If a universal interface software is to be used for the connection of control systems to SAP, of MES to ERP, such a software must be very flexible due to the diversity of data types to be exchanged.
A Software Gateway which can be used as a standard offers a high level of configurability which allows to adjust the tool to many different requirements without any special programming. Via an OPC-interface, it is possible to get a direct connection of the PLC-level to SAP, to a data base or to a file server.
The various versions of configuration are stored in definition files. ASCII-files or prewritten queries are thus assigned to the requested table columns. This offers a lot of possibilities for automatic data conversion.
The actual data transmission can be made cyclically according to parameterised time intervals. Furthermore, event-driven, calls to HostLink can be made from other programs. Finally, Host connections can be carried out according to a pre-configured distribution list.
The integrated Script-Engines for VBScript and JScript offer a high degree of freedom as far as configuration is concerned. Thus, it is possible to carry out easy jobs such as application-specific plausibility checks for areas of data validity for example, but also more complex processes with intermediate data base queries or others.
Any special customer requirements can be met by application-specific DLLs via the PlugIn-interface.