Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache PLC4X as Top-Level Project

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Apache PLC4X is not only an API to communicate with industrial hardware, it also offers a set of drivers for communicating by leveraging a range of industrial protocols

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers and incubators of over 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced that Apache PLC4X is now a Top-Level Project (TLP). This is also being the 200th project to come out from the Apache Incubator.

Apache PLC4X is a universal protocol adapter for developing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications via a set of libraries that enable unified access to a vast range of industrial programmable logic controllers (PLCs), by utilising a number of protocols with a shared application programming interface (API).

Originally, the project was created at codecentric AG. In December 2017, it was entered the Apache Incubator.

Link between Open Source and reality

Commenting on the development, Christofer Dutz, Vice President, Apache PLC4X, said, “There is a lot of hype about Industry 4.0, IIoT, and digitisation, however, there’s unfortunately been no viable way to access industrial PLCs from the Open Source world. Apache PLC4X is the missing link between Open Source and the reality on today’s industrial shop floor.”

“We are proud that PLC4X is helping redefine how industrial software is created and graduating as an Apache Top-Level Project is an important milestone in solidifying our project’s maturity,” Dutz added.

It is often impossible to have integration and connectivity across industrial hardware and IoT edge gateways, with closed-source, incompatible protocols, proprietary legacy systems and locked-in vendor solutions. Apache PLC4X is not only an API to communicate with industrial hardware, it also offers a set of drivers for communicating by leveraging a range of industrial protocols. Besides, PLC4X ships with a vast variety of integration modules that make it simple to use in other Open Source frameworks and solutions.

The organisations that need unified access to any kind of industrial PLCs can choose Apache PLC4X in order to capture actionable intelligence by way of an increasing number of interconnected systems and sensors.

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