OPC UA support in Qt 5.11

OPC UA is a central element of the Industry 4.0 story providing seamless communication between IT and industrial production systems. basysKom has initiated Qt OPC UA in 2015 with the goal of providing an out of the box Qt API for OPC UA. In 2017 basysKom, together with The Qt Company, has finished up a Technology Preview of that API. It will be available with the upcoming Qt 5.11 release end of May.

The focus of Qt OPC UA is on HMI/application development and ease of use for client-side development. The Tech Preview implements a subset of the OPC UA standard. It allows to connect to servers, read and write attributes, call methods on the server, monitor values for data changes and browse nodes. All this functionality is provided by asynchronous APIs which integrate nicely into Qt applications.

Qt OPC UA is primarily an API and not a whole OPC UA stack. A plugin interface allows to integrate existing OPC UA stacks as API backends. Currently, plugins for the following stacks are available:

  • FreeOpcUa
  • open62541
  • Unified Automation C++ SDK 1.5

Qt OPC UA will be available directly from the Qt installer for those holding a Qt for Automation license. The source code itself is triple licensed (GPL, LGPL and commercial) with the exception of the Unified Automation backend which is only available under a commercial license. Users of one of the Open Source licenses will need to compile Qt OPC UA themselves. See here for a list of build recipes.

The backends for FreeOpcUa and open62541 are available under an Open Source license. When going for an Open Source solution, we recommend the open62541 plugin as it is the more complete implementation with an active community and a good momentum. It also has less dependencies, making usage on platforms such as Android or iOS much easier.

On the platform side, the technology preview will by available for

  • Windows with Visual Studio 2015 & 2017 as well as MinGW
  • Linux (Desktop and Embedded)
  • Android and iOS

Please note that not every backend is available on every platform.

On top of what is part of the Tech Preview, there are already a number of additions planned. Among them support for transport security, the discovery service, event support and filters.

We are looking forward to feedback and questions on this new module.

basysKom auf der Embedded World 2018 vom 27.02. bis 01.03. in Nürnberg



basysKom Stand – Halle 4, Stand 400

Auf unserem Stand zeigen wir den Einsatz eines IoT & HMI Gateways, welcher als zentrale Schaltstelle Informationen u.a. aus Maschinen-steuerung, Wartungsarbeiten und Monitoring verwaltet und diese über eine Cloud nach außen zur Verfügung stellt. Darin sind sowohl OPC UA als das Framework für industrielle Interoperabilität wie auch MQTT als Protokoll für die Kommunikation über die Cloud im Einsatz.

Continue reading basysKom auf der Embedded World 2018 vom 27.02. bis 01.03. in Nürnberg

Want to give Qt OpcUa a try?

Update 02.03.2018: the steps outlined below have become outdated. Please see here for up to date build steps.

basysKom has initiated Qt OpcUa which is a module offering support for the industrial communication standard OPC UA. This module has been contributed by us to the Qt Project. The Qt OpcUa API wraps existing OPC UA implementations. Currently, implementations for freeopcua and open62541 are available.

Qt OpcUa will become part of the Qt 5.11 release as a Technology Preview. First alpha builds will be available by the end of February 2018. Qt 5.11 release is scheduled for end of May 2018.

Why not try out the current state of Qt OpcUa right now?

We have been asked by a number of people how to get started already now. We will provide short howtos for Ubuntu, Windows-MinGW and Visual Studio 2017 in the following article.

Two things are needed: Qt OpcUa itself and an OPC UA library. In this article, we use open62541 as it has very little dependencies (and is the more complete implementation anyway).

The easiest approach to build Qt OpcUa is as a drop-in for Qt 5.10. This spares us from creating a full Qt build based on the current dev branch.

The following recipes assume that you have cmake, python/pip, perl, git and other essential build tools installed. Paths used with the examples need to be adjusted to reflect your local situation.

Installation on Linux

These steps have been tested on Ubuntu 16.04 but can be applied to a wide range of desktop distributions.

Installation on Windows (Visual Studio 2017)

Start by running the Qt 5.10.0 64-bit for Desktop (MSVC 2017) shell shipped with Qt (have a look at the “Start Menu”). Use this shell to issue the following commands:

Above recipe will also work for Visual Studio 2015. 2013 is not supported (and will be dropped by Qt 5.11 anyways).

Installation on Windows (MinGW as shipped with Qt 5.10)

Start by running the Qt 5.10.0 for Desktop (MinGW 5.3.0 32 bit) shell shipped with Qt (have a look at the “Start Menu”). Use this shell to issue the following commands:


After successful completion of above steps Qt OpcUa will be available from your existing Qt5.10 installation. A documentation snapshot can be found here.

The following “Hello Qt OpcUa” example shows how to read an attribute from a server (add QT += opcua to your .pro).


Most of the API envisioned for the Technology Preview is available. We are currently busy testing and polishing, as well as adding more comprehensive examples and improving the documentation. Please leave a comment or get in contact with us if you have any questions or comments – you still have the chance to influence the final shape of the API.

QtWs17: Practical Qt Lite

The Qt World Summit recordings 2017 are online. basysKom presented “Practical Qt Lite”.

Qt Lite is a project within Qt geared towards optimizing Qt for smaller devices. One important feature of the overall Qt Lite story is the ability to create size optimized, application specific builds of Qt. These require less flash, less RAM and also load faster.

In this presentation we show how to create such size optimized builds with and without Qt Lite and  present some actual numbers on achievable savings. Have fun!

Qt Lite

Qt Lite is an initiative driven by The Qt Company striving for smaller and leaner Qt builds. It utilizes the new configuration system introduced with Qt 5.8 to create custom builds stripped of features or classes that aren’t needed for a given application. Focus is mostly on Embedded Linux with the goal of making Qt a feasible option on smaller systems. In this post we will have a look at the current state of affairs and we will provide guidance on how to experiment with Qt Lite on your own. Continue reading Qt Lite

Cross-platform application development for desktop, mobile and embedded with modern web technology

The field of web technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Unlike Qt, which offers a complete, prepackaged solution, there is a multitude of tools and libraries which need to be combined into a functional stack. This article presents a stack proven in cross-platform projects and our experience gathered with it.


Modern web technology provides a powerful foundation for cross-platform application development. By using responsive design techniques a browser based application can already cover desktop and mobile platforms. Using the right set of tools, such an application can be developed further into a real mobile app and/or an embedded touch interface.

The building blocks of a modern “cross-platform web application” are the web runtime environment, the single-page application and the back-end system. Let’s have a look at the definition of these three terms and their relation to each other.

platform_layers_cropped Continue reading Cross-platform application development for desktop, mobile and embedded with modern web technology

Greetings from Nuremberg!

Also this year you can meet the basyskom staff at the Embedded World trade show, stand 400 in hall 4.
We present a connected HMI scenario in an industrial setup, having interesting discussions. Topics are QtOpcUA, QtWebChannel and more. It is those applications of our customers out there in the field which make our business so fascinating!


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Storage of QML defined properties explained (Part 1)

How much does a property you define in QML code cost in terms of memory? This simple question led me down a merry chase into the source of the QML engine. The result is this article and in the end a contribution to Qt5.6.

Before we get started, let’s do a quick recap of what we know about Qt properties on the C++ side. Qt has compile time properties which can be added to QObject derived classes. The various methods associated with such a property (read/write/reset/notify/…) are specified using the Q_PROPERTY macro. The properties themselves are typically stored as C++ member variables. They integrate with the meta object system and are therefore also accessible from the QML-side.

Back to the initial question: how much memory is needed for a QML defined property? To answer this, one first needs to figure out how and where they are Continue reading Storage of QML defined properties explained (Part 1)