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July 28, 2010 -
Today's topic is three obstacles to interoperability.
A growing number of building automation systems are being installed using open protocols like BACnet or LonTalk to enable them to interoperate with products and systems from a range of vendors. But facility managers who are considering open systems should be aware of factors that may limit interoperability.
One such factor is the use of gateways to connect systems that cannot otherwise communicate. These may be a good choice when it comes to linking an existing proprietary system to a new system. But if a new system uses gateways for interoperability, that's an indication that the system itself isn’t truly open.
A second potential problem is failure to implement the open protocol properly. To avoid that problem, look for products that have been certified. BACnet Testing Laboratories certifies BACnet producs, while LonMark International certifies LonTalk products.
A third factor to consider is the extent to which proprietary capabilities exist on systems using open protocols. The more that there are proprietary functions, the less the system is fully interoperable.
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