Easy way to get data out of PLC's?

Hey there! I've worked in controls and software for a mfg company for quite some time and am always amazed at how much work goes into getting data out of PLC's and into external systems (excel, db's, emails, ERP's etc).

Is there any software that allows you to connect to a PLC and just ship data to different systems without writing custom code? What do you guys use?
Hello Colin
That would be nice if there is a bit of code that interpreted all communication protocols.

If you are asking how to get data out and then export to some PC based package...I have done this before I used OPC.
I can't remember all the details but you have to set up some tags via OPC via some intermediate package..RSlinx comes to mind.

Unfortunately, the setup is usually related to vendors but they are usually very good at providing this information as this does serve their self-interest.
You might get away with writing PLC "code". ...but I doubt you will get away with the configuration aspect, unfortunately, the configuration can be a painful exercise, and if the information is not laid out nice and clear...the whole thing might not work because you missed one tick box so be prepared for a hair-pulling moment followed by ...a daaaa moment...followed by "was that all it was, why did it take you so long?".... moment.
So Rslinx( I think it's the professional version ).....OPC is a possible option...I'm sure there are loads of options ...but usually this is vendor-specific, but the underlying technology DDE OPC TCIP MODBUS RS232 RS485 ETHERCAT PROFIBUS PROFINET PROFIFATHERCHRITMAS etc etc is what they use...all wrapped up in their vendor-specific packages.