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IPC-CFX SDK and Software Developer Resources

IPC and the IPC 2-17 Connected Factory Exchange Initiative have provided everything your IT team needs to begin working with IPC-CFX for your implementations today. This page contains links to the free SDK and support documentation, as well as access to GitHub for proposing new message sets for IPC-CFX.

Software Tools for Connected Factory Exchange SDK Version 1.3.x

Developers can use the following links to begin to implement IPC-CFX, submit new messages or to access the IPC-CFX SDK message board

 

IPC-2591 Software Development Platform Matrix

The default platform for IPC-CFX is Windows, but it was developed so any language and platform can be used. Get information and links to resources for all development platforms.

JSON Encoding for Data Transfer

JSON – or JavaScript Object Notation – is an open-standard data format that uses machine- and human-readable text to transfer data messages. The IPC Connected Factory Initiative Subcommittee selected JSON for encoding IPC-CFX messages because it is easy for people to read and write as well as for any machine to parse and generate data. IPC-CFX messages encoded with JSON can then be easily transferred and read by any device or ERP system.

AMQP for Secure Connections

Much like how IPC-CFX enables any factory to meet Factory of the Future objectives, it also enables factories to meet their cybersecurity needs for industrial networks and connections between industrial and operations networks.

IPC-CFX addresses this in two ways:

  1. Standardized communication protocols
  2. Secure encryption

IPC-CFX, has defined message sets, so by allowing only those defined fields, IT teams can easily identify any potentially nefarious communications that are not IPC-CFX messages. This is a tremendous benefit over a mixed-application shop floor, because IT teams only need to manage the IPC-CFX message sets, rather than a wide variety of vendor-specific messages.

IPC-CFX also leverages the built-in security features of AMQP, offering the ability to do encryption with TLS 1.3.

AMQP was developed in 2003 by a consortium of 23 companies to facilitate the reliable processing of secure financial transactions across broad geographies. These companies include JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Börse, Goldman Sachs, HCL Technologies Ltd, Progress Software, IIT Software, INETCO Systems Limited, Informatica, Corporation, my-Channels, Novell, Red Hat, Software AG, Solace Systems, StormMQ, Tervela Inc., TWIST Process Innovations ltd, Vmware, and WSO2.

The IPC Connected Factory Initiative Subcommittee selected AMQP because it eases the burden of equipment manufacturers and factory-level system providers as they implement their CFX support because it eliminates most of the development effort needed to send and receive CFX messages. It also guarantees delivery of messages from one device in a CFX network to another device in the CFX network.

Learn how AMQP Version 1.0 is used with IPC-CFX implementation.

Some other additional highlights about AMQP:

  • Provides security to prevent unwanted, uninvited, and/or malicious participants in a CFX network.
  • Provides encryption to protect the information shared within a CFX network.
  • Supports both publish/subscribe and request/response communication patterns, which enables CFX to use one, singular protocol.
  • It is a highly evolved and standardized, advanced messaging protocol supporting a myriad of complex routing strategies and communication patterns.
  • Supports both unsolicited messaging and request/response pattern.
  • Fully symmetrical communication (broker or device can initiate communication)
  • Supports message payload of any data type or encoding. 
  • Highly advanced protocol, supporting many communication patterns and routing strategies.
  • Many free or near-free, open-source brokers and client developer toolkits available for all major platforms (Java, .NET, C++, etc.)
  • Very advanced Quality of Service mechanisms (guaranteed delivery, delivery receipts, long-lived durable message queues).
  • It provides advanced security features, in excess of what other systems provide.
  • Highly robust and stable.
  • Billions of mission critical messages can be transported via AMQP in commercial applications every day.
  • Basic server can process 24,000 messages per second, which is well within the demands of a large-scale factory.

 

IPC-CFX Demonstration on Process Control and Traceability

See how Metcal uses IPC-CFX for real-time risk mitigation in hand soldering applications. View the video below and read the slide deck presentation, which explains what is shown in the video.