Tridium helps standardize XML, Web services linking facilities, enterprise

Richmond, VA—Tridium Inc. reports that it’s playing a key role in the Open Building Information Xchange (oBIX) technical committee recently organized under the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) to develop a standard Web-services protocol for connecting facility systems to the enterprise.

By Control Engineering Staff August 24, 2004

Richmond, VA— Tridium Inc. reports that it’s playing a key role in the Open Building Information Xchange (oBIX) technical committee recently organized under the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), which is an international standards development consortium. The oBIX group consists of technical professionals working to develop a standard Web-services protocol for connecting facility systems to the enterprise.

oBIX is expected to help improve operational efficiencies for end-users by bridging the gap between facility systems and enterprise applications. Facility operators, building owners, and tenants will be able to make decisions based on a comprehensive view of their enterprise including lifecycle costs, environmental considerations, operations, and other performance factors. OASIS will help advance the protocol, which will “reach across all verticals in the facility management space.” With Tridium’s guidance and support, industry stakeholders industrial facilities, such as HVAC, lighting, security, refrigeration and other applications, will be able to define and promote the standard.

As a founding oBIX member, Tridium says it leads the committee’s Data and Web Services working group. Acting as team group leader, Aaron Hansen, a senior software engineer with Tridium, will lead technical development of these core efforts, which will define common types and services applicable to horizontal issues, including discovery, points, historical trends, and alarming, regardless of underlying protocols.

‘While there are now numerous open communication protocols employed by building systems and equipment, there is a great need for a Web-services standard to make it easy for these systems to communicate with other applications used at the enterprise level,” says John Petze. Tridium’s CEO. “We believe that the success of oBIX, under the auspices of OASIS, will usher in a new era of efficiency in real-time facility management.’

oBIX is a focused effort by industry leaders and associations working to create standard XML and Web services guideline to facilitate the exchange of information between intelligent buildings, enable enterprise application integration, and bring forth true systems integration. Based on widely used, IT-based standards, oBIX’s guidelines will improve operational effectiveness giving facility managers and building owners increased knowledge and control of their properties. Comprised of representatives from the entire spectrum of the buildings systems industry, oBIX includes professionals from the security, HVAC, building automation, open protocol and IT disciplines. This mission of the group is to define standard XML data representations and web services for data acquisition and control systems.

Tridium adds that it invented the Niagara Framework, which is a software framework that integrates diverse systems and devices, regardless of manufacturer, communication standard or software, into a unified platform that can be easily managed and controlled in real time via the Internet or Intranets using a standard web browser. Niagara provides many benefits across a wide variety of customer applications including: building automation, energy services, remote site management, service bureaus and maintenance management. System integrators use Niagara products to provide true open solutions without regard for specific protocols, products or technologies. Manufacturers adopt Niagara technology to move their products to the web, reduce development time, migrate legacy systems, develop new service offerings and open up new markets.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com