Need to Know

By Ed Sullivan  

The new buzzword with integrated systems isn’t a word at all. It’s an acronym: XML, or extensible markup language. XML makes it easier for databases to exchange information over the Internet and promises to make it easier to get more value from facility databases.

Even though the full impact of XML won’t be felt for some time, it’s a subject that deserves attention from facility executives, especially ones planning systems integration projects.

For example, in conversations with vendors, it’s worthwhile to know that XML doesn’t replace BACnet or LonWorks. And that a system using XML can be open to enterprise systems like SAP but still be proprietary and closed with regard to building systems.

Some familiarity with the concept of XML may also come in handy in discussions with the IT department. The programming language has helped IT executives reduce costs. As guardians of the corporate network, IT often takes part in discussions about systems integration, and XML could be a selling point for one BAS over another. That’s fine if the facility executive is the one doing the selling; it could be another story if it’s a vendor’s salesperson doing the talking. The facility executive has to know enough about both XML and integration options to ensure that the best choice is made for the organization.

How much does the facility executive need to know about XML? At least this: It’s one more step on the path toward having organizations manage facilities as true business assets. That’s an opportunity; increasingly, it’s also a demand being placed on facility executives.

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  posted on 3/1/2004   Article Use Policy

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