Programs can have different lifetimes. Some Programs may always be present on a Server while others are created and removed. Creation and removal can be controlled by a Client or may be restricted to local means.

A Program can be Client creatable. If a Program is Client creatable, then the Client can add the Program to the Server. The Object Create Method defined in OPC 10000-3, is used to create the Program instance. The initial state of the Program can be Halted or Ready. Some Programs, for example, may require that a resource becomes available after its creation and before it is ready to run. In this case, it would be initialized in the Halted state and transition to Ready when the resource is delivered.

A Program can be Client removable. If the Program is Client removable, then the Client can delete the Program instance from the Server. The DeleteNodes Service defined in OPC 10000-4 is used to remove the Program Instance. The Program shall be in a Halted state to be removed. A Program may also be auto removable. An auto removable Program deletes itself when execution has terminated.