Lonmark International defines open systems

To help achieve cost savings, open bidding environments, and increased system flexibility, Lonmark International has released its Lonmark Open System Definition which defines the key characteristics of device networks ranging in size from a few devices to entire enterprise applications.


To help achieve cost savings, open bidding environments, and increased system flexibility, Lonmark International has released its Lonmark Open System Definition, which defines key characteristics of device networks ranging in size from a few devices to entire enterprise applications.

The document describes five key elements of an open device network: system behaviors, devices, connectivity, device interfaces, and network software and tools. Automation systems based on the Open System Definition reduce upfront and lifecycle costs, enable independent product sourcing, and easily integrate disparate systems using worldwide IT standards.
Lonmark-certified devices are used worldwide to deliver solutions that sense, monitor, and control in virtually every industry. With nearly 600 certified devices and controllers, Lonmark International says it has laid a solid, device-level, foundation for creating open systems.

The organization adds that its Open System Definition addresses the need for system-level specifications and solutions. The specification will become a roadmap for the organization to establish certification criteria for each key element of a system. Over time, it will be possible to write an open system specification identifying the system elements, which will assure integrators and end-users that any product in the system can be sourced from multiple suppliers, and that an open bidding environment will be maintained for service and maintenance.

In addition, a key element of the Open System Definition involves enterprise connectivity. Lonmark International adds that it's advocated XML and Web services for several years, and published its Lonmark file formats in XML. The organization also is working with the Open Building Information Xchange (oBIX) Committee, a committee within the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) to create an internationally accepted standard for using XML to integrate building automation systems with enterprise systems and other applications.

"Our members are very excited about the expanded scope of Lonmark International, which builds on our foundation of certifying devices," says Barry Haaser, Lonmark International's executive director. "In anticipation of the release of this document, our members started working through various task groups on certification guidelines for the system elements."

For more information or a copy of the Lonmark Open System Definition document, click here . For more information about OASIS, click here .

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering, jmontague@reedbusiness.com

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