SAN JOSE, Calif. - LonMark International has announced the release of its LonMark® Open System Definition document, which defines the key characteristics of device networks that range in size from a few devices to enterprise applications.

The document describes the five key elements of an open device network, including system behaviors, devices, connectivity, device interfaces, and network software and tools. According to LonMark International, automation systems based upon the Open System Definition deliver reduced up-front and life cycle costs, independent sourcing of products, and the ability to integrate disparate systems easily using worldwide IT standards.

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

A key element of the Open System Definition document involves enterprise connectivity. LonMark International has been a leading proponent of XML and Web services as evidenced by the publication of LonMark file formats in XML. The organization is actively 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 upon our solid foundation certifying devices," said Barry Haaser, executive director of LonMark International. "In anticipation of the release of this document, our members started working through various Task Groups on certification guidelines for the system elements."

A copy of the LonMark Open System Definition document can be accessed at

Publication date: 12/13/2004