The PLCopen Coding Guidelines version 1.0 ─ as part of PLCopen's Software Construction Guidelines initiative ─ have been released to the public and are available on the association's website for downloading.
According to PLCopen, although there are guidelines for many programming languages out there, it's hard to find guidelines for the area of industrial control, e.g. IEC 61131-3 and its PLCopen extensions. Even without this, PLCopen points out, the software in the industrial environment is becoming more important, software projects are becoming larger and the costs of errors are increasing.
In order to deal with the complexity of larger programs, one needs modern software development processes supporting a structured approach and creating re-usable code, says PLCopen. There is also a need to increase efficiency in coding via re-use of pre-defined functionalities.
In an effort to support his goal, PLCopen created its Software Construction Guidelines initiative. The first official version of the Coding Guidelines has been released. It contains 63 rules for software programming, and is spread over different sections, such as: naming rules, comment rules, coding practice, languages and vendor specific IEC 61131-3 extensions.
According to PLCopen, since the release of the first documents, further work has also been done on the following topics:
- Creating PLCopen compliant Function Block Libraries
- Structuring and decomposition via SFC (do’s & don’ts)
Both areas are close to publishing their first results.
Additional working groups active under the Software Construction Guidelines will focus on the following topics:
- Guidance for documentation in software programs
- Software quality issues and software consistency
- Software development process
- Object orientation in the 3rd edition
The results of the different subgroups will be made available on the PLCopen website on an on-going basis.