Interoperable Systems Work Together, but They're Not Plug and Play

building automation, controls, system integration, open systems   June 12, 2009

I’m Ed Sullivan, editor of Building Operating Management magazine. Today’s topic is interoperable building automation systems.

Interoperability offers facility executives the flexibility to link products from different manufacturers. But even interoperable products and systems require engineering.

Interoperability enables systems from different manufacturers to work together. The reason that you can connect a printer from one manufacturer to a PC from another vendor is because they’re interoperable.

The same basic idea holds for building products and systems. If a chiller from one manufacturer is interoperable with the energy management system from another manufacturer, the two systems can readily be connected so that they can work together. There’s no need for a gateway or other extra software bridge between the two systems.

But that’s not to say the systems are “plug and play” the way that home computer or stereo systems are. Building control systems are far more complex than stereos or home computers and need to be properly designed and configured for a specific application.


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