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README.md

MTConnect C++ Agent Version 1.4.0.0

The C++ Agent provides the a complete implementation of the HTTP server required by the MTConnect standard. The agent provides the protocol and data collection framework that will work as a standalone server. Once built, you only need to specify the XML description of the devices and the location of the adapter.

Pre-built binary releases for Windows are available from Releases for those who do not want to build the agent themselves. For *NIX users, you will need libxml2, cppunit, and cmake as well as build essentials.

Version 1.4.0.0 added time period filter constraint, compositions, initial values, and reset triggers.

Version 1.3.0.0 added the filter constraints, references, cutting tool archetypes, and formatting styles.

Version 1.2.0.0 added the capability to support assets.

Version 1.1.0.8 add the ability to run the C++ Agent as a Windows service and support for a configuration file instead of command line arguments. The agent can accept input from a socket in a pipe (|) delimited stream according to the descriptions given in the adapter guide.

The current win32 binary is built statically and requires no additional dlls to run. This allows for a single exe distributable.

Usage

agent [help|install|debug|run] [configuration_file]
   help           Prints this message
   install        Installs the service
   remove         Remove the service
   debug          Runs the agent on the command line with verbose logging
   run            Runs the agent on the command line
   config_file    The configuration file to load
                  Default: agent.cfg in current directory

When the agent is started without any arguments it is assumed it will be running as a service and will begin the service initialization sequence. The full path to the configuration file is stored in the registry in the following location:

\\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MTConnect\MTConnect Agent\ConfigurationFile

Directories

  • agent/ - This contains the application source files and CMake file.

  • assets/ - Some example Cutting Tool asset files.

  • lib/ - Third party library source. Contains source for cppunit, dlib, and libxml++.

  • samples/ - Sample XML configuration files mainly used for tests.

  • simulator/ - Ruby scripts to execute an adapter simulator, both command-line and log-replay.

  • test/ - Various unit tests.

  • tools/ - Ruby scripts to dump the agent and the adapter in SHDR format. Includes a sequence test script.

  • unix/ - Unix init.d script

  • win32/ - Libraries required only for the win32 build and the win32 solution.

Windows Binary Release

The windows binary releases come with a prebuilt exe that is statically linked with the Microsoft Runtime libraries. Aside from the standard system libraries, the agent only requires winsock libraries. The agent has been test with version of Windows 2000 and later.

  • bin/ - Win32 binary (no dependencies required).

Building

Download cmake from cmake

Make sure to initialize submodules:

git submodule init
git submodule update

Configure cmake using the CMakeLists.txt file in the agent directory. This will generate a project file for the target platform. See CMake documentation for more information.

Configuration

The configuration file is using the standard Boost C++ file format. The configuration file format is flexible and allows for both many adapters to be served from one agent and an adapter to feed multiple agents. The format is:

Key = Value

The key can only occur once within a section and the value can be any sequence of characters followed by a <CR>. There no significance to the order of the keys, so the file can be specified in free form. We will go over some configurations from a minimal configuration to more complex multi-adapter configurations.

Serving Static Content

Using a Files Configuration section, individual files or directories can be inserted into the request file space from the agent. To do this, we use the Files top level configuration declaration as follows:

Files {
    schemas {
        Path = ../schemas
        Location = /schemas/
    }
    styles {
        Path = ../styles
        Location = /styles/
    }
}

Each set of files must be declared using a named file description, like schema or styles and the local Path and the Location the files will be mapped to in the HTTP server namespace. For example:

http://example.com:5000/schemas/MTConnectStreams_1.3.xsd will map to ../schemas/MTConnectStreams_1.3.xsd

All files will be mapped and the directory names do not need to be the same. These files can be either served directly or can be used to extend the schema or add XSLT stylesheets for formatting the XML in browsers.

Specifying the Extended Schemas

To specify the new schema for the documents, use the following declaration:

StreamsNamespaces {
  e {
    Urn = urn:example.com:ExampleStreams:1.3
    Location = /schemas/ExampleStreams_1.3.xsd
  }
}

This will use the ExampleStreams_1.3.xsd schema in the document. The e is the alias that will be used to reference the extended schema. The Location is the location of the xsd file relative in the agent namespace. The Location must be mapped in the Files section.

An optional Path can be added to the ...Namespaces declaration instead of declaring the Files section. The Files makes it easier to include multiple files from a directory and will automatically include all the default MTConnect schema files for the correct version. (See SchemaVersion option below)

You can do this for any one of the other documents:

StreamsNamespaces
DevicesNamespaces
AssetsNamespaces
ErrorNamespaces

Specifying the XML Document Style

The same can be done with style sheets, but only the Location is required.

StreamsStyle {
  Location = /styles/Streams.xsl
}

An optional Path can also be used to reference the xsl file directly. This will not include other files in the path like css or included xsl transforms. It is advised to use the Files declaration.

The following can also be declared:

DevicesStyle
StreamsStyle
AssetsStyle
ErrorStyle

Example 1:

Here’s an example configuration file. The # character can be used to comment sections of the file. Everything on the line after the # is ignored. We will start with an extremely simple configuration file.

# A very simple file...
Devices = VMC-3Axis.xml

This is a one line configuration that specifies the XML file to load for the devices. Since all the values are defaulted, an empty configuration file can be specified. This configuration file will load the VMC-3Axis.xml file and try to connect to an adapter located on the localhost at port 7878. VMC-3Axis.xml must only contain the definition for one device; if more devices exist, an error will be raised and the process will exit.

Example 2:

Most configuration files will specify at least one adapter. The adapters are contained within a block. The Boost configuration file format allows for nested configurations and block associations. There are a number of configurations that can be given for each adapter. Multiple adapters can be specified for one device as well.

Devices = VMC-3Axis.xml

Adapters
{
    VMC-3Axis
    {
        Host = 192.168.10.22
        Port = 7878 # *Default* value...
    }
}

This example loads the devices file as before, but specifies the list of adapters. The device is taken from the name VMC-3Axis that starts the nested block and connects to the adapter on 192.168.10.22 and port 7878. Another way of specifying the equivalent configuration is:

Devices = VMC-3Axis.xml

Adapters
{
    Adapter_1
    {
        Device = VMC-3Axis
        Host = 192.168.10.22
        Port = 7878 # *Default* value...
    }
}

Line 7 specifies the Device name associated with this adapter explicitly. We will show how this is used in the next example.

Example 3:

Multiple adapters can supply data to the same device. This is done by creating multiple adapter entries and specifying the same Device for each.

Devices = VMC-3Axis.xml

Adapters
{
    Adapter_1
    {
        Device = VMC-3Axis
        Host = 192.168.10.22
        Port = 7878 # *Default* value...
    }

    # Energy sensor
    Adapter_2
    {
        Device = VMC-3Axis
        Host = 192.168.10.2
        Port = 7878 # *Default* value...
    }
}

Both Adapter_1 and Adapter_2 will feed the VMC-3Axis device with different data items. The Adapter_1 name is arbitrary and could just as well be named EnergySensor if desired as illustrated below.

Devices = VMC-3Axis.xml

Adapters
{
    Controller
    {
        Device = VMC-3Axis
        Host = 192.168.10.22
        Port = 7878 # *Default* value...
    }

    EnergySensor
    {
        Device = VMC-3Axis
        Host = 192.168.10.2
        Port = 7878 # *Default* value...
    }
}

Example 4:

In this example we change the port to 80 which is the default http port. This also allows HTTP PUT from the local machine and 10.211.55.2.

Devices = MyDevices.xml
Port = 80
AllowPutFrom = localhost, 10.211.55.2

Adapters
{
    ...

For browsers you will no longer need to specify the port to connect to.

Example 5:

If multiple devices are specified in the XML file, there must be an adapter feeding each device.

Devices = MyDevices.xml

Adapters
{
    VMC-3Axis
    {
        Host = 192.168.10.22
    }

    HMC-5Axis
    {
        Host = 192.168.10.24
    }
}

This will associate the adapters for these two machines to the VMC and HMC devices in MyDevices.xml file. The ports are defaulted to 7878, so we are not required to specify them.

Example 6:

In this example we demonstrate how to change the service name of the agent. This allows a single machine to run multiple agents and/or customize the name of the service. Multiple configuration files can be created for each service, each with a different ServiceName. The configuration file must be referenced as follows:

C:> agent install myagent.cfg

If myagent.cfg contains the following statements:

Devices = MyDevices.xml
ServiceName = MTC Agent 1

Adapters
{
    ...

The service will now be displayed as "MTC Agent 1" as opposed to "MTConnect Agent" and it will automatically load the contents of myagent.cfg with it starts. You can now use the following command to start this from a command prompt:

C:> net start "MTC Agent 1"

To remove the service, do the following:

C:> agent remove myagent.cfg

Example 7:

Logging configuration is specified using the logger_config block. You can change the logging_level to specify the verbosity of the logging as well as the destination of the logging output.

logger_config
{
    logging_level = debug
    output = file debug.log
}

This will log everything from debug to fatal to the file debug.log. For only fatal errors you can specify the following:

logger_config
{
    logging_level = fatal
}

The default file is agent.log in the same directory as the agent.exe file resides. The default logging level is info. To have the agent log to the command window:

logger_config
{
    logging_level = debug
    output = cout
}

This will log debug level messages to the current console window. When the agent is run with debug, it sets the logging configuration to debug and outputs to the standard output as specified above.

Example: 8

The MTConnect C++ Agent supports extensions by allowing you to specify your own XSD schema files. These files must include the MTConnect schema and the top level node is required to be MTConnect. The "x" in this case is the namespace. You MUST NOT use the namespace "m" since it is reserved for MTConnect. See example 9 for an example of changing the MTConnect schema file location.

There are four namespaces in MTConnect: Devices, Streams, Assets, and Error. In this example we will replace the Streams and Devices namespace with our own namespace so we can have validatable XML documents.

StreamsNamespaces {
  x {
    Urn = urn:example.com:ExampleStreams:1.2
    Location = /schemas/ExampleStreams_1.2.xsd
    Path = ./ExampleStreams_1.2.xsd
  }
}

DevicesNamespaces {
  x {
    Urn = urn:example.com:ExampleDevices:1.2
    Location = /schemas/ExampleDevices_1.2.xsd
    Path = ./ExampleDevices_1.2.xsd
  }
}

For each schema file we have three options we need to specify. The Urn is the urn in the schema file that will be used in the header. The Location is the path specified in the URL when requesting the schema file from the HTTP client and the Path is the path on the local file system.

Example: 9

If you only want to change the schema location of the MTConnect schema files and serve them from your local agent and not from the default internet location, you can use the namespace "m" and give the new schema file location. This MUST be the MTConnect schema files and the urn will always be the MTConnect urn for the "m" namespace -- you cannot change it.

StreamsNamespaces {
  m {
    Location = /schemas/MTConnectStreams_1.4.xsd
    Path = ./MTConnectStreams_1.4.xsd
  }
}

DevicesNamespaces {
  m {
    Location = /schemas/MTConnectDevices_1.4.xsd
    Path = ./MTConnectDevices_1.4.xsd
  }
}

The MTConnect agent will now serve the standard MTConnect schema files from the local directory using the schema path /schemas/MTConnectDevices_1.4.xsd.

Example: 10

We can also serve files from the MTConnect Agent as well. In this example we can assume we don't have access to the public internet and we would still like to provide the MTConnect streams and devices files but have the MTConnect Agent serve them up locally.

DevicesNamespaces {
  x {
    Urn = urn:example.com:ExampleDevices:1.4
    Location = /schemas/ExampleDevices_1.4.xsd
    Path = ./ExampleDevices_1.4.xsd
  }

Files {
  stream { 
    Location = /schemas/MTConnectStreams_1.4.xsd
    Path = ./MTConnectStreams_1.4.xsd
  }
  device { 
    Location = /schemas/MTConnectDevices_1.4.xsd
    Path = ./MTConnectDevices_1.4.xsd
  }
}

Or use the short form for all files:

    Files {
      schemas { 
        Location = /schemas/MTConnectStreams_1.4.xsd
        Path = ./MTConnectStreams_1.4.xsd
      }
    }

If you have specified in your xs:include schemaLocation inside the ExampleDevices_1.4.xsd file the location "/schemas/MTConnectStreams_1.4.xsd", this will allow it to be served properly. This can also be done using the Devices namespace:

DevicesNamespaces {
  m {
    Location = /schemas/MTConnectDevices_1.4.xsd
    Path = ./MTConnectDevices_1.4.xsd
  }
}

The MTConnect agent will allow you to serve any other files you wish as well. You can specify a new static file you would like to deliver:

Files {
  myfile { 
    Location = /files/xxx.txt
    Path = ./files/xxx.txt
  }

The agent will not serve all files from a directory and will not provide an index function as this is insecure and not the intended function of the agent.

Configuration Parameters

Top level configuration items

  • BufferSize - The 2^X number of slots available in the circular buffer for samples, events, and conditions.

    Default: 17 -> 2^17 = 131,072 slots.

  • MaxAssets - The maximum number of assets the agent can hold in its buffer. The number is the actual count, not an exponent.

    Default: 1024

  • CheckpointFrequency - The frequency checkpoints are created in the stream. This is used for current with the at argument. This is an advanced configuration item and should not be changed unless you understand the internal workings of the agent.

    Default: 1000

  • Devices - The XML file to load that specifies the devices and is supplied as the result of a probe request. If the key is not found the defaults are tried.

    Defaults: probe.xml or Devices.xml

  • PidFile - UNIX only. The full path of the file that contains the process id of the daemon. This is not supported in Windows.

    Default: agent.pid

  • ServiceName - Changes the service name when installing or removing the service. This allows multiple agents to run as services on the same machine.

    Default: MTConnect Agent

  • Port - The port number the agent binds to for requests.

    Default: 5000

  • ServerIp - The server IP Address to bind to. Can be used to select the interface in IPV4 or IPV6.

    Default: 0.0.0.0

  • AllowPut - Allow HTTP PUT or POST of data item values or assets.

    Default: false

  • AllowPutFrom - Allow HTTP PUT or POST from a specific host or list of hosts. Lists are comma (,) separated and the host names will be validated by translating them into IP addresses.

    Default: none

  • LegacyTimeout - The default length of time an adapter can be silent before it is disconnected. This is only for legacy adapters that do not support heartbeats.

    Default: 600

  • ReconnectInterval - The amount of time between adapter reconnection attempts. This is useful for implementation of high performance adapters where availability needs to be tracked in near-real-time. Time is specified in milliseconds (ms).

    Default: 10000

  • IgnoreTimestamps - Overwrite timestamps with the agent time. This will correct clock drift but will not give as accurate relative time since it will not take into consideration network latencies. This can be overridden on a per adapter basis.

    Default: false

  • PreserveUUID - Do not overwrite the UUID with the UUID from the adapter, preserve the UUID in the Devices.xml file. This can be overridden on a per adapter basis.

    Default: true

  • SchemaVersion - Change the schema version to a different version number.

    Default: 1.4

  • ConversionRequired - Global default for data item units conversion in the agent. Assumes the adapter has already done unit conversion.

    Default: true

  • UpcaseDataItemValue - Always converts the value of the data items to upper case.

    Default: true

  • MonitorConfigFiles - Monitor agent.cfg and Devices.xml files and restart agent if they change.

    Default: false

  • MinimumConfigReloadAge - The minimum age of a config file before an agent reload is triggered (seconds).

    Default: 15

Adapter configuration items

  • Adapters - Adapters begins a list of device blocks. If the Adapters are not specified and the Devices file only contains one device, a default device entry will be created with an adapter located on the localhost and port 7878 associated with the device in the devices file.

    Default: localhost 5000 associated with the default device

    • Device - The name of the device that corresponds to the name of the device in the Devices file. Each adapter can map to one device. Specifying a "*" will map to the default device.

      Default: The name of the block for this adapter or if that is not found the default device if only one device is specified in the devices file.

    • Host - The host the adapter is located on.

      Default: localhost

    • Port - The port to connect to the adapter.

      Default: 7878

    • Manufacturer - Replaces the manufacturer attribute in the device XML.

      Default: Current value in device XML.

    • Station - Replaces the Station attribute in the device XML.

      Default: Current value in device XML.

    • SerialNumber - Replaces the SerialNumber attribute in the device XML.

      Default: Current value in device XML.

    • UUID - Replaces the UUID attribute in the device XML.

      Default: Current value in device XML.

    • AutoAvailable - For devices that do not have the ability to provide available events, if yes, this sets the Availability to AVAILABLE upon connection.

      Default: no (new in 1.2, if AVAILABILITY is not provided for device it will be automatically added and this will default to yes)

    • AdditionalDevices - Comma separated list of additional devices connected to this adapter. This provides availability support when one adapter feeds multiple devices.

      Default: nothing

    • FilterDuplicates - If value is yes, filters all duplicate values for data items. This is to support adapters that are not doing proper duplicate filtering.

      Default: no

    • LegacyTimeout - length of time an adapter can be silent before it is disconnected. This is only for legacy adapters that do not support heartbeats. If heartbeats are present, this will be ignored.

      Default: 600

    • ReconnectInterval - The amount of time between adapter reconnection attempts. This is useful for implementation of high performance adapters where availability needs to be tracked in near-real-time. Time is specified in milliseconds (ms). Defaults to the top level ReconnectInterval.

      Default: 10000

    • IgnoreTimestamps - Overwrite timestamps with the agent time. This will correct clock drift but will not give as accurate relative time since it will not take into consideration network latencies. This can be overridden on a per adapter basis.

      Default: Top Level Setting

    • PreserveUUID - Do not overwrite the UUID with the UUID from the adapter, preserve the UUID in the Devices.xml file. This can be overridden on a per adapter basis.

        *Default*: false
      
    • RealTime - Boost the thread priority of this adapter so that events are handled faster.

      Default: false

    • RelativeTime - The timestamps will be given as relative offsets represented as a floating point number of milliseconds. The offset will be added to the arrival time of the first recorded event.

      Default: false

    • ConversionRequired - Adapter setting for data item units conversion in the agent. Assumes the adapter has already done unit conversion. Defaults to global.

      Default: Top Level Setting

    • UpcaseDataItemValue - Always converts the value of the data items to upper case.

      Default: Top Level Setting

logger_config configuration items

  • logger_config - The logging configuration section.

    • logging_level - The logging level: trace, debug, info, warn, error, or fatal.

      Default: info

    • output - The output file or stream. If using a file, specify as: "file <filename>". cout and cerr can be used to specify the standard output and standard error streams. Defaults to the same directory as the executable.

      Default: file adapter.log

    • max_size - The maximum log file size. Suffix can be K for kilobytes, M for megabytes, or G for gigabytes. No suffix will default to bytes (B). Case is ignored.

      Default: 10M

    • max_index - The maximum number of log files to keep.

      Default: 9

    • schedule - The scheduled time to start a new file. Can be DAILY, WEEKLY, or NEVER.

      Default: NEVER

Adapter Agent Protocol Version 1.4

The principle adapter data format is a simple plain text stream separated by the pipe character |. Every line except for commands starts with an optional timestamp in UTC. If the timestamp is not supplied the agent will supply a timestamp of its own taken at the arrival time of the data to the agent. The remainder of the line is a key followed by data – depending on the type of data item is being written to.

A simple set of events and samples will look something like this:

2009-06-15T00:00:00.000000|power|ON|execution|ACTIVE|line|412|Xact|-1.1761875153|Yact|1766618937

For simple events and samples, the data is pipe delimited key value pairs with multiple pairs on one line. Each line must have at least one key/value on it or else it has no meaning. The agent will discard any lines where the data is malformed. The end must end with a LF (ASCII 10) or CR-LF (ASCII 15 followed by ASCII 10) (UNIX or Windows conventions respectively). The key will map to the data item using the following items: the id attribute, the name attribute, and the CDATA of the Source element. If the key does not match it will be rejected and the agent will log the first time it fails.

Conditions are a little more complex since there are multiple fields and must appear on one line. The fields are as follows:

<timestamp>|<data_item_name>|<level>|<native_code>|<native_severity>|<qualifier>|<message>

For a complete description of these fields, see the standard. An example line will look like this:

2014-09-29T23:59:33.460470Z|htemp|WARNING|HTEMP|1|HIGH|Oil Temperature High

The next special format is the Message. There is one additional field, native_code, which needs to be included:

2014-09-29T23:59:33.460470Z|message|CHG_INSRT|Change Inserts

Time series data also gets special treatment, the count and optional frequency are specified. In the following example we have 10 items at a frequency of 100hz:

2014-09-29T23:59:33.460470Z|current|10|100|1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

The data item name can also be prefixed with the device name if this adapter is supplying data to multiple devices. The following is an example of a power meter for three devices named device1, device2, and device3:

2014-09-29T23:59:33.460470Z|device1:current|12|device2:current|11|device3:current|10

All data items follow the formatting requirements in the MTConnect standard for the vocabulary and coordinates like PathPosition.

A new feature in version 1.4 is the ability to announce a reset has been triggered. If we have a part count named pcount that gets reset daily, the new protocol is as follows:

2014-09-29T23:59:33.460470Z|pcount|0:DAY

Assets

Assets are associated with a device but do not have a data item they are mapping to. They therefore get the special data item name @ASSET@. Assets can be sent either on one line or multiple lines depending on the adapter requirements. The single line form is as follows:

2012-02-21T23:59:33.460470Z|@ASSET@|KSSP300R.1|CuttingTool|<CuttingTool>...

This form updates the asset id KSSP300R.1 for a cutting tool with the text at the end. For multiline assets, use the keyword --multiline-- with a following unique string as follows:

	2012-02-21T23:59:33.460470Z|@ASSET@|KSSP300R.1|CuttingTool|--multiline--0FED07ACED
	<CuttingTool>
	...
	</CuttingTool>
	--multiline--0FED07ACED

The terminal text must appear on the first position after the last line of text. The adapter can also remove assets (1.3) by sending a @REMOVE_ASSET@ with an asset id:

2012-02-21T23:59:33.460470Z|@REMOVE_ASSET@|KSSP300R.1

Or all assets can be removed in one shot for a certain asset type:

2012-02-21T23:59:33.460470Z|@REMOVE_ALL_ASSETS@|CuttingTool

Partial updates to assets is also possible by using the @UPDATE_ASSET@ key, but this will only work for cutting tools. The asset id needs to be given and then one of the properties or measurements with the new value for that entity. For example to update the overall tool length and the overall diameter max, you would provide the following:

2012-02-21T23:59:33.460470Z|@UPDATE_ASSET@|KSSP300R.1|OverallToolLength|323.64|CuttingDiameterMax|76.211

Commands

There are a number of commands that can be sent as part of the adapter stream. These change some dynamic elements of the device information, the interpretation of the data, or the associated default device. Commands are given on a single line starting with an asterisk * as the first character of the line and followed by a : . They are as follows:

  • Set the manufacturer in the device header of the associated device:

    * manufacturer: XXX

  • Set the station in the device header of the associated device:

    * station: XXX

  • Set the serialNumber in the device header of the associated device:

    * serialNumber: XXX

  • Set the description in the device header of the associated device:

    * description: XXX

  • Set the nativeName in the device component of the associated device:

    * nativeName: XXX

  • Set the calibration in the device component of the associated device:

    * calibration: XXX

  • Tell the agent that the data coming from this adapter requires conversion:

    * conversionRequired: <yes|no>

  • Tell the agent that the data coming from this adapter is specified in relative time:

    * relativeTime: <yes|no>

  • Tell the agent that the data coming from this adapter would like real-time priority:

    * realTime: <yes|no>

  • Specify the default device for this adapter. The device can be specified as either the device name or UUID:

    * device: <uuid|name>

Any other command will be logged as a warning.

Protocol

The agent and the adapter have a heartbeat that makes sure each is responsive to properly handle disconnects in a timely manner. The Heartbeat frequency is set by the adapter and honored by the agent. When the agent connects to the adapter, it first sends a * PING and then expects the response * PONG: <timeout> where <timeout> is specified in milliseconds. So if the following communications are given:

Agent:

* PING

Adapter:

* PONG: 10000

This indicates that the adapter is expecting a PING every 10 seconds and if there is no PING, in 2x the frequency, then the adapter should close the connection. At the same time, if the agent does not receive a PONG within 2x frequency, then it will close the connection. If no PONG response is received, the agent assumes the adapter is incapable of participating in heartbeat protocol and uses the legacy time specified above.

HTTP PUT/POST Method of Uploading Data

There are two configuration settings mentioned above: AllowPut and AllowPutFrom. AllowPut alone will allow any process to use HTTP POST or PUT to send data to the agent and modify values. To restrict this to a limited number of machines, you can list the IP Addresses that are allowed to POST data to the agent.

An example would be:

AllowPut = yes
AllowPutFrom = 192.168.1.72, 192.168.1.73

This will allow the two machines to post data to the MTConnect agent. The data can be either data item values or assets. The primary use of this capability is uploading assets from a process or even the command line using utilities like curl. I'll be using curl for these examples.

For example, with curl you can use the -d option to send data to the server. The data will be in standard form data format, so all you need to do is to pass the <data_item_name>=<data_item_value> to set the values, as follows:

curl -d 'avail=AVAILABLE&program_1=XXX' 'http://localhost:5000/ExampleDevice'

By specifying the device at the end of the URL, you tell the agent which device to use for the POST. This will set the availability tag to AVAILABLE and the program to XXX:

<Availability dataItemId="dtop_3" timestamp="2015-05-18T18:20:12.278236Z" name="avail" sequence="65">AVAILABLE</Availability>
...
<Program dataItemId="path_51" timestamp="2015-05-18T18:20:12.278236Z" name="program_1" sequence="66">XXX</Program>

The full raw data being passed over looks like this:

=> Send header, 161 bytes (0xa1)
0000: POST /ExampleDevice HTTP/1.1
001e: User-Agent: curl/7.37.1
0037: Host: localhost:5000
004d: Accept: */*
005a: Content-Length: 29
006e: Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
009f: 
=> Send data, 29 bytes (0x1d)
0000: avail=AVAILABLE&program_1=XXX
== Info: upload completely sent off: 29 out of 29 bytes
== Info: HTTP 1.0, assume close after body
<= Recv header, 17 bytes (0x11)
0000: HTTP/1.0 200 OK
<= Recv header, 20 bytes (0x14)
0000: Content-Length: 10
<= Recv header, 24 bytes (0x18)
0000: Content-Type: text/xml
<= Recv header, 2 bytes (0x2)
0000: 
<= Recv data, 10 bytes (0xa)
0000: <success/>
>== Info: Closing connection 0

This is using the --trace - to dump the internal data. The response will be a simple <success/> or <fail/>.

Any data item can be set in this fashion. Similarly conditions are set using the following syntax:

curl -d 'system=fault|XXX|1|LOW|Feeling%20low' 'http://localhost:5000/ExampleDevice'

One thing to note, the data and values are URL encoded, so the space needs to be encoded as a %20 to appear correctly.

<Fault dataItemId="controller_46" timestamp="2015-05-18T18:24:48.407898Z" name="system" sequence="67" nativeCode="XXX" nativeSeverity="1" qualifier="LOW" type="SYSTEM">Feeling Low</Fault>

Assets are posted in a similar fashion. The data will be taken from a file containing the XML for the content. The syntax is very similar to the other requests:

curl -d @B732A08500HP.xml 'http://localhost:5000/asset/B732A08500HP.1?device=ExampleDevice&type=CuttingTool'

The @... uses the named file to pass the data and the URL must contain the asset id and the device name as well as the asset type. If the type is CuttingTool or CuttingToolArchetype, the data will be parsed and corrected if properties are out of order as with the adapter. If the device is not specified and there are more than one device in this adapter, it will cause an error to be returned.

Programmatically, send the data as the body of the POST or PUT request as follows. If we look at the raw data, you will see the data is sent over verbatim as follows:

=> Send header, 230 bytes (0xe6)
0000: POST /asset/B732A08500HP.1?device=ExampleDevice&type=CuttingTool
0040:  HTTP/1.1
004b: User-Agent: curl/7.37.1
0064: Host: localhost:5000
007a: Accept: */*
0087: Content-Length: 2057
009d: Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
00ce: Expect: 100-continue
00e4: 
== Info: Done waiting for 100-continue
=> Send data, 2057 bytes (0x809)
0000: (file data sent here, see below...)
== Info: HTTP 1.0, assume close after body
<= Recv header, 17 bytes (0x11)
0000: HTTP/1.0 200 OK
<= Recv header, 20 bytes (0x14)
0000: Content-Length: 10
<= Recv header, 24 bytes (0x18)
0000: Content-Type: text/xml
<= Recv header, 2 bytes (0x2)
0000: 
<= Recv data, 10 bytes (0xa)
0000: <success/>
<success/>== Info: Closing connection 0

The file that was included looks like this:

<CuttingTool serialNumber="1 " toolId="B732A08500HP" timestamp="2011-05-11T13:55:22" assetId="B732A08500HP.1" manufacturers="KMT">
	<Description>
		Step Drill KMT, B732A08500HP Grade KC7315
		Adapter KMT CV50BHPVTT12M375
	</Description>
	<CuttingToolLifeCycle>
		<CutterStatus><Status>NEW</Status></CutterStatus>
		<ProcessSpindleSpeed nominal="5893">5893</ProcessSpindleSpeed>
		<ProcessFeedRate nominal="2.5">2.5</ProcessFeedRate>
		<ConnectionCodeMachineSide>CV50 Taper</ConnectionCodeMachineSide>
		<Measurements>
			<BodyDiameterMax code="BDX">31.8</BodyDiameterMax>
			<BodyLengthMax code="LBX" nominal="120.825" maximum="126.325" minimum="115.325">120.825</BodyLengthMax>
			<ProtrudingLength code="LPR" nominal="155.75" maximum="161.25" minimum="150.26">158.965</ProtrudingLength>
			<FlangeDiameterMax code="DF" nominal="98.425">98.425</FlangeDiameterMax>
			<OverallToolLength nominal="257.35" minimum="251.85" maximum="262.85" code="OAL">257.35</OverallToolLength>
		</Measurements>
		<CuttingItems count="2">
			<CuttingItem indices="1" manufacturers="KMT" grade="KC7315">
				<Measurements>
					<CuttingDiameter code="DC1" nominal="8.5" maximum="8.521" minimum="8.506">8.513</CuttingDiameter>
					<StepIncludedAngle code="STA1" nominal="90" maximum="91" minimum="89">89.8551</StepIncludedAngle>
					<FunctionalLength code="LF1" nominal="154.286" minimum="148.786" maximum="159.786">157.259</FunctionalLength>
					<StepDiameterLength code="SDL1" nominal="9">9</StepDiameterLength>
					<PointAngle code="SIG" nominal="135" minimum="133" maximum="137">135.1540</PointAngle>
				</Measurements>
			</CuttingItem>
			<CuttingItem indices="2" manufacturers="KMT" grade="KC7315">
				<Measurements>
					<CuttingDiameter code="DC2" nominal="12" maximum="12.011" minimum="12">11.999</CuttingDiameter>
					<FunctionalLength code="LF2" nominal="122.493" maximum="127.993" minimum="116.993">125.500</FunctionalLength>
					<StepDiameterLength code="SDL2" nominal="9">9</StepDiameterLength>
				</Measurements>
			</CuttingItem>
		</CuttingItems>
	</CuttingToolLifeCycle>
</CuttingTool>

An example in ruby is as follows:

> require 'net/http'
=> true
> h = Net::HTTP.new('localhost', 5000)
=> #<Net::HTTP localhost:5000 open=false>
> r = h.post('/asset/B732A08500HP.1?type=CuttingTool&device=ExampleDevice', File.read('B732A08500HP.xml'))
=> #<Net::HTTPOK 200 OK readbody=true>
> r.body
=> "<success/>"