OPC 10000-81 defines the base Information Model and communication concepts that UAFX provides to meet the use cases of process and factory automation applications. These communication concepts utilise the communication models defined in OPC UA, such as PubSub and Client Server1. The UAFX Information Model is based on the basic building blocks provided in OPC 10000-5 and utilises Interfaces and Object Types described in OPC 10000-100. This base Information Model can, in turn, be utilised and extended in other specifications (e.g., motion or process instruments). Additionally, the UAFX Information Model may be used together with existing companion specifications, where existing definitions are merged into the UAFX Information Model.

An AutomationComponent is an entity that performs one or more automation functions. All Automation Components are composed of Assets and FunctionalEntities. An AutomationComponent also contains information related to communication capabilities and diagnostic information. OPC 10000-81 formally describes AutomationComponent, Asset, and FunctionalEntity.

A Connection is a logical relationship between FunctionalEntities for exchanging information and coordinating joint operations. Data and event information may be exchanged. The first release of the UAFX specifications includes the exchange of data information. Future releases are planned to include the exchange of event information. Connections are mapped to a communication model such as PubSub or Client Server and different QoS classes in the application configuration. OPC 10000-81 formally describes Connections.

The ConnectionManager, described in OPC 10000-81, is the entity responsible for establishing Connections. The ConnectionManager may be part of an AutomationComponent or a separate entity like a central configuration server. There may be multiple ConnectionManagers in the system operating independently of one another.