UAFX defines the use of different kinds of communications. For example, the exchange of control data via OPC UA PubSub, connection establishment via OPC UA Client  Server, link-local communication, e.g., LLDP (see 7.3) and gPTP (see 7.4), and remote management with NETCONF (see 7.2). To support the UAFX system operation, these kinds of communications may demand different Quality of Service (QoS) in the network.

This subclause provides an overview of how the definitions in this document can be applied to a network containing UAFX  Stations (see 6.4.3) and other IA-stations (see 6.4) such that Connections can be handled with appropriate QoS. With this release, UAFX Stations can use Best Effort or priority-based QoS for OPC UA PubSub traffic. In addition, enhanced priority-based QoS can be achieved in the network using the TSN mechanisms selected in this document.

To decouple the QoS specification for applications created during the application engineering phase from the actual QoS configuration in a given network, Controls Engineers define the application's QoS needs in the form of abstract QoS categories and labels. Similarly, Controls Engineers can use abstract network interface names to allow the use of VLANs as needed, e.g., for priority-based QoS at the Ethernet layer. The OPC UA Communication Stack then uses a PriorityMappingTable (see OPC 1000022) to translate the abstract QoS category and label of a Connection to concrete priority values in the message. Similarly, the UA Communication Stack can use the representation of VLAN interfaces in the OPC UA Information Model to resolve abstract VLAN interface names to VLAN IDs in the transmitted packets.

Table 1 defines a recommended usage of priorities for various types of traffic in networks containing UAFX Stations. Combined with the traffic class mapping priority defined in 6.4.3, these recommendations provide consistent, system-wide behaviour for networks that do not currently use the recommended priority values for other purposes.

Table 1 – Recommended PCP/DSCP usage



Recommended usage









Network control2 (gPTP, LLDP, loop prevention)



Green4 (UA PubSub, see 6.5.4)






Connection establishment (UA Client Server3), remote management2 (NETCONF)



Best Effort




NOTE 1 The entries in the table are in the order of effective priority of the packets on the network and not in the order of priority values (PCP and DSCP).

NOTE 2 IEEE Std 802.1Q2022, I.4 explains the rationale for inverting PCP 0 and 1. PCP of 0 is used for default priority and Best Effort. Tagging a frame with PCP 1 allows explicit indication of traffic that can be treated with a lower priority than Best Effort. This same rationale applies to the default Priority to Traffic Class Mapping in 6.4.3.

NOTE 3 The DSCP values for Network Control, Best Effort, and Background have been selected from IETF RFC 4594, Figure 3.

NOTE 4 The DSCP value for GREEN is selected from the IANA DSCP Pool 1 Codepoints registry value for Expedited Forwarding defined in IETF RFC 3246.

NOTE 5 The default PCP and DSCP values for any type of traffic without explicit priority configuration are equal to Best Effort.

1 Additional DSCP values may be defined in a future release of this document.

2 Currently, there is no OPC UA means for the assignment of priority information for these services. This is expected to be added in a future release, e.g., through IEC/IEEE 60802.

3 The OPC UA Information Model currently does not allow the assignment of priority information for UA Client Server messages. A future release is expected to allow UA Client Server QoS configuration in addition to UA PubSub.

4 “Green” corresponds to the OPC UA PriorityLabel opc.qos.lbl://green, which this release of the document supports for OPC UA PubSub-based exchange of control data with UAFX.

Figure 5 shows an example of an application running on two Controllers using different priorities on a network. One priority carries OPC UA PubSub messages with an elevation to PCP 4, and another carries all other messages in the same lower priority, including OPC UA Client Server.


Figure 5 – UAFX example application with QoS

Following the concept of decoupling the application from the network configuration and in concert with the PCP values defined in Table 1, 6.5.3 specifies a default, abstract VLAN interface name and associated VLAN ID value. In deployments intended to use priority-based QoS at the Ethernet layer, this abstract VLAN interface name can be used for ease of use during Connection engineering if the VLAN interface name has not explicitly been adapted. Moreover, the mapping from the abstract VLAN interface name to a concrete VLAN ID can still be adapted prior to connection establishment (see This decoupling allows for any necessary adjustments, e.g., if the default VLAN ID is already in use or deployment-specific requirements demand the use of a different VLAN ID.

Priority-based QoS at the Ethernet layer also relies on the consistent support and configuration of VLANs in the network containing UAFX Stations. Therefore, it is recommended that all Bridge Components (see 6.2) in such networks are configured to forward VLAN-tagged Ethernet frames with the VLAN IDs used by the attached UAFX Station. The overall configuration results in tagged and untagged traffic originating from a UAFX Station.

NOTE: If an End Station Component cannot receive both tagged and untagged frames on the same network interface, VLAN stripping on egress at the connected Bridge Component port or local means, e.g., ignoring the VLAN tag in the network stack, allows reception of frames that were originally sent with a VLAN tag.

The following subclauses describe an example workflow to achieve the configuration and operation shown in Figure 5. As mentioned in 1, with this release, vendor-specific means are required for all networking-related End Station and Bridge Component configurations, including VLAN configuration, time synchronisation, and QoS.

The engineering workflow described in this clause follows the general workflow from OPC 10000-80 for the configuration of Connections between FunctionalEntity inputs and outputs. The workflow described in this clause goes into the details related to configuring the QoS required by those Connections. This workflow is divided into four phases: Application and QoS engineering, network configuration, system integration, and connection establishment and operation.

The example in this clause illustrates the configuration and start-up of a single communication flow between two Controllers, i.e., data is only shared in one direction, requiring a single Descriptor describing this data to be exported from an engineering tool describing one of the Controllers. UAFX Applications will typically be sharing data in both directions between the Controllers, thus requiring Descriptors to be shared in both directions.

The default networking configuration of End Station Components defined in the application and QoS engineering phase (see of the workflow allows UAFX Stations to operate out-of-the-box with no additional networking configuration when used on a network designed with these requirements in mind. This default configuration can be adapted, e.g., to accommodate the needs of an existing network, as illustrated in the workflow’s system integration phase (see

During the application and QoS engineering phase, Controls Engineers, working in an OfflineEngineering environment, first create the user programs and UAFX Applications and set up the (default) networking configuration of the End Station Components (see 6.3) on their Controller. Next, Controls Engineers set up the Connection configurations needed for sharing data between Controllers. As a final step, Connection configurations are transferred to a ConnectionManager that establishes the Connections during the workflow’s connection establishment and operation phase (see This subclause describes the details of these steps, including the setup of network interface configurations and Connection information provided to the ConnectionManager. Complete details of the ConnectionManager are defined in OPC 1000081.

Figure 6 illustrates an example where two engineers jointly create a UAFX Application containing Controller A and Controller B while separated in time and space and potentially without physical devices. For example, Controller A might control a conveyor belt, and Controller B might be a line controller using this conveyor belt (Controller) as part of controlling a production line. Descriptors, defined in OPC 1000083, enable the engineers to share application information between their respective engineering tools. In this example, Controller B hosts the ConnectionManager (CM) for configuring and establishing the Connection.


Figure 6 – UAFX Application engineering

As the first step in this example, Engineer A creates Controller A’s User Program using an engineering tool specific to Controller A. In addition to the Controller’s program, the engineering tool is used to create the UAFX Information Model representing that program. This Information Model consists of an AutomationComponent representing the entity being created by Engineer A. Part of the AutomationComponent is the functional model representing the logical functionality of the User Program. FunctionalEntities contained in the AutomationComponent represent that functional model. Input and output Variables in the FunctionalEntity expose the data to be exchanged using Connections with FunctionalEntities in another Controller. The Variables PublisherCapabilities and SubscriberCapabilities, also contained in the AutomationComponent, describe communication capabilities such as publishing intervals and, most important for the scope of this example workflow, the QoS capabilities that this AutomationComponent supports. OPC 1000081 provides details about the AutomationComponent, FunctionalEntity, the functional model, PublisherCapabilities, and SubscriberCapabilities.

To configure the use of priority-based QoS for a UAFX Application, Engineer A sets up and references a PriorityMappingTable from each physical network interface available to the UAFX Application. Virtual interfaces inherit the PriorityMappingTable from the physical interface if they do not reference a PriorityMappingTable directly. A PriorityMappingTable consists of entries that map a combination of abstract QosCategory and PriorityLabel values to concrete PCP and DSCP values for priority-based QoS at the Ethernet and IP layer, respectively. The default PriorityMappingTable settings for priority-based QoS with UAFX are defined in 6.5.4. OPC 1000014 provides detailed descriptions of QosCategory and PriorityLabel.

For priority-based QoS at the IP layer, no additional configuration is needed. For priority-based QoS at the Ethernet layer, the UAFX Station has default VLAN interfaces created as defined in 6.5.3. To this end, Engineer A may modify the VLAN IDs or add additional VLAN interfaces. The VLAN IDs or additional VLAN interfaces can also be changed during the system integration step of the workflow (see as appropriate for the given deployment.

In either case, the VLAN interface is represented in the Information Model by an IetfBaseNetworkInterfaceType object, as described in 6.5.3. Figure 7 illustrates the Information Model of a physical interface with the name “eth0” referencing a PriorityMappingTable, DefaultPriorityMappingTable, with at least the PriorityMappingEntries defined in 6.5.4, and an associated VLAN interface named “eth0.uafx-vlan” and VID set to 100 as defined in 6.5.3.


Figure 7 – Example Information Model for a physical interface

NOTE:   Setting VlanId to zero results in Ethernet frames being transmitted through that interface as priority tagged frames, i.e., the VID set to zero in the VLAN Tag.

Once the configuration for Controller A is complete, Engineer A transfers the User Program, PriorityMappingTable, and all created network interfaces to Controller A using this Controller’s engineering tool. Engineer A also exports a Descriptor that is shared with Engineer B to complete the UAFX Application configuration. The exported Descriptor includes, amongst others, the AutomationComponent, FunctionalEntity(ies), PublisherCapabilities and SubscriberCapabilities (including QosCategories and PriorityLabels), PriorityMappingTable, and IetfBaseNetworkInterfaces representing Controller A’s User Program. OPC 1000081 provides the detailed definitions of ConnectionManager, PublisherCapabilities and SubscriberCapabilities, and PubSubCommunicationFlowConfiguration.

Engineer B creates the User Program and the UAFX Information Model for Controller B using an engineering tool specific to Controller B, much as Engineer A did for Controller A. Engineer B also imports the Descriptor exported by Engineer A into Controller B’s engineering tool, allowing Engineer B to configure the Connections between Controller A’s and Controller B’s FunctionalEntity(ies).

By importing the Descriptor from Controller A, Controller B’s engineering tool contains the UAFX Information Model for both Controllers, including the configuration of both Controllers’ AutomationComponent’s PublisherCapabilities and SubscriberCapabilities, PriorityMappingTable, and IetfBaseNetworkInterfaces. With this information, Engineer B configures the QoS and addresses for each Connection between the Controllers by setting the sender and receiver Address, QosCategory, and PriorityLabel Variables in the ConnectionManager PubSubCommunicationFlowConfiguration.

Figure 8 illustrates the Variables used by Controller B’s engineering tool for configuring the Connection’s QoS. This step involves setting the QosCategory and PriorityLabel Variables in the ConnectionManager’s PubSubCommunicationFlowConfiguration Variable. The available values for QoS are derived from the respective AutomationComponent’s PublisherCapabilities and SubscriberCapabilities Variables. More precisely, each Controller’s supported QoS options are described in the SupportedQos Array contained in the PublisherCapabilities and SubscriberCapabilities Variables. Each element of the SupportedQos Array, in turn, contains a single QosCategory value with its related DatagramQos Array. For QosCategory “”, the DatagramQos Array contains a single element containing the supported PriorityLabel (e.g., “opc.qos.lbl://green”).

Engineering tools can ensure QosCategory is set consistently in both the sender and receiver by only listing those elements having the same QosCategory values in both Controller A and Controller B, i.e., the intersection of values from both Controllers. The list of supported PriorityLabels can be different in each Controller, so separate PriorityLabel lists are presented by the engineering tool for each side of the Connection.


NOTE: The example in this figure only uses standard OPC UA values for QosCategory and PriorityLabel. However, a vendor can extend the labels with vendor-specific labels should they choose (e.g., acme://blue). The only QosCategory value defined in the current release of OPC 1000014 is Table 3 defines the only standard PriorityLabel value defined in this release for is opc.qos.lbl://green. Future releases may define additional QosCategory and PriorityLabel values.

Figure 8 – QoS selection

In addition to the QosCategory and PriorityLabel, Engineer B can set the interface configuration in the NetworkInterface Variable to be used by a Connection as part of the PubSubCommunicationFlowConfiguration sender and receiver Address parameters. A NetworkInterface Variable may either be the BrowseName of a physical interface or a VLAN interface. The NetworkInterface Variable may also be set to an empty string. In this case, the AutomationComponent chooses the appropriate network interface (e.g., using a routing table). All available network interfaces available to the UAFX Application, including VLAN interfaces, are contained in the NetworkInterfaces Folder defined in OPC 10000-22. The System Commissioner can finish the configuration of the Connections (i.e., modify the network interface and QoS selection) in the system integration phase (see

Once the Connection configuration is complete, Engineer B transfers the Connection configurations for the ConnectionManager, including their QoS requirements, User Program, and network interface configuration, into Controller B using a vendor-specific engineering tool.

During the network configuration phase, the Network Engineer uses remote management (see 7.2) or vendor-specific means to discover the network topology (see 7.3) and further configures the interconnected UAFX Stations and network infrastructure components.

In deployments intended to use priority-based QoS at the Ethernet layer, it is recommended that all Bridge Components are configured to forward VLAN-tagged Ethernet frames with the VLAN ID(s) used by the attached UAFX Stations. To this end, the Network Engineer configures Static VLAN Registration Entries (see IEEE Std 802.1Q2022, 8.8.2) for each of these VLAN IDs for those Bridge Components. The Static VLAN Registration Entries add those ports that are connected to a UAFX Station or an IA-station interconnecting UAFX Stations in a network to the tagged member sets of the VLAN IDs. As a result, the VLAN tags are transmitted from the sending UAFX Station to the receiving UAFX Station.

In addition, the Network Engineer may also configure the use of selected TSN mechanisms in the network as appropriate for the given deployment scenario and application QoS requirements. Figure 9 illustrates two of the many different available TSN mechanism configuration options. Example 1 illustrates a configuration that entails setting PCP 4 (see Table 3) to Express and all other PCPs as Preemptible using the Frame Preemption mechanism (see 6.2.2 item g). Alternatively, as shown in Example 2, the first 200 µs of a 1 ms cycle time may be reserved for PCP 4, with the remaining 800 µs used for the remaining PCPs using the enhancements for scheduled traffic mechanism (see 6.2.2 item f).


Figure 9 – Network configuration

During the system integration phase, a System Commissioner makes the necessary adjustments to adapt the Connections and network configurations for the existing network using a generic OPC UA Client or vendor-specific engineering tool, as illustrated in Figure 10.

Clause 6.5.3 specifies the default VLAN interfaces with default VLAN IDs. If the System Engineer used deviating VLAN IDs, the System Commissioner has to update the VLAN interfaces on the UAFX Stations. Additionally, new VLAN interfaces can be created if necessary.


a As no OPC UA Information Model mechanism today allows the assignment of priority information for UA Client Server messages, PCP 0 is shown in this example instead of PCP 2, as defined in Table 1.

Figure 10 – System integration

Clause 6.5.4 specifies the default PriorityMappingTable assigned to the physical interfaces. Only if the Network Engineer requires a different usage of the priority values for the configured QoS mechanisms in the network does the System Commissioner update the PriorityMappingTable on all UAFX Stations accordingly (i.e., the PCP and DSCP values for the different QosCategory-PriorityLabel combinations).

NOTE A System Commissioner considers the current use of VLANs and priorities when adding UAFX Stations to an existing network and adjusts VLAN interfaces and PriorityMappingTable configurations accordingly on all UAFX Stations.

Finally, once the network interfaces and PriorityMappingTable are configured, the System Commissioner may update the PubSubCommunicationFlowConfiguration Variable in the ConnectionManager’s Information Model to adapt the Connection configurations for QoS settings and network settings such as setting destination IP addresses and network interface names. This step is only necessary if the deployment of the UAFX Station uses different values, as available in the Descriptor in Clause describes the Information Model objects and Variables involved in making these adjustments.

The connection establishment and operation phase begins with the ConnectionManager establishing the Connections described in its Information Model. Connection establishment is either initiated by the ConnectionManager’s internal logic or by a Client invoking a Method on the ConnectionManager as described in OPC 1000081.


Figure 11 – PubSub QoS and addressing configuration variables

The ConnectionManager establishes Connections using the Connection configuration as set up by the Controls Engineer (see and System Commissioner (see Figure 11 illustrates setting up the PubSubConfiguration in Controller A and Controller B, focusing on QoS and Address as contained in the PubSubCommunicationFlowConfiguration. To this end, the ConnectionManager invokes the EstablishConnections Method on the AutomationComponents that reference the FunctionalEntities being connected, as depicted in Figure 12 label A. For details on Address and QoS, see OPC 1000014.


a As no OPC UA Information Model mechanism exists today that allows the assignment of priority or addressing information for UA Client Server messages, PCP 0 is shown in this example instead of PCP 2 as defined in Table 1, and VLAN interfaces are not shown for the UA C/S and other traffic.

Figure 12 – PriorityMappingTable operation

Once a Connection is established and communication begins, as illustrated in Figure 12 label B, the OPC UA Application and Communication Layer (see Figure 1) uses the QosCategory and PriorityLabel values in the WriterGroup with the PriorityMappingTable to derive the actual PCP and DSCP priority values to use for the corresponding OPC UA PubSub messages on the wire. Similarly, it uses the Address Variable in the WriterGroup to derive the VLAN ID value to be used in the VLAN tag, as illustrated in Figure 12 label C, for priority-based QoS with Ethernet. See OPC 1000014 for a detailed description of how the PriorityMappingTable and Address Variable are used with PubSub communications for priority-based QoS.