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Repo for the Azure IoT Edge OPC Publisher (dev version of hansgschossmann)
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OPC Publisher for Azure IoT Edge

This reference implementation demonstrates how Azure IoT Edge can be used to connect to existing OPC UA servers and publishes JSON encoded telemetry data from these servers in OPC UA "Pub/Sub" format (using a JSON payload) to Azure IoT Hub. All transport protocols supported by Azure IoT Edge can be used, i.e. HTTPS, AMQP and MQTT (the default).

This application, apart from including an OPC UA client for connecting to existing OPC UA servers you have on your network, also includes an OPC UA server on port 62222 that can be used to manage what gets published.

The application is implemented using .NET Core technology and is able to run on the platforms supported by .NET Core.

Publisher implements a retry logic to establish connections to endpoints which have not responded to a certain number of keep alive requests, for example if the OPC UA server on this endpoint had a power outage.

For each distinct publishing interval to an OPC UA server it creates a separate subscription over which all nodes with this publishing interval are updated.

Publisher supports batching of the data sent to IoTHub, to reduce network load. This batching is sending a packet to IoTHub only if the configured package size is reached.

This application uses the OPC Foundations's OPC UA reference stack and therefore licensing restrictions apply. Visit http://opcfoundation.github.io/UA-.NETStandardLibrary/ for OPC UA documentation and licensing terms.

Branch Status
master

Building the Application

The application requires the .NET Core SDK 2.0.

As native Windows application

Open the OpcPublisher.sln project with Visual Studio 2017 and build the solution by hitting F7.

As Docker container

Depending if you use Docker Linux or Docker Windows containers, there are different configuration files (Dockerfile or Dockerfile.Windows) to use for building the container.
From the root of the repository, in a console, type:

docker build -f <docker-configfile-to-use> -t <your-container-name> .

The -f option for docker build is optional and the default is to use Dockerfile. Docker also support building directly from a git repository, which means you also can build a Linux container by:

docker build -t <your-container-name> https://github.com/Azure/iot-edge-opc-publisher

Configuring the OPC UA nodes to publish

The OPC UA nodes whose values should be published to Azure IoT Hub can be configured by creating a JSON formatted configuration file (defaultname: "publishednodes.json"). This file is updated and persisted by the application, when using it's OPC UA server methods "PublishNode" or "UnpublishNode".

The syntax of the configuration file is as follows:

[
    {
        // example for an EnpointUrl is: opc.tcp://win10iot:51210/UA/SampleServer
        "EndpointUrl": "opc.tcp://<your_opcua_server>:<your_opcua_server_port>/<your_opcua_server_path>",
        // Allows to access the endpoint with SecurityPolicy.None when set to 'false' (no signing and encryption applied to the OPC UA communication), default is true
        "UseSecurity": true,
        "OpcNodes": [
            // Publisher will request the server at EndpointUrl to sample the node with the OPC sampling interval specified on command line (or the default value: OPC publishing interval)
            // and the subscription will publish the node value with the OPC publishing interval specified on command line (or the default value: server revised publishing interval).
            {
                // The identifier specifies the NamespaceUri and the node identifier in XML notation as specified in Part 6 of the OPC UA specification in the XML Mapping section.
                "ExpandedNodeId": "nsu=http://opcfoundation.org/UA/;i=2258"
            },
            // Publisher will request the server at EndpointUrl to sample the node with the OPC sampling interval specified on command line (or the default value: OPC publishing interval)
            // and the subscription will publish the node value with an OPC publishing interval of 4 seconds.
            // Publisher will use for each dinstinct publishing interval (of nodes on the same EndpointUrl) a separate subscription. All nodes without a publishing interval setting,
            // will be on the same subscription and the OPC UA stack will publish with the lowest sampling interval of a node.
            {
                "ExpandedNodeId": "nsu=http://opcfoundation.org/UA/;i=2258",
                "OpcPublishingInterval": 4000
            },
            // Publisher will request the server at EndpointUrl to sample the node with the given sampling interval of 1 second
            // and the subscription will publish the node value with the OPC publishing interval specified on command line (or the default value: server revised interval).
            // If the OPC publishing interval is set to a lower value, Publisher will adjust the OPC publishing interval of the subscription to the OPC sampling interval value.
            {
                "ExpandedNodeId": "nsu=http://opcfoundation.org/UA/;i=2258",
                // the OPC sampling interval to use for this node.
                "OpcSamplingInterval": 1000
            }
        ]
    },

    // the format below (NodeId format) is only supported for backward compatibility. you need to ensure that the
    // OPC UA server on the configured EndpointUrl has the namespaceindex you expect with your configuration.
    // please use the ExpandedNodeId format as in the examples above instead.
    {
        "EndpointUrl": "opc.tcp://<your_opcua_server>:<your_opcua_server_port>/<your_opcua_server_path>",
        "NodeId": {
            "Identifier": "ns=0;i=2258"
        }
    }
    // please consult the OPC UA specification for details on how OPC monitored node sampling interval and OPC subscription publishing interval settings are handled by the OPC UA stack.
    // the publishing interval of the data to Azure IoTHub is controlled by the command line settings (or the default: publish data to IoTHub at least each 1 second).
]

Configuring the telemetry published to IoTHub

When OpcPublisher gets notified about a value change in one of the configured published nodes, it generates a JSON formatted message, which is sent to IoTHub.
The content of this JSON formatted message can be configured via a configuration file. If no configuration file is specified via the --tc option a default configuration is used,
which is compatible with the Connected factory Preconfigured Solution.

The data which is ingested is taken from three sources:

  • the OpcPublisher node configuration for the node
  • the MonitoredItem object of the OPC UA stack for which OpcPublisher got a notification
  • the argument passed to this notification, which provides details on the data value change

The telemetry which is put into the JSON formatted message is a selection of important properties of these objects. If you need more properties, you need to change the OpcPublisher code base.

The syntax of the configuration file is as follows:

    // The configuration settings file consists of two objects:
    // 1) The 'Defaults' object, which defines defaults for the telemetry configuration
    // 2) An array 'EndpointSpecific' of endpoint specific configuration
    // Both objects are optional and if they are not specified, then publisher uses
    // its internal default configuration, which generates telemetry messages compatible
    // with the Microsoft Connected factory Preconfigured Solution (https://github.com/Azure/azure-iot-connected-factory).

    // A JSON telemetry message for Connected factory looks like:
    //  {
    //      "NodeId": "i=2058",
    //      "ApplicationUri": "urn:myopcserver",
    //      "DisplayName": "CurrentTime",
    //      "Value": {
    //          "Value": "10.11.2017 14:03:17",
    //          "SourceTimestamp": "2017-11-10T14:03:17Z"
    //      }
    //  }

    // The 'Defaults' object in the sample below, are similar to what publisher is
    // using as its internal default telemetry configuration.
    {
        "Defaults": {
            // The first two properties ('EndpointUrl' and 'NodeId' are configuring data
            // taken from the OpcPublisher node configuration.
            "EndpointUrl": {

                // The following three properties can be used to configure the 'EndpointUrl'
                // property in the JSON message send by publisher to IoTHub.

                // Publish controls if the property should be part of the JSON message at all.
                "Publish": false,

                // Pattern is a regular expression, which is applied to the actual value of the
                // property (here 'EndpointUrl').
                // If this key is ommited (which is the default), then no regex matching is done
                // at all, which improves performance.
                // If the key is used you need to define groups in the regular expression.
                // Publisher applies the regular expression and then concatenates all groups
                // found and use the resulting string as the value in the JSON message to
                //sent to IoTHub.
                // This example mimics the default behaviour and defines a group,
                // which matches the conplete value:
                "Pattern": "(.*)",
                // Here some more exaples for 'Pattern' values and the generated result:
                // "Pattern": "i=(.*)"
                // defined for Defaults.NodeId.Pattern, will generate for the above sample
                // a 'NodeId' value of '2058'to be sent by publisher
                // "Pattern": "(i)=(.*)"
                // defined for Defaults.NodeId.Pattern, will generate for the above sample
                // a 'NodeId' value of 'i2058' to be sent by publisher

                // Name allows you to use a shorter string as property name in the JSON message
                // sent by publisher. By default the property name is unchanged and will be
                // here 'EndpointUrl'.
                // The 'Name' property can only be set in the 'Defaults' object to ensure
                // all messages from publisher sent to IoTHub have a similar layout.
                "Name": "EndpointUrl"

            },
            "NodeId": {
                "Publish": true,

                // If you set Defaults.NodeId.Name to "ni", then the "NodeId" key/value pair
                // (from the above example) will change to:
                //      "ni": "i=2058",
                "Name": "NodeId"
            },

            // The MonitoredItem object is configuring the data taken from the MonitoredItem
            // OPC UA object for published nodes.
            "MonitoredItem": {

                // If you set the Defaults.MonitoredItem.Flat to 'false', then a
                // 'MonitoredItem' object will appear, which contains 'ApplicationUri'
                // and 'DisplayNode' proerties:
                //      "NodeId": "i=2058",
                //      "MonitoredItem": {
                //          "ApplicationUri": "urn:myopcserver",
                //          "DisplayName": "CurrentTime",
                //      }
                // The 'Flat' property can only be used in the 'MonitoredItem' and
                // 'Value' objects of the 'Defaults' object and will be used
                // for all JSON messages sent by publisher.
                "Flat": true,

                "ApplicationUri": {
                    "Publish": true,
                    "Name": "ApplicationUri"
                },
                "DisplayName": {
                    "Publish": true,
                    "Name": "DisplayName"
                }
            },
            // The Value object is configuring the properties taken from the event object
            // the OPC UA stack provided in the value change notification event.
            "Value": {
                // If you set the Defaults.Value.Flat to 'true', then the 'Value'
                // object will disappear completely and the 'Value' and 'SourceTimestamp'
                // members won't be nested:
                //      "DisplayName": "CurrentTime",
                //      "Value": "10.11.2017 14:03:17",
                //      "SourceTimestamp": "2017-11-10T14:03:17Z"
                // The 'Flat' property can only be used for the 'MonitoredItem' and 'Value'
                // objects of the 'Defaults' object and will be used for all
                // messages sent by publisher.
                "Flat": false,

                "Value": {
                    "Publish": true,
                    "Name": "Value"
                },
                "SourceTimestamp": {
                    "Publish": true,
                    "Name": "SourceTimestamp"
                },
                // 'StatusCode' is the 32 bit OPC UA status code
                "StatusCode": {
                    "Publish": false,
                    "Name": "StatusCode"
                    // 'Pattern' is ignored for the 'StatusCode' value
                },
                // 'Status' is the symbolic name of 'StatusCode'
                "Status": {
                    "Publish": false,
                    "Name": "Status"
                }
            }
        },

        // The next object allows to configure 'Publish' and 'Pattern' for specific
        // endpoint URLs. Those will overwrite the ones specified in the 'Defaults' object
        // or the defaults used by publisher.
        // It is not allowed to specify 'Name' and 'Flat' properties in this object.
        "EndpointSpecific": [
            // The following shows how a endpoint specific configuration can look like:
            {
                // 'ForEndpointUrl' allows to configure for which OPC UA server this
                // object applies and is a required property for all objects in the
                // 'EndpointSpecific' array.
                // The value of 'ForEndpointUrl' must be an 'EndpointUrl' configured in
                // the publishednodes.json confguration file.
                "ForEndpointUrl": "opc.tcp://<your_opcua_server>:<your_opcua_server_port>/<your_opcua_server_path>",
                "EndpointUrl": {
                    // We overwrite the default behaviour and publish the
                    // endpoint URL in this case.
                    "Publish": true,
                    // We are only interested in the URL part following the 'opc.tcp://' prefix
                    // and define a group matching this.
                    "Pattern": "opc.tcp://(.*)"
                },
                "NodeId": {
                    // We are not interested in the configured 'NodeId' value, 
                    // so we do not publish it.
                    "Publish": false
                    // No 'Pattern' key is specified here, so the 'NodeId' value will be
                    // taken as specified in the publishednodes configuration file.
                },
                "MonitoredItem": {
                    "ApplicationUri": {
                        // We already publish the endpoint URL, so we do not want
                        //the ApplicationUri of the MonitoredItem to be published.
                        "Publish": false
                    },
                    "DisplayName": {
                        "Publish": true
                    }
                },
                "Value": {
                    "Value": {
                        // The value of the node is important for us, everything else we
                        // are not interested in to keep the data ingest as small as possible.
                        "Publish": true
                    },
                    "SourceTimestamp": {
                        "Publish": false
                    },
                    "StatusCode": {
                        "Publish": false
                    },
                    "Status": {
                        "Publish": false
                    }
                }
            }
        ]
    }

Running the Application

Command line options

The complete usage of the application can be shown using the --help command line option and is as follows:

    Usage: OpcPublisher.exe <applicationname> [<iothubconnectionstring>] [<options>]

    OPC Edge Publisher to subscribe to configured OPC UA servers and send telemetry to Azure IoTHub.
    To exit the application, just press ENTER while it is running.

    applicationname: the OPC UA application name to use, required
                     The application name is also used to register the publisher under this name in the
                     IoTHub device registry.

    iothubconnectionstring: the IoTHub owner connectionstring, optional

    There are a couple of environment variables which can be used to control the application:
    _HUB_CS: sets the IoTHub owner connectionstring
    _GW_LOGP: sets the filename of the log file to use
    _TPC_SP: sets the path to store certificates of trusted stations
    _GW_PNFP: sets the filename of the publishing configuration file

    Command line arguments overrule environment variable settings.

    Options:
          --pf, --publishfile=VALUE
                                 the filename to configure the nodes to publish.
                                   Default: '.\publishednodes.json'
          --tc, --telemetryconfigfile=VALUE
                                 the filename to configure the ingested telemetry
                                   Default: ''
          --sd, --shopfloordomain=VALUE
                                 the domain of the shopfloor. if specified this
                                   domain is appended (delimited by a ':' to the '
                                   ApplicationURI' property when telemetry is sent
                                   to IoTHub.
                                   The value must follow the syntactical rules of a
                                   DNS hostname.
                                   Default: not set
          --sw, --sessionconnectwait=VALUE
                                 specify the wait time in seconds publisher is
                                   trying to connect to disconnected endpoints and
                                   starts monitoring unmonitored items
                                   Min: 10
                                   Default: 10
          --mq, --monitoreditemqueuecapacity=VALUE
                                 specify how many notifications of monitored items
                                   can be stored in the internal queue, if the
                                   data can not be sent quick enough to IoTHub
                                   Min: 1024
                                   Default: 8192
          --di, --diagnosticsinterval=VALUE
                                 shows publisher diagnostic info at the specified
                                   interval in seconds. 0 disables diagnostic
                                   output.
                                   Default: 0
          --vc, --verboseconsole=VALUE
                                 the output of publisher is shown on the console.
                                   Default: False
          --ns, --noshutdown=VALUE
                                 publisher can not be stopped by pressing a key
                                   on the console, but will run forever.
                                   Default: False
          --ih, --iothubprotocol=VALUE
                                 the protocol to use for communication with Azure
                                   IoTHub (allowed values: Amqp, Http1, Amqp_
                                   WebSocket_Only, Amqp_Tcp_Only, Mqtt, Mqtt_
                                   WebSocket_Only, Mqtt_Tcp_Only).
                                   Default: Mqtt_WebSocket_Only
          --ms, --iothubmessagesize=VALUE
                                 the max size of a message which can be send to
                                   IoTHub. when telemetry of this size is available
                                   it will be sent.
                                   0 will enforce immediate send when telemetry is
                                   available
                                   Min: 0
                                   Max: 262144
                                   Default: 262144
          --si, --iothubsendinterval=VALUE
                                 the interval in seconds when telemetry should be
                                   send to IoTHub. If 0, then only the
                                   iothubmessagesize parameter controls when
                                   telemetry is sent.
                                   Default: '10'
          --lf, --logfile=VALUE  the filename of the logfile to use.
                                   Default: './Logs/<applicationname>.log.txt'
          --pn, --portnum=VALUE  the server port of the publisher OPC server
                                   endpoint.
                                   Default: 62222
          --pa, --path=VALUE     the enpoint URL path part of the publisher OPC
                                   server endpoint.
                                   Default: '/UA/Publisher'
          --lr, --ldsreginterval=VALUE
                                 the LDS(-ME) registration interval in ms. If 0,
                                   then the registration is disabled.
                                   Default: 0
          --ot, --operationtimeout=VALUE
                                 the operation timeout of the publisher OPC UA
                                   client in ms.
                                   Default: 120000
          --oi, --opcsamplinginterval=VALUE
                                 the publisher is using this as default value in
                                   milliseconds to request the servers to sample
                                   the nodes with this interval
                                   this value might be revised by the OPC UA
                                   servers to a supported sampling interval.
                                   please check the OPC UA specification for
                                   details how this is handled by the OPC UA stack.
                                   a negative value will set the sampling interval
                                   to the publishing interval of the subscription
                                   this node is on.
                                   0 will configure the OPC UA server to sample in
                                   the highest possible resolution and should be
                                   taken with care.
                                   Default: 1000
          --op, --opcpublishinginterval=VALUE
                                 the publisher is using this as default value in
                                   milliseconds for the publishing interval setting
                                   of the subscriptions established to the OPC UA
                                   servers.
                                   please check the OPC UA specification for
                                   details how this is handled by the OPC UA stack.
                                   a value less than or equal zero will let the
                                   server revise the publishing interval.
                                   Default: 0
          --ct, --createsessiontimeout=VALUE
                                 specify the timeout in seconds used when creating
                                   a session to an endpoint. On unsuccessful
                                   connection attemps a backoff up to 5 times the
                                   specified timeout value is used.
                                   Min: 1
                                   Default: 10
          --ki, --keepaliveinterval=VALUE
                                 specify the interval in seconds the publisher is
                                   sending keep alive messages to the OPC servers
                                   on the endpoints it is connected to.
                                   Min: 2
                                   Default: 2
          --kt, --keepalivethreshold=VALUE
                                 specify the number of keep alive packets a server
                                   can miss, before the session is disconneced
                                   Min: 1
                                   Default: 5
          --st, --opcstacktracemask=VALUE
                                 the trace mask for the OPC stack. See github OPC .
                                   NET stack for definitions.
                                   To enable IoTHub telemetry tracing set it to 711.

                                   Default: 285  (645)
          --as, --autotrustservercerts=VALUE
                                 the publisher trusts all servers it is
                                   establishing a connection to.
                                   Default: False
          --tm, --trustmyself=VALUE
                                 the publisher certificate is put into the trusted
                                   certificate store automatically.
                                   Default: True
          --fd, --fetchdisplayname=VALUE
                                 enable to read the display name of a published
                                   node from the server. this will increase the
                                   runtime.
                                   Default: False
          --at, --appcertstoretype=VALUE
                                 the own application cert store type.
                                   (allowed values: Directory, X509Store)
                                   Default: 'X509Store'
          --ap, --appcertstorepath=VALUE
                                 the path where the own application cert should be
                                   stored
                                   Default (depends on store type):
                                   X509Store: 'CurrentUser\UA_MachineDefault'
                                   Directory: 'CertificateStores/own'
          --tt, --trustedcertstoretype=VALUE
                                 the trusted cert store type.
                                   (allowed values: Directory, X509Store)
                                   Default: Directory
          --tp, --trustedcertstorepath=VALUE
                                 the path of the trusted cert store
                                   Default (depends on store type):
                                   X509Store: 'CurrentUser\UA_MachineDefault'
                                   Directory: 'CertificateStores/trusted'
          --rt, --rejectedcertstoretype=VALUE
                                 the rejected cert store type.
                                   (allowed values: Directory, X509Store)
                                   Default: Directory
          --rp, --rejectedcertstorepath=VALUE
                                 the path of the rejected cert store
                                   Default (depends on store type):
                                   X509Store: 'CurrentUser\UA_MachineDefault'
                                   Directory: 'CertificateStores/rejected'
          --it, --issuercertstoretype=VALUE
                                 the trusted issuer cert store type.
                                   (allowed values: Directory, X509Store)
                                   Default: Directory
          --ip, --issuercertstorepath=VALUE
                                 the path of the trusted issuer cert store
                                   Default (depends on store type):
                                   X509Store: 'CurrentUser\UA_MachineDefault'
                                   Directory: 'CertificateStores/issuers'
          --dt, --devicecertstoretype=VALUE
                                 the iothub device cert store type.
                                   (allowed values: Directory, X509Store)
                                   Default: X509Store
          --dp, --devicecertstorepath=VALUE
                                 the path of the iot device cert store
                                   Default Default (depends on store type):
                                   X509Store: 'My'
                                   Directory: 'CertificateStores/IoTHub'
      -h, --help                 show this message and exit

There are a couple of environment variables which can be used to control the application:

  • _HUB_CS: sets the IoTHub owner connectionstring
  • _GW_LOGP: sets the filename of the log file to use
  • _TPC_SP: sets the path to store certificates of trusted stations
  • _GW_PNFP: sets the filename of the publishing configuration file

Command line arguments overrule environment variable settings.

Typically you specify the IoTHub owner connectionstring only on the first start of the application. The connectionstring will be encrypted and stored in the platforms certificiate store.
On subsequent calls it will be read from there and reused. If you specify the connectionstring on each start, the device which is created for the application in the IoTHub device registry will be removed and recreated each time.

Native on Windows

Open the OpcPublisher.sln project with Visual Studio 2017, build the solution and publish it. You can start the application in the 'Target directory' you have published to with:

dotnet OpcPublisher.dll <applicationname> [<iothubconnectionstring>] [options]

Using a self-built container

Build your own container and then start the container:

docker run <your-container-name> <applicationname> [<iothubconnectionstring>] [options]

Using a container from hub.docker.com

There is a prebuilt container available on DockerHub. To start it, just do:

docker run microsoft/iot-edge-opc-publisher <applicationname> [<iothubconnectionstring>] [options]

Using it as a module in Azure IoT Edge

Azure IoT Edge is now in public preview and OpcPublisher is ready to be used as a module to run in IoT Edge.
We recommend to take a look on the information available on the beforementioned link and use then the information provided here. You need to install the IoT Edge as
explained in the Quickstart guides and create an IoTHub to be able to configure the modules to run on IoT Edge.

To add publisher as module to your IoT Edge deployment, you go to the Azure portal and navigate to your IoTHub and:

  • Go to IoT Edge (preview) and select your IoT Edge device.
  • Select Set Modules.
  • Select Add IoT Edge Module.
  • In the Name field, enter iot-edge-opc-publisher.
    In the Image URI field, enter microsoft/iot-edge-opc-publisher:latest
  • Paste the following into the Container Create Options field:

      {
          "Hostname": "publisher",
          "Cmd": [
              "dotnet", "/build/out/OpcPublisher.dll", "publisher", "--pf", "/docker/publishednodes.json", "--lf", "/docker/publisher.log.txt", "--si", "1", "--ms", "0", "--di", "5", "--fd", "true", "--tm", "true", "--as", "true", "--vc", "true", "--ih", "Mqtt_Tcp_Only"
          ],
          "HostConfig": {
                  "Binds": [
                      "//d/docker/docker:/docker"
                  ]
          }
      }
    
  • Adjust the command line parameters in Cmd as needed

  • Adjust the Binds source, which is set in the example to //d/docker/docker, which means that the publishednodes.json and the publisher.log.txt are put into
    folder d:\docker\docker on the Windows host IoT Edge is running (Note: you need to apply the the appropriate Settings to allow Docker for Windows accessing the drives.)
  • Leave the other settings unchanged and select Save.
  • Back in the Set Modules page, select Next
  • Add the following route in the Specify Routes page:

      {
         "routes":{
            "upstream":"FROM /* INTO $upstream"
         }
      }
    
  • Select Next

  • Update your publishednodes.json file on your system IoT Edge is running as needed.
  • Select Submit to send your configuration down to IoT Edge

Important when using a container

Access to the Publisher OPC UA server

The Publisher OPC UA server listens by default on port 62222. To expose this inbound port in a container, you need to use docker run option -p:

docker run -p 62222:62222 microsoft/iot-edge-opc-publisher <applicationname> [<iothubconnectionstring>] [options]

Enable intercontainer nameresolution

To enable name resolution from within the container to other containers, you need to create a user define docker bridge network and connect the container to this network using the --network option.
Additionally you need to assign the container a name using the --name option as in this example:

docker network create -d bridge iot_edge
docker run --network iot_edge --name publisher microsoft/iot-edge-opc-publisher <applicationname> [<iothubconnectionstring>] [options]

The container can now be reached by other containers via the name publisherover the network.

Access other systems from within the container

Other containers, can be reached using the parameters described in the "Enable intercontainer nameresolution" paragraph.
If operating system on which docker is hosted is DNS enabled, then accessing all systems which are known by DNS will work..
A problems occurs in a network which does use NetBIOS name resolution. To enable access to other systems (including the one on which docker is hosted) you need to start your container using the --add-host option,
which effectevly is adding an entry to the containers host file.

docker run --add-host mydevbox:192.168.178.23  microsoft/iot-edge-opc-publisher <applicationname> [<iothubconnectionstring>] [options]

Assigning a hostname

Publisher uses the hostname of the machine is running on for certificate and endpoint generation. docker chooses a random hostname if there is none set by the -h option. Here an example to set the internal hostname of the container to publisher:

docker run -h publisher microsoft/iot-edge-opc-publisher <applicationname> [<iothubconnectionstring>] [options]

Using bind mounts (shared filesystem)

In certain use cases it may make sense to read configuration information from or write log files to locations on the host and not keep them in the container file system only. To achieve this you need to use the -v option of docker run in the bind mount mode.

Store for X509 certificates

Storing X509 certificates does not work with bind mounts, since the permissions of the path to the store need to be rw for the owner. Instead you need to use the -v option of docker run in the volume mode.

Performance and memory considerations

Commandline parameters contolling performance and memory

When running Publisher you need to be aware of your performance requirements and the memory resources you have available on your platform.
Since both are interdependent and both depend on the configuration of how many nodes are configured to publish, you should ensure that the parameters you are using for:

  • IoTHub send interval (--si)
  • IoTHub message size (--ms)
  • Monitored Items queue capacity (--mq)
    do meet your requirements.

The --mq parameter controls the upper bound of the capacity of the internal queue, which buffers all notifications if a value of an OPC node changes. If Publisher is not able to send messages to IoTHub fast enough,
then this queue buffers those notifications. The parameter sets the number of notifications which can be buffered. If you seen the number of items in this queue increasing in your test runs, you need to:

  • decrease the IoTHub send interval (--si)
  • increase the IoTHub message size (--ms)
    otherwise you will loose the data values of those OPC node changes. The --mq parameter at the same time allows to prevent controlling the upper bound of the memory resources used by Publisher.

The --si parameter enforces Publisher to send messages to IoTHub as the specified interval. If there is an IoTHub message size specified via the --ms parameter (or by the default value for it),
then a message will be sent either when the message size is reached (in this case the interval is restarted) or when the specified interval time has passed. If you disable the message size by --ms 0, Publisher
uses the maximal possible IoTHub message size of 256 kB to batch data.

The --ms parameter allows you to enable batching of messages sent to IoTHub. Depending on the protocol you are using, the overhead to send a message to IoTHub is high compared to the actual time of sending the payload.
If your scenario allows latency for the data ingested, you should configure Publisher to use the maximal message size of 256 kB.

Before you use Publisher in production scenarios, you need to test the performance and memory under production conditions. You can use the --di commandline parameter to specify a interval in seconds,
which will trigger the output of diagnostic information at this interval.

Test measurements

Here are some measurements with different values for --si and --ms parameters publishing 500 nodes with an OPC publishing interval of 1 second.
Publisher was used as debug build on Windows 10 natively for 120 seconds. The IoTHub protocol was the default MQTT protocol.

Default configuration (--si 10 --ms 262144)

    ==========================================================================
    OpcPublisher status @ 26.10.2017 15:33:05 (started @ 26.10.2017 15:31:09)
    ---------------------------------
    OPC sessions: 1
    connected OPC sessions: 1
    connected OPC subscriptions: 5
    OPC monitored items: 500
    ---------------------------------
    monitored items queue bounded capacity: 8192
    monitored items queue current items: 0
    monitored item notifications enqueued: 54363
    monitored item notifications enqueue failure: 0
    monitored item notifications dequeued: 54363
    ---------------------------------
    messages sent to IoTHub: 109
    last successful msg sent @: 26.10.2017 15:33:04
    bytes sent to IoTHub: 12709429
    avg msg size: 116600
    msg send failures: 0
    messages too large to sent to IoTHub: 0
    times we missed send interval: 0
    ---------------------------------
    current working set in MB: 90
    --si setting: 10
    --ms setting: 262144
    --ih setting: Mqtt
    ==========================================================================

The default configuration sends data to IoTHub each 10 seconds or when 256 kB of data to ingest is available. This adds a moderate latency of max 10 seconds, but has lowest probablilty of loosing data because of the large message size.
As you see in the diagnostics ouptut there are no OPC node udpates lost (monitored item notifications enqueue failure).

Constant send inverval (--si 1 --ms 0)

    ==========================================================================
    OpcPublisher status @ 26.10.2017 15:35:59 (started @ 26.10.2017 15:34:03)
    ---------------------------------
    OPC sessions: 1
    connected OPC sessions: 1
    connected OPC subscriptions: 5
    OPC monitored items: 500
    ---------------------------------
    monitored items queue bounded capacity: 8192
    monitored items queue current items: 0
    monitored item notifications enqueued: 54243
    monitored item notifications enqueue failure: 0
    monitored item notifications dequeued: 54243
    ---------------------------------
    messages sent to IoTHub: 109
    last successful msg sent @: 26.10.2017 15:35:59
    bytes sent to IoTHub: 12683836
    avg msg size: 116365
    msg send failures: 0
    messages too large to sent to IoTHub: 0
    times we missed send interval: 0
    ---------------------------------
    current working set in MB: 90
    --si setting: 1
    --ms setting: 0
    --ih setting: Mqtt
    ==========================================================================

When the message size is set to 0 and there is a send interval configured (or the default of 1 second is used), then Publisher does use internally batch data using the maximal supported IoTHub message size, which is 256 kB. As you see in the diagnostic output,
the average message size is 115019 byte. In this configuration we do not loose any OPC node value udpates and compared to the default it adds lower latency.

Send each OPC node value update (--si 0 --ms 0)

    ==========================================================================
    OpcPublisher status @ 26.10.2017 15:39:33 (started @ 26.10.2017 15:37:37)
    ---------------------------------
    OPC sessions: 1
    connected OPC sessions: 1
    connected OPC subscriptions: 5
    OPC monitored items: 500
    ---------------------------------
    monitored items queue bounded capacity: 8192
    monitored items queue current items: 8184
    monitored item notifications enqueued: 54232
    monitored item notifications enqueue failure: 44624
    monitored item notifications dequeued: 1424
    ---------------------------------
    messages sent to IoTHub: 1423
    last successful msg sent @: 26.10.2017 15:39:33
    bytes sent to IoTHub: 333046
    avg msg size: 234
    msg send failures: 0
    messages too large to sent to IoTHub: 0
    times we missed send interval: 0
    ---------------------------------
    current working set in MB: 96
    --si setting: 0
    --ms setting: 0
    --ih setting: Mqtt
    ==========================================================================

This configuration sends for each OPC node value change a message to IoTHub. You see the average message size of 234 byte is pretty small. The advantage of this configuration is that Publisher does not add any latency to the ingest data path. The number of
lost OPC node value updates (monitored item notifications enqueue failure: 44624) is the highest of all compared configurations, which make this configuration not recommendable for use cases, when a lot of telemetry should be published.

Maximum batching (--si 0 --ms 262144)

    ==========================================================================
    OpcPublisher status @ 26.10.2017 15:42:55 (started @ 26.10.2017 15:41:00)
    ---------------------------------
    OPC sessions: 1
    connected OPC sessions: 1
    connected OPC subscriptions: 5
    OPC monitored items: 500
    ---------------------------------
    monitored items queue bounded capacity: 8192
    monitored items queue current items: 0
    monitored item notifications enqueued: 54137
    monitored item notifications enqueue failure: 0
    monitored item notifications dequeued: 54137
    ---------------------------------
    messages sent to IoTHub: 48
    last successful msg sent @: 26.10.2017 15:42:55
    bytes sent to IoTHub: 12565544
    avg msg size: 261782
    msg send failures: 0
    messages too large to sent to IoTHub: 0
    times we missed send interval: 0
    ---------------------------------
    current working set in MB: 90
    --si setting: 0
    --ms setting: 262144
    --ih setting: Mqtt
    ==========================================================================

This configuration batches as much OPC node value udpates as possible. The maximum IoTHub message size is 256 kB, which is configured here. There is no send interval requested, which makes the time when data is ingested
completely controlled by the data itself. This configuration has the least probability of loosing any OPC node values and can be used for publishing a high number of nodes.
When using this configuration you need to ensure, that your scenario does not have conditions where high latency is introduced (because the message size of 256 kB is not reached).

Debugging the Application

Native on Windows

Open the OpcPublisher.sln project with Visual Studio 2017 and start debugging the app by hitting F5.

If you need to access the OPC UA server in the publisher, you should ensure that the firewall setting allow access to the port the server is listening on (default: 62222).

In a docker container

Visual Studio 2017 supports debugging of application in docker container. This is done by using docker-compose. Since this does not allow to pass command line parameters it is not convenient.
Another debugging option VS2017 supports is to debug via ssh. In the root of the repository the docker build configuration file Dockerfile.ssh can be used to create a SSH enabled container by:

docker build -f .\Dockerfile.ssh -t publisherssh .

The container can now be started for publisher debugging purposes with:

docker run -it publisherssh

In the container you need to manually start the ssh daemon with:

service ssh start

At this point you should be able to create an ssh session as user root with the password Passw0rd.

To prepare debugging of the application in the container you need to do the following additional steps:

On the host side create a launch.json:

{
  "version": "0.2.0",
  "adapter": "<path>\\plink.exe",
  "adapterArgs": "root@localhost -pw Passw0rd -batch -T ~/vsdbg/vsdbg --interpreter=vscode",
  "languageMappings": {
    "C#": {
      "languageId": "3F5162F8-07C6-11D3-9053-00C04FA302A1",
      "extensions": [ "*" ]
    }
  },
  "exceptionCategoryMappings": {
    "CLR": "449EC4CC-30D2-4032-9256-EE18EB41B62B",
    "MDA": "6ECE07A9-0EDE-45C4-8296-818D8FC401D4"
  },
  "configurations": [
    {
      "name": ".NET Core Launch",
      "type": "coreclr",
      "cwd": "~/publisher",
      "program": "Opc.Ua.Publisher.dll",
      "args": "<put-the-publisher-command-line-options-here>",

      "request": "launch"
    }
  ]
}

Build your project and publish it to a directory of your choice.

Use a tool like WinSCP to copy over the published files to the container into the directory /root/publisher (this can be also a different directory, but needs to be in sync with the cdw property of launch.json.

Now you can start debugging with the following command in Visual Studio's Command Window (View->Other Windows->Command Window):
DebugAdapterHost.Launch /LaunchJson:"<path-to-the-launch.json-file-you-saved>"

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