WPF HMI using Visual Studio


If you do not have a copy of Visual Studio you can download a free version of Visual Basic Express 2010 or C# Express 2010 from www.microsoft.com/express.  If you have no experience with either Visual Basic or C# choose Visual Basic.  No programming is required to use OPC Windows HMI.NET.

View the following video for a quick introduction to WPF HMI.NET.


View the following video for detailed steps on using WPF HMI.NET.



If you are new to Visual Studio and want to implement HMI Quick Start Templates view the following videos.

WPF Tabbed Interface: https://www.opcsystems.com/vs2010templateswpftabbed_video.htm


The following steps can be used to add visualization to a C#, or Visual Basic.NET application.  Refer to the VB.NET example for programmatic interface of using the OPC Controls components.  All properties are programmatically accessible.  The following example demonstrates the use of OPC WPF HMI.NET with no code required.





Load the default DemoTags Tag configuration if you have replaced your tag configuration with your own tags.

Start Visual Studio 2010 and select File->New->Project to create a new C#, or VB.


Select WPF Application as the project type.


From the Toolbox if OPCWPF Controls components are not available right click in the Toolbox and select Choose Items.  If it is available go to step 4.

From the WPF Components select all of the OPCWPF Controls components and then select OK.  For 4.0 Framework solutions use OPCWPFDashboard Namespace controls.  For 3.5 and 4.0 Framework solutions select OPCWPF Namespace.


Add an OPCWPFLabel component onto the Window.

Right click on the OPCWPFLabel and select Properties.

Select the Content_Tag property and use the browse button at the right to set the OPC Systems.NET Tag to Ramp.Value.

Note: If you wish to run this application on remote PCs make sure to include the Network Node or IP Address of the OPC Systems Service source.

Note: All Tag names are case sensitive.  Ramp.Value is valid, ramp.value is not.

Note: You can use the DirectOPC interface to connect directly to OPC Server Items is you just need to gain access to the server items without having to create OPC Systems.NET Tags.




Add an OPCWPFButton to the Form.

Set the Content_Tag to Pump.Value.  If the Pump Tag does not exist create a Boolean Tag using Configure-Tags with the name Pump.

Set the Format fields as defined below...

Set the Background01_Tag to Pump.Value.

Set the SetValue_Tag to Pump.Value.




Add an OPCWPFTextBox to the Form.

Set the Text_Tag property to Pump.Value.  The Format properties for Boolean to Off and On.



Select the Configuration Manager from the Build Menu.

Set the compile mode in the Configuration Manager to Release.



Select Build from the VS menu and select to Build the application.


Use Windows Explorer to browse for the application located in the bin\Release directory and run the application.


To deploy the application to remote nodes first make sure the Tags as described in steps 4, 5, and 6 are set to a Network Node or IP Address.  Then simply copy the files in the bin\Release directory to the target systems or follow the Smart Client deployment section in this help file to deploy your application using Click Once Deployment.

Note: You can also use the OPCWPFNetworkNodes component and assign a network node alias to change all “localhost” tags to the desired remote node.  This is done with the AddNetworkNodeAlias method.  Refer to the WinForm Example Code on the exact syntax of how to use this method.  Notice how all OPC Controls data sources for a particular node can be reassigned to a remote node with one simple call.


There are many different properties to each control. In WPF you can convert graphics to an Image Brush. The Image Brush can then be used as a background in most OPCWPF Controls.

The OPC WPF Data component can be used to access data via code with very simple methods.  Refer to the Forms FormReadValues and FormWriteValues in the WinForm Example Code.

Refer to the WPF Example application for demonstration examples of all properties of all controls.



Continue: WPF HMI using Expression Blend