Instances inherit the initial values for the Attributes that they have in common with the TypeDefinitionNode from which they are instantiated, with the exceptions of the NodeClass and NodeId.

When a Server creates an instance of a TypeDefinitionNode it shall create the same hierarchy of Nodes beneath the new Object or Variable depending on the ModellingRule of each InstanceDeclaration. Standard ModellingRules are defined in The Nodes within the newly created hierarchy may be copies of the InstanceDeclarations, the InstanceDeclaration itself or another Node in the AddressSpace that has the same TypeDefinitionNode and BrowseName. If new copies are created, then the Attribute values of the InstanceDeclarations are used as the initial values. An instance shall not be a SourceNode of a hierarchical Reference that has the same BrowsePath as an InstanceDeclaration of its TypeDefinition which has an optional or mandatory ModellingRule except for the one based on the InstanceDeclaration.

Figure 22 provides a simple example of a TypeDefinitionNode and an Instance. Nodes referenced by the TypeDefinitionNode without a ModellingRule do not appear in the instance. Instances may have children with duplicate BrowseNames; however, only one of those children will correspond to the InstanceDeclaration.


Figure 22 – An Instance and its TypeDefinitionNode

It is up to the Server to decide which InstanceDeclarations appear in any single instance. In some cases, the Server will not define the entire instance and will provide remote references to Nodes in another Server. The ModellingRules described in allow Servers to indicate that some Nodes are always present; however, the Client shall be prepared for the case where the Node exists in a different Server.

A Client can use the information of TypeDefinitionNodes to access Nodes which are in the hierarchy of the instance. It shall pass the NodeId of the instance and the BrowsePath of the child Nodes based on the TypeDefinitionNode to the TranslateBrowsePathsToNodeIds service (see OPC 10000-4). This Service returns the NodeId for each of the child Nodes. If a child Node exists then the BrowseName and NodeClass shall match the InstanceDeclaration. In the case of Objects or Variables, also the TypeDefinitionNode shall either match or be a subtype of the original TypeDefinitionNode.