March 2005

Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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Building Web Services at a Crossroads
It is said, “Well begun is half done.” Well, we are certainly well begun.
Please help us come and begin the rest.

  Toby Considine
Technology Officer, Facility Services, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
& oBIX Chairman

Two years ago, controls industry leaders came together at BuilConn to launch oBIX, an initiative to utilize IT standards for building management. This was intended to provide for more efficient, secure, standard and Enterprise friendly communications over internal networks and the Internet. Technically this is achieved with XML and SOAP, working together as Web Services.

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At BuilConn this year, we will see that first step is near fruition. Just about any kind of control system can produce and interact with Web Services. oBIX will demonstrate interoperability and describe the path to the first release of its standard.

However, even with all this progress in Web Services, Control Systems are still not truly ready for the enterprise. Great progress has been made, but not yet enough.

So what is next?

It’s time to start a dialog about where oBIX goes next. I propose we define oBIX v2 as the application of common abstract lexicons to each domain under oBIX. The focus of oBIX v2 will be to provide to the enterprise the specific business needs of Scheduling, M&V, Performance, Commissioning, etc. A profile of the oBIX v2 framework, then, might look like:

Foundational protocols, used by controls professionals and systems integrators

  • WS-Buildings Controls:
    - LON-WS
    - oBIX v1
    - proprietary Web services

Functional Domain Services used by the enterprise: Owners, Operators, and Tenants

Higher end integrated applications interacting with the Domain Services and their exposing functionality through Web services

oBIX v2 should also encapsulate all operations and services under the Policy and Security functions as defined in WSDM, WSM, et al. oBIX v2 should also include standard guidance for control silos coming to oBIX, including:

Control Solutions, Inc Call to Action:

The annual meeting of oBIX is in Dallas on Monday afternoon, March 21, before BuilConn. This is an open meeting, and I am inviting not only oBIX members, but also all parties to come and discuss the future of Web Services and the Enterprise. There are places at the table for BACNET and LON, for Web Services and IT, and for Owners and Operators.

It is said, “Well begun is half done.” Well, we are certainly well begun. Please help us come and begin the rest.

If you are interested in a fuller background of these issues, please read here.

Meeting: oBIX General Meeting
Location: Adams Mark Dallas, room TBD
Date: March 21, 2005
Time: 2:00 pm Central
Duration: 2 Hours
Call-in Number: 1(712)824-4100
Code: 214214#
Presentation Online: from 5 minutes before meeting


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