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Wednesday, February 6, 2008


We now have web services to almost any conceivable control system. We
have BACnet-XML and BACREST. We have TAC Web Services. We have LON XML.
We have oBIX. So...are we there yet? [...] One of the reasons that I
am watching NBIMS so closely from the oBIX vantage point is that the
higher semantics will need to be there before oBIX has an enterprise
interface. I have a hard time imagining what applying Policy to point
services even means. As Enterprise programmers will never be control
engineers, we are going to have to wrap up the standard functions
into business services. In oBIX if I define a set of functionalities
for a given period of time, it is called a contract. For these to be
useful, we will need to pre-define several contracts and make each of
them discoverable. Discovery will mean that we need to describe each
one in terms of the service it provides. The Description/Catalogue will
need to be machine readable rather than human readable, which means it
will be based on Semantics... I believe that as we all become more
familiar with NBIMS, we will be able to discover the Semantics needed
to do this. Somewhere in the check list of Services to be Commissioned,
in the Systems in the Energy Model, and even in the Function analyzed
by the Code Compliance checker are the Semantics needed to create
discoverable abstract services. And that XML will be an order of
magnitude more useful because it is semantically laden.

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