup. For step-by-step instructions to connect to a Kepware OPC server, see Connecting to Kepware OPC-UA. All other OPC-UA servers will have extremely similar connection steps.
OPC COM (often called OPC-DA) has been the way to connect to OPC devices for many years, but the world has since out-grown it with the creation of OPC-UA. It relies on the .NET framework and because of this is restricted to Microsoft operating systems. There is no way to install an OPC COM server on Mac or Linux. There are many still in use today so it cannot be abandoned completely yet, but Ignition has an OPC COM module to connect to them.
OPC COM servers are notoriously difficult to connect to, especially if you want to connect to one on a remote server. If you need to do so, using Ignition's OPC COM Tunneller Module is highly preferred over setting up a Remote COM connection.