This binding integrates popular PLC brand which is adopted in industrial, marine and building automation scenarios. The name is composed of two parts AMS and ADS. The "ADS" part is shortcut which stands for "Automation Device Specification". ADS is communication protocol which describes behavior of devices. Earlier part of combined name, the "AMS" means "Automation Message Specification". AMS is a routing and virtual networking layer and ADS is data exchange layer built on top of it. In practice ADS is adaptable to various transports, i.e. ADS over CAN.

We do distinguish these terms because they have different role. Binding do reflect both protocol and configuration logic behind these two technologies. Devices which are compatible with this protocol are primarily Windows based PLCs, but not only. Recently Beckhoff Automation released a TcBSD which rely on BSD system family.

Table 1. AMSADS binding capability table
Device discovery Channel discovery Read Write Subscribe






Subscriptions are based on change of value at the PLC end.

Device discovery

Binding supports an undocumented discovery feature of the protocol. It is able to detect all compatible devices within IP network through broadcasts.

Thing and Channel discovery

Binding by default will attempt to scan symbols and create channel definitions unless configured otherwise. The Thing discoverChannels option controls whether symbol reading should be attempted or not. All discovered channels contain symbol name and with encoding.

Currently binding does not support string and date-time related types, hence symbols of this type are ignored.

Supported hardware

All devices capable of communication AMS/ADS. This includes Beckhoff IPC as well as I/O modules which can be reached through AMS/ADS layer.

In order to start reading data you need to create at least one ams bridge with network or serial connection. The network thing represents TCP connection at port 48898. Please note that TCP port is fixed and unrelated to AMS port. It is common misconception that AMS port is port on which a TCP connection is being made. AMS port is application level concept and does not influence TCP port in use.

It is possible to configure polling (sampling) interval for individual channels in case when device does not support change of state.

Textual configuration

Below is example of a text configuration which you can upload to your openhab. It allows to use a regular version control system to track changes over time. The same can be done via user interface.

Bridge co7io-amsads:ams:my-ams-network "My test AMS Network" [
  ] {

  Thing network nw1 "Test Connection 2" [
  ] {
      Type number-symbol : energy [ symbol="Main.Power", type="UDINT" ]
      Type number-direct-hex : power [ indexGroup="F0FF", indexOffset="0", type="UINT16" ]
      Type number-direct-dec : current [ indexGroup=61455, indexOffset=4, type="UINT16" ]


Create multiple things to manage inputs and outputs of your device in an organized way. All of them will reuse the same network or serial connection. Their role is to make navigation over complex installations easier.

Debugging and troubleshooting

Code have been tested with TwinCAT 2 and TwinCAT 3 - both do work, however symbolic fields within TwinCAT 2 seem to have troubles. Also, depending on device class symbolic fields might not be available. This is a case for older bus couplers (BC, BX devices). In case if given thing does not come online disable channel discovery and use direct addresses (hex or decimal format).

Because of additional layer of complexity imposed by AMS by this binding is extremely sensitive to network setup. Binding attempts to set up AMS routing from openHAB® host to device. Attempt is made if both - username and password fields are provided, otherwise binding will assume routing is in place and attempt to make connection. If routing setup fails, connection attempts to PLC will be still made. This is simply due to fact that adding the same AMS route to PLC second time often does not result in any answer or in a failed answer.

Beckhoff devices accept only one connection with specified AMS net id at specified ams port. Second connection will be accepted and valid at TCP level, but will not report any data. In such case ADS communication will not work. Primary symptom for that are timeout errors reported for configured data points.

It is recommended to restart process after AMS parameter change. AMS routing at the PLC end might get stuck if AMS net id is changed but origin IP remains the same.