A device is a representation of a group of variables and possible communication interface information. This representation can be for:
- A physical device, such as a programmable logic controller (PLC), a RFID tag reader or a sensor.
When representing a physical device, the communication interface information could include properties such as the IP address, the TCP port, the communication timeout and the size and type of the variables within the device.
- A logical device that only resides within the system's runtime, such as a global variables device.
Each device is supported by a device driver, that handles the device specific:
- Communication protocol
- Data type conversions
- Unsolicited message support.
This allows you to create your M2M solution using your devices in a vendor neutral methodology. The triggers (your application logic) and your enterprise applications can be shielded from the majority of the device connectivity details, while still providing the two way device access functions required by your M2M solution.
The Devices feature from the Workbench is used to:
- Define, view and control devices
- Access device variables
- Define, view and control data mappings
- Define, view and control variable groups
Each of these is available as a sub icon that can be expanded from the Devices icon. They also are available as a separate tab when the Devices icon is selected.
The information in this section assumes that you have:
- Activated the appropriate licenses. For more information, see Licenses.
- Installed the driver package that contains the protocol specific logic to communicate with the device. For more information, see Packages.
- Installed the physical device and configured the hardware using the vendor's specific programming tool.
The first several sections of this guide describe the general tasks that apply to all device types.
The sections under Device types describe the specific features and definition details for each of the device types, both base product provided device types and install-able device driver provided device types.
This section contains the following: