Subclause 5.5.1 states: “Objects are used to represent systems, system components, real-world objects, and software objects.” Therefore ObjectTypes should be used if a type definition of those ObjectTypes is useful (see A.2).

From a more abstract point of view Objects are used to group Variables and other Objects in the AddressSpace. Therefore ObjectTypes should be used when some common structures/groups of Objects and/or Variables should be described. Clients can use this knowledge to program against the ObjectType structure and use the TranslateBrowsePathsToNodeIds Service defined in OPC 10000-4 on the instances.

Simple objects only having one value (e.g. a simple heat sensor) can also be modelled as VariableTypes. However, extensibility mechanisms should be considered (e.g. a complex heat sensor subtype could have several values) and whether that object should be exposed as an object in the Client's GUI or just as a value. Whenever a modeller is in doubt as to which solution to use the ObjectType having one Variable should be preferred.