BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Duffy O'Craven and Ken Sinclair
Duffy O'Craven BACnet
Thirty six years into a programming career, Duffy O’Craven still loves to make computers work better for people. He is a member of the SSPC 135 committee, oversees the world-wide BTL Testing program, and works regardless of the boundaries separating one day from the next, on seeing BACnet thrive.
Sinclair: What is PlugFest?
O'Craven: PlugFest is an interoperability
workshop where manufacturers can bring their BACnet products and test
them with BACnet devices from other manufacturers. It is a friendly and
neutral environment, and the goal is to improve the overall quality of
BACnet products in the market. The workshop includes multiple testing
sessions with both one-on-one and round table tests, educational
forums, and networking events to build industry relationships.
Sinclair: Who is this workshop for?
O'Craven: PlugFest welcomes all developers, at
any stage of their product engineering. Many industry veterans attend
and are willing to help newer engineers understand the esoteric history
of the standard. We are all aligned to the same purpose of getting the
products to interoperate.
Sinclair: Who, specifically, from each company should attend?
O'Craven: Companies should send engineering and
product development staff. This could include hardware, firmware, and
software developers as well as technical product managers.
Sinclair: Why should companies participate in PlugFest?
O'Craven: PlugFest provides an unequalled
opportunity to test product functionality with other manufacturers to
ensure the core purpose of BACnet: interoperable networks. It is
an open and friendly environment dedicated to mutual success.
Attendees will have the opportunity to learn lessons from experts that
may shorten their product development learning curve. They may also be
exposed to tools that could make their jobs easier. Further, this
type of interoperability testing is a great way to lower the cost of
BTL testing and Certification by finding and fixing errors earlier in
the development cycle.
Sinclair: What if companies have intellectual property they don’t want to share?
O'Craven: Companies are only required to share
information necessary to interoperate with other products and diagnose
any issues that arise. To protect sensitive information all attendees
are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement designed to ensure
information shared at PlugFest remains confidential.
Sinclair: Why do you offer both one-on-one and round table testing?
O'Craven: In one-on-one testing or
pairing, companies can test in-depth with a specific manufacturer. In
round table testing attendees arrange their equipment on a larger Local
Area Network (LAN) and test with multiple manufacturers simultaneously.
This provides a more robust simulation of the interoperability
environment that products will encounter in the field.
Sinclair: How can people find out more about PlugFest?
O'Craven: They can visit the BACnet International website’s PlugFest page to get more information and to register for the event.
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