February 2005

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The Only Thing Constant Is Change
Prepare for another exciting year.

  Ken Sinclair, AutomatedBuildings.com

As published

February issue

As I start into my 7th calendar year of editor/owner for AutomatedBuilding.com and my 5th calendar year of writing the building automation column for ES, I am proud of the several hundreds of industry articles we have published on our website and have reflected on and connected you to in this column. All these articles and interviews, which originally seemed a little like future watch, have become the new reality shaping our industry.  When we started our online magazine we did not know that the Internet would have such a profound effect on all our lives. I could not even image the new reality of having an online IP phone service or that owning software would become unfashionable and would be replaced with hosted web-based solutions.

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The networking of everything, open protocols and defining the path to convergence has dominated this column’s content and our web site and I see no change for the future.

Our web site’s December’s 2004 most read article was Web Services – A New BACnet Standard and a close second was ZigBee or Not ZigBee.  This indicates a strong interest in networking and convergences by our readers.

I have extracted key comments from our January articles and interviews to provide you some insight in the constant change you can expect for 2005.

From the article A Protocol Solution - OEMs can choose from many communications technologies. However, for product designers, this choice of technologies introduces risk and cost when trying to address the different protocol options. Interchangeable modules remove this risk in a cost effective way. At the top of the list of contemporary protocol choices are BACnet and LonWorks, with protocols such as Metasys N2 and Modbus RTU as perennial favorite ‘legacy’ protocols. ZigBee is emerging as an exciting wireless protocol that seems poised to take off in 2005/2006 if it can hit critical mass.

From another, an article by Anto Budiardjo 2005 the year of XML? I have pulled these points:

The subject of XML has been one of the hottest topics in the building systems arena in the past couple of years. While I and others have written much about this in the trade media, many are still asking and wondering of its impact to the field of buildings; “Is it being used today?”,  “Are products available today?”, “Will it be used widely?” and perhaps the most interestingly, “Where is it? I can’t see it!”

The XML Symposium www.xml-symposium.com at the AHR Expo / ASHRAE Winter meeting in Orlando on February 9 will focus on communicating how this technology will impact the HVAC industry. The breadth of applications covered will extend beyond real-time connectivity of control systems and into the use of XML in the design and maintenance of HVAC systems.

BuilConn in Dallas, www.builconn.com.March 21-24, on the other hand, focuses on device and networked connectivity in all aspects of building systems and its convergence with IT. Over the four days in up to five multiple tracks, attendees will get an in-depth perspective on vendor’s progress with using XML technologies in their products; I expect several vendors to be launching or announcing XML-based products.

Extracted from four separate January interviews these comments provide further insight;

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Hansen: We hope to have an official public review of the Sys service underway by BuilConn in March where we also intend to be demonstrating oBIX connectivity. If the public review goes smoothly we could be submitting our work for approval by the entire OASIS community in the first half of this year. I expect history and alarms to make public review later in 2005.  Update on oBIX

Haaser:  LonMark International is organizing the Building Open Systems Seminar program to provide members of the commercial buildings industry with consistent information on specifying, deploying and maintaining Open Systems.  Building Open Systems Seminar

Mc Gowan:  Fantastic, we saw nearly 50% growth and found ourselves working to create interoperability with technologies that we would have never thought likely.  2004 in Review

Sandoval:  I think that Zigbee has great potential for the future. The benefits are numerous for end-users, building owners, consultants, maintenance personnel, and installers. The applications are also endless.  The Zigbee Revolution

Add to the above the rest of the articles from our January issue:

 And I think you will agree that the only thing constant for 2005 is change.


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