Besides the semantic differences of Properties and DataVariables described in Clause 4 there are also syntactical differences. A Property is identified by its BrowseName, that is, if Properties having the same semantic are used several times, they should always have the same BrowseName. The same semantic of DataVariables is captured in the VariableType.

If it is not clear which concept to use based on the semantic described in Clause 4, then the different syntax can help. The following points identify when it shall be a DataVariable.

  • If it is a complex Variable or it should contain additional information in the form of Properties.
  • If the type definition may be refined (subtyping).
  • If the type definition should be made available so the Client can use the AddNodes Service defined in OPC 10000-4 to create new instances of the type definition.
  • If it is a component of a complex Variable exposing a part of the value of the complex Variable.