April 2016

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Project-Haystack Open for Mashing

“This new digital publication welcomes existing and future Project-Haystack members with news, background media, tutorials and resource links.”

 Ken Sinclair,

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Facilities Management

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Haystack is an open source initiative to streamline working with data from the Internet of Things and is evolving as one of the preferred mash up tools for our industry. Our contributing editor Therese Sullivan has taken on the task of helping the Project-Haystack folks bring Project-Haystack's new e-zine, "Connections," to life as its managing editor.

Project-Haystack Connections E-zine Launches. New digital publication keeps communications for and about Project-Haystack adopters flowing and serves as a starter kit for any organization that wants to get on board — Therese Sullivan, Principal, BuildingContext Ltd.

“To say that the work being done by the Project-Haystack membership is trailblazing seems an understatement, so I’m going to compare it to the Lewis & Clark expedition.

“At the beginning of the 19th Century, it was one thing for a president in Washington, D.C., or a financier in New York to think about the riches and adventures that could be had by riding the continental waterways from St. Louis to the Pacific, but, it was quite another thing to jump in a boat and do it. Today, there is so much talk about the promise of the Internet of Things, yet it is quite another thing to build it and create value from it. In this first issue of Project Haystack Connections we are talking about the latter.

“Lewis & Clark’s 1805 ‘Portage’ around the waterfalls of the Missouri River in Montana was the hardest part of the Corps of Discovery journey according to many of the journals. The crew had to figure out a way to move all their boats and supplies upstream above the falls so they could continue on to the mouth of the Columbia River. The captains foresaw that they would face challenges like this, and they had the right people along with them to implement land movement solutions. Data doesn’t flow obstacle-free in today’s multi-protocol world either. There are more than a few 'portage' problems in the type of Building IoT workflows that many dream to implement. The Project-Haystack tagging and transport methodology are the equivalent of the Corp’s highly valued carpentry and blacksmithing skills. It is these skills that got the Lewis & Clark expedition up and around those waterfalls, and it is data interoperability and the semantic web that will lead to breakthrough commercial building IoT apps.

“This new digital publication welcomes existing and future Project-Haystack members with news, background media, tutorials and resource links.”

Click here for a PDF of the first issue.

AutomatedBuildings.com has  been involved with the Project-Haystack from its inception and is proud and pleased to have the honor of helping present this first issue. This issue provide an amazing overview of achievement and resource collection in place today. In celebration of the first ever Connections magazine we have provided a March review entitled "How to Build a Haystack," which is a brief history of Project Haystack chronologically documented.

Our March issue also speaks well to the rapid evolution now occurring in the Sedona community that is redefining the concept of “open.” These two communities are mashing and meshing well. In this review is the history, the how, and why Sedona is leading a new generation of edge-devices that come tagged, preconfigured, and with an open programmable control language.

This article starts it off:

Energy Analytics Controllers. Edge devices now have the intelligence and data storage they need for local analytics and machine decision-making. They’ll soon be the thing that the rest of the BAS universe revolves around — Alper Üzmezler, BASSG LLC

“When people say that we are living in the post-PC era, they mean that the personal computer is being eclipsed as the center of the IT universe by the smartphone. Operations technology is experiencing a similar reordering. In this new era of the Internet of Things (IoT), compute resources equivalent to a PC or smartphone are being integrated into all sorts of equipment and devices. For commercial buildings, a new category of IoT device is emerging—the Energy Analytics Controller (EAC). Smart building applications development should revolve around the enormous possibilities of these edge devices.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]“What is an edge device?

“Anyone designing an IoT architecture must decide which tasks are best performed locally by a device at the network’s edge versus remotely by a cloud-hosted application. Within the IT world, an edge device is defined as a gateway or global controller. Within the building automation world, a direct digital controller (DDC) can be considered an edge controller. Likewise, a global controller is an edge controller. Physically, the network’s edge might be integrated into roof-top equipment, solar arrays, utility-owned equipment, data center infrastructure, etc. The EAC marks a new generation of edge-device in that they will come with tagged, preconfigured apps to automate the workloads typical at these edge locations.”

This free open application editor is the first in the industry and is a significant shift in vendor thinking:

Open Sedona Application Editor. SAE is available for download from Contemporary Controls’ website — Kirk Clousson, Product Marketing Manager, Contemporary Controls

In discussions with industry it has come to my attention that there are several new connection communities evolving. Examples would be Linux, Intel, etc.

Also new IoT millennium kids are coming to our industry led to discovery with products like The Raspberry Pi, a series of credit card–sized single-board computers developed in England, by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

Exciting times for sure.

Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com about what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.


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