Article - February 2004
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Anaheim - January 26, 2004
Press Kit

What is oBIX?

oBIX is short for Open Building Information Xchange, it is an initiative by the building systems industry to define XML and Web Services based standards for exchanging buildings related information with each other and with enterprise systems.

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Who initiated oBIX?

The initiative was initiated by CABA and a group of industry leaders who saw the need to work toward a standard in the way the industry used XML and Web Services

How does oBIX relate to CABA's XML/Web Services Guideline Committee?

CABA's guideline committee decided to rename itself oBIX in the summer of 2003. They are thus the same initiative.

Is oBIX defining a guideline or a standard?

The initial objective was to define a guideline; it became clear that the benefit of the work would best be served by working towards a standard.

What is the difference between guideline and standard?

A guideline is a set of documents and suggestions which are not binding, guidelines can be used by an industry on issues that are not very critical, the creation of a guideline is thus less strict. A standard on the other hand can only be created by certain organizations that have processes in place to ensure widespread acceptance in the industry, A standard is more binding on an industry.

Why is oBIX moving to OASIS?

While very much involved with the buildings industry, CABA is not an organization that is structured to develop a standard. OASIS on the other hand has a specific objective to help initiatives like oBIX become a standard, much like the numerous standards it has helped to deliver in the IT sector and many other industries.

When will oBIX produce results?

There is significant progress being made and there is an expectation that some form of early set of work will be presented in April 2004 at the BuilConn 2004, this would be the first anniversary of oBIX.

How do I become a member of oBIX?

At this time, you can be a member of the web site and the discussion board simply by registering on the site. There is no fee for joining this board. At some time in the future, a formal membership structure will be created; members of the discussion board will be notified at that time.

contemporary Why is there a little 'o' in the name oBIX?

So that people will remember the name.

Does oBIX replace LonTalk or BACnet?

No, oBIX is not a network protocol, but a set of standard ways that buildings related systems can communicate with each other and with enterprise systems. There is no intent to create a field network definition that would conflict with LonTalk or BACnet.

Does oBIX replace LonMark or BIBBS object and profile definitions?

The intent is for oBIX to leverage the great deal of work that has been accomplished by LonMark and the BACnet community in creating object definitions pertinent to the buildings space.

Will oBIX provide a way to look at LonMark and BACnet data in a common manner?

Yes, one of the key initial works is to define a set of "simple" data definition so that enterprise systems can access the data in LonMark, BACnet as well as proprietary systems in a common manner.

How does oBIX help gateways?

By defining standards at an XML and We Services level, oBIX can provide a very useful tool for gateway manufacturers to provide scalable gateways that leverages TCP/IP infrastructures.

Will there be oBIX compliant products in the future?

Yes, once oBIX becomes a standard, those products and systems that follow the standard and that comply with other aspects of conformance will be permitted to use the oBIX label. The rules and process for this phase of oBIX is not yet defined.

Is oBIX limited to the HVAC industry?

No, the scope of oBIX covers all systems that are associated with buildings, meaning commercial, institutional, and industrial, campuses and multiple dwellings but excludes single residential houses. These systems include security, lighting, energy, access control, vertical transport and many others.

How can I learn about oBIX?

The best way is to be involved with the oBIX initiative, visit the web site ( and join the online discussion forum. For more in depth involvement, join one of the task groups that meet virtually on a regular basis.

When and how often are the face to face meetings?

Going by the past year's activities, there is likely to be four General Meetings per year, the first and main meeting at BuilConn in April, then a meeting at Realcomm around June followed by a meeting attached to the BACnet Conference around October and lastly a meeting attached to AHR Expo and the XML Symposium in January.

contemporary When is the next General Meeting?

There is a General Meeting at 4:00-7:00 pm Monday 26, 2004 at the Anaheim Hilton adjacent to the AHR Expo. The next meeting following that would be held at BuilConn April 13-16, 2004 in Dallas, specific time yet to be scheduled.

Who are the key individuals who can hold interviews with the press?

The key members are task group leaders as well as the oBIX Chair, a list of their contact details are provided below:

How do I get art of oBIX logos?

Please send email to the press contact Heather Deal at

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