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From "Sally Khudairi" ...@apache.org>
Subject The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® PLC4X™ as a Top-Level Project
Date Tue, 23 Apr 2019 10:00:24 GMT
[this announcement is available online at https://s.apache.org/ABqy ]

Open Source universal protocol adapter powers Industry 4.0 by connecting and integrating Industrial
hardware and IoT edge gateways once blocked by closed-source, proprietary legacy systems,
incompatible protocols, and vendor lock-in.

Wakefield, MA —23 April 2019— The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer
developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives,
announced today Apache® PLC4X™ as a Top-Level Project (TLP). Apache PLC4X also has the
designation as being the 200th project to graduate from the Apache Incubator.

Apache PLC4X is a universal protocol adapter for creating Industrial IoT applications through
a set of libraries that allow unified access to a wide range of industrial programmable logic
controllers (PLCs) using a variety of protocols with a shared API. The project was originally
developed at codecentric AG, and entered the Apache Incubator in December 2017.

"There is a lot of hype about 'Industry 4.0,' 'industrial IoT,' and 'digitization', however,
there's unfortunately been no viable way to access industrial PLCs from the Open Source world,"
said Christofer Dutz, Vice President of Apache PLC4X. "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."

Connectivity and integration across industrial hardware and IoT edge gateways is often impossible
with closed-source, proprietary legacy systems, incompatible protocols, and locked-in vendor
solutions. Not only is Apache PLC4X an API for communicating with industrial hardware, it
also provides a set of drivers for communicating using a variety of industrial protocols.
In addition, PLC4X ships with a wide variety of integration modules to make it easy to use
in other Open Source solutions and frameworks.

Companies needing unified access to any type of industrial PLCs are choosing Apache PLC4X
 to capture actionable intelligence through a growing number of interconnected systems and
sensors.

"We build industrial IoT solutions and do edge computing in the industrial ecosystem, thus
PLC connection is an important concern for us but no part of our core business," said Julian
Feinauer, CEO at pragmatic industries GmbH. "As there were no open alternatives, we used our
own home-made stack for PLC communication and regularly had issues with edge cases or bugs.
We moved to Apache PLC4X about half a year ago and already see the payoff of the initial efforts.
Since moving to PLC4X we see a massive performance boost, have connectors to more types of
PLCs, and reached very good stability."

"At first we intended to use OPC-UA to establish a connection between our software and the
PLC in question," said Andreas Wieland, Technology Consultant at Intelligent Data Analytics
GmbH & Co. KG. "We decided to switch to Apache PLC4X for various reasons. One of the major
advantages PLC4X has over OPC-UA is a measurable performance improvement and higher responsiveness
due to its direct low-level access of variables provided by the PLC. With PLC4X we are able
to support a wide range of systems without additional effort or the need of making changes
to our software while keeping compatibility to a number of well-known standards."

"Cost and lack of interoperability are significant hurdles in the digital transformation of
the shop floor," said Dr. Boris Adryan, Chief Digital Organization at Merck KGaA. "Open Source
software can help to overcome these hurdles. We've assessed Apache PLC4X on a training setup
for chemical engineers and plant operators, and find it a valuable addition to our toolbox
of OT/IT interfaces."

Written in Java with support for various protocols including S7-Step7, Modbus, EtherNet/IP,
and Beckhoff ADS, future versions of Apache PLC4X will include versions in C++ and C#, as
well as support for BACnet, Emerson DeltaV, KNXNet/IP, Profinet, and other protocols. In addition
to providing integrations modular to Apache IoT projects such as Apache Camel, Apache Edgent
(incubating), Apache Kafka, and Apache NiFi, the project is planning to also add Apache Brooklyn
and Apache Mynewt, among others.

"The past two years have been very challenging, but also very rewarding. It is clear how Apache
PLC4X can really help make a difference, and we’re excited to build upon our work thus far,"
added Dutz. "We invite those interested to join us and help bring the benefits of The Apache
Way in developing open software, open communities, and sharing knowledge to the industry."

Catch Apache PLC4X in action at Jug Thüringen (18 June in Erfurt, Germany), ApacheCon North
America (9-12 September in Las Vegas, United States), and ApacheCon Europe (22-24 October
in Berlin, Germany).

Availability and Oversight
Apache PLC4X software is released under the Apache License v2.0 and is overseen by a self-selected
team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the
Project's day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases. For
downloads, documentation, and ways to become involved with Apache PLC4X, visit http://plc4x.apache.org/
and https://twitter.com/apacheplc4x

About the Apache Incubator
The Apache Incubator is the entry path for projects and codebases wishing to become part of
the efforts at The Apache Software Foundation. All code donations from external organizations
and existing external projects seeking to join the ASF enter through the Incubator to: 1)
ensure all donations are in accordance with the ASF legal standards; and 2) develop new communities
that adhere to our guiding principles. Incubation is required of all newly accepted projects
until a further review indicates that the infrastructure, communications, and decision making
process have stabilized in a manner consistent with other successful ASF projects. While incubation
status is not necessarily a reflection of the completeness or stability of the code, it does
indicate that the project has yet to be fully endorsed by the ASF. For more information, visit
http://incubator.apache.org/ 

About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)
Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees more than 350 leading Open Source
projects that provide $20B+ worth of Apache Open Source software to the public at 100% no
cost. Through the ASF's merit-based process known as "The Apache Way," more than 730 individual
Members and 7,000 Committers across six continents successfully collaborate to develop freely
available enterprise-grade software, benefiting billions of users worldwide: thousands of
software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates
in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation's official user
conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is a US 501(c)(3) charitable organization, funded
by individual donations and corporate sponsors including Aetna, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Anonymous,
ARM, Baidu, Bloomberg, Budget Direct, Capital One, Cerner, Cloudera, Comcast, Facebook, Google,
Handshake, Hortonworks, Huawei, IBM, Indeed, Inspur, Leaseweb, Microsoft, ODPi, Pineapple
Fund, Pivotal, Private Internet Access, Red Hat, Target, Tencent, Union Investment, Workday,
and Verizon Media. For more information, visit http://apache.org/ and https://twitter.com/TheASF

© The Apache Software Foundation. "Apache", "PLC4X", "Apache PLC4X", "Brooklyn", "Apache
Brooklyn", "Camel", "Apache Camel", "Edgent", "Apache Edgent", "Kafka", "Apache Kafka", "Mynewt",
"Apache Mynewt", "NiFi", "Apache NiFi", and "ApacheCon" are registered trademarks or trademarks
of the Apache Software Foundation in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands
and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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