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July 30, 2008: BACnet Looks to Improve Standardized Communications

July 30, 2008
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ATLANTA - A new standard way of representing building data is designed to give BACnet new capabilities for standardized communications between a wide range of applications. A definition for an XML syntax which can be used to represent building data in a consistent, flexible, and extensible manner, is defined by addendum t, recommended for public review by the BACnet committee during the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE’s) 2008 Annual Meeting.

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a popular technology in the data processing and communications worlds, based on its ability to model a wide range of data, and its ability to be transformed and extended.

“With this new IT-friendly way of representing building data, we are opening up a whole range of possible new ways to share data. XML can be used for exchanging files between systems, integrating buildings with energy utilities, and expanding enterprise integration with richer Web services,” said Dave Robin, incoming BACnet chair.

The BACnet committee also moved eight other addenda toward publication.

Addendum g, a new means for securing BACnet messages using updated encryption technologies, was recommended for another public review following an extended period of revision and analysis by the Network Security working group following the preceding public review.

The Life-Safety and Security working group, comprised of BACnet and physical security industry experts, recommended another public review for Addendum j, which proposes physical access control extensions for BACnet.

“We received only nine comments on the previous public review,” said working group convener David Ritter, “and they were all positive and constructive comments.”

The Testing and Interoperation working group revised its definitions of several new types of BACnet operator workstations following the first public review of addendum l last fall.

“These definitions will not only allow users to specify the capabilities of different workstations, but are necessary for defining the tests done on those workstations by BACnet testing labs,” said working group convener Carl Neilson.

Addenda h, r, and s, all comprised of a number of independent changes, were also recommended for public review.

After reviewing the comments submitted for two addenda, the BACnet committee determined that addenda b and m had passed spring public review and will be submitted for publication. Both addenda are comprised of several independent changes but include user-oriented extensions such as the Event Log object, which keeps a history of BACnet alarms in a standard fashion.

Also during the meeting, outgoing BACnet chair Bill Swan announced the publication of BACnet 2008, incorporating the five addenda that have been approved since the publication of BACnet 2004.

Publication date: 07/28/2008

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