March 2020

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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"What does Open mean 2 U?"

The word "Open" means different things to different people and the word’s meaning is defined by the audience and its interests.

Ken Sinclair
Founder, Owner, Publisher

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Just returned from AHRExpo Orlando and a very successful Open discussion for an Open Future presentation by our young contributing editors, our dream team for Open thinking.

Who knew they had baked their thoughts into a cake complete with icing. Here is a link to the session PDF and Video recording of the complete session.

Great thought leadership for the industry as these young presenters pushed me out of being part of the trendy discussion. Great session, I had to sit on the floor because the room was full to overflowing, and in the audience was a real-time interrupter repeating all that was said. Fun times with thoughts being shared globally.  Good interest in us all learning what open means.

We were talking in the last chapter about Born Again Connected - Session presenters showed us that means also being born again Open which generation Z just expects.


Our contributing editor Zach Netsov Product Specialist, Contemporary Controls was part of this very successful session exploring Open at AHRExpo Orlando, and the layer cake baker.
In his article “OPEN” Means Different Things to Different People he well explains that

It is actually very simple. Interoperability is something that users must demand. Nothing will change until end users such as building owners, specifying engineers, or systems integrators demand interoperability. They need to know what “OPEN” means and vote for that with their dollar. After all, our buying power is the most powerful voting power that we possess. We vote with our dollar for all kinds of things every day. In another scenario where full interoperability makes its way into the BAS industry is a massive disruption. A massive disruption to the industry would be if a manufacturer offers truly “OPEN” automation solutions, all other companies would have to follow or perish.

We have been at this for a while this article from 2010 states

"Open" It can be argued that the word ‘Open’ is the most fundamental key word that has driven the BAS industry over the last decade and will continue to drive it in the future. Nirosha Munasinghe MBusIT BSc BE (Hons) (Melb), Product Development Manager, Open General

The word ‘Open’ is a very powerful word in the English language. It can be argued that the word ‘Open’ is the most fundamental key word that has driven the BAS industry over the last decade and will continue to drive it in the future. Open standards, open protocols, open architecture and open web are some of the key concepts in the BAS industry. The Oxford dictionary defines open as allowing access, passage, or a view through empty space; not closed or blocked. Each one of us interprets the meaning in many ways. This is no different in the BAS industry. Therefore, although ‘Open’ has driven the BAS industry, it also has created confusion. This article unveils the intricacies of the word ‘Open’ in the BAS industry and defines key elements that the stakeholders need to be aware of when interpreting the word ‘Open’..

This article -  Open or closed? - Can Bill Gates and Microsoft make it right the second time?
Published on January 26, 2020  Nicolas Waern "The IoT - Building Whisperer" - Making Buildings talk to people

Open at the base, proprietary on top - Innovation where it should be
Zach, and I, believe that - “PROPRIETARY” should really be an enhancement in functionality and security as a layer on top of the “OPEN” interoperability layer. In the sense that I am writing this in Word, but could have used something else if I wanted to. I can save it in a format of choosing, porting it between PCs, Apples, to whatever program, for free, and still have it work independently of whatever hardware I was using.

Folk that are Born Again Connected expect and demand all definitions of Open

Revolution within Smart Buildings in Progress - Alper Üzmezler, BASSG LLC.

We have been busy writing the open-source project called Project Sandstar. We had set sail to merge Sedona Framework and Project Haystack and we were investigating how it could work. Should we put haystack on top or bottom or both? Why are we merging the two? What is our goal? We found an answer:

•    The first answer to the question was to create complete hardware-agnostic direct digital controls.
o    By creating hardware-agnostic DDC, our revolutionary feelings erupted.


This leads to hardware-agnostic direct digital controls. Meeting after meeting with 5 different hardware manufacturers; seemed like the industry players only wanted to protect their built channels, which is understandable.

After spending 6 months with potential OEMs jumping on board with Project Sandstar, we changed our route and started manufacturing and selling to close partners to test devices further. We also applied to pitch festivals to explain the technology stack.  We pitched our goals at the US-China innovation summit, V2V innovation, Energy Thought Summit, Haystack Connect events, demonstrating our solution to many firms.

During this time, we focused on the technology completion progress and pilot projects.

An Updated Overview of the Open Source VOLTTRON Platform  and the Growing Eclipse VOLTTRON™ Ecosystem - Andrew Rodgers, ACE IoT Solutions and Frédéric Desbiens, Eclipse Foundation

In this updated overview of the Eclipse VOLTTRON™ platform (the technology’s new name reflects its status as an open source project of the Eclipse Foundation), we showcase several notable deployments of Eclipse VOLTTRON™ and identify the unique value of the platform across diverse use cases.  Municipalities, universities, utilities and their partners are utilizing the Eclipse VOLTTRON™ platform for different reasons and for different purposes.  To us, the varied use cases demonstrate that there is - to build upon White and David’s imagery – more and more icing on the Eclipse VOLTTRON™ cake. 

The MQTT Historian agent publishes data to an MQTT broker.

What is MQTT?   MQTT[2] (MQ Telemetry Transport) is an open OASIS and ISO standard (ISO/IEC PRF 20922)[3] lightweight, publish-subscribe network protocol that transports messages between devices. The protocol usually runs over TCP/IP; however, any network protocol that provides ordered, lossless, bi-directional connections can support MQTT.[4] It is designed for connections with remote locations where a "small code footprint" is required or the network bandwidth is limited.

Why I Move (Back) to Open Source  for Messaging, Integration and Stream Processing Kai Waehner Enterprise Architect and Global Field Engineer at Confluent

Openness: Available for free and really open under a permissive license, i.e. you can use it in production and scale it out without any need to purchase a license or subscription (of course, there can be commercial, proprietary add-ons – but they need to be on top of the project, and not change the license for the used open source project under the hood)

Maturity: Used in business-relevant or even mission critical environments for at least one year, typically much longer

Adoption: Various vendors and enterprises support a project, either by contributing (source code, documentation, add-ons, tools, commercial support) or realizing projects

Flexibility: Deployment on any infrastructure, including on premise, public cloud, hybrid. Support for various application environments (Windows, Linux, Virtual Machine, Docker, Serverless, etc.), APIs for several programming languages (Java, .Net, Go, etc.)

Integration: Independent and loosely coupled, but also highly integrated (via connectors, plugins, etc.) to other relevant open source and commercial components

Although not truly Open, For now, I think Niagara is the closes thing we have to an industry open operating "OT" network.

Horizontal IP Niagara Architecture from Lynxspring

Single, Unified Software platform and tool
Eliminate comms devices and complexity
Direct access to any device
Vulnerability, patching and remediation – easier and faster
Legacy integration capabilities
Application integrations
Secure IP network
Simplified installations

Niagara Framework® is at the heart  of some of the most successful projects for intelligent buildings, smart campuses, and projects focused on enterprise-scale, portfolio-wide energy-efficiency management across the globe. You don’t want to miss this biennial event when systems integrators, facility managers, consulting engineers, and other stakeholders in the Niagara Community come together to push the state-of-the-art in data-driven operations.

The Niagara Summit is all about knowledge-sharing and ideas — with forums, presentations and breakout sessions relevant to your business and your customers, now and in the future   The NiagaraAX Framework® is a software platform you can use to manage and control diverse systems and devices-regardless of manufacturer or protocol. Use it either locally or over the Internet with a standard web browser. For managing a smart building, Niagara provides all you need-visualization, integration, control and archiving of data.

Planning for The BAS IP Revolution  THE END HAS COME!?  ....For RS485...... For Building Automation Systems....... - Scott Cochrane, President and CEO, Cochrane Supply & Engineering

contemporary Integrator IT Self-Assessment:  

Can you or do you work with someone that can manage IT departments effectively?
Do you know the key components required to set up a stand-alone, managed IP network?
Can you self-manage or host a customized cloud solution on a network for your customer?
Do you understand how to cyber protect a building control system?
Do you have a company policy for setting up or accepting remote IP communications to a building control system?

Because our scrapbook of industry thoughts has been online 21 years using open HTML we can still share any content on any social media platform today.  Now that is future-proofing using Open.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the most basic building block of the Web. It defines the meaning and structure of web content. we are able to share all our past with our future

HTML is owned by nobody, it was developed by W3C and WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group), and these organizations work to evolve HTML. HTML is owned by none.

We are able to link 21-year-old information to today's post now that truly shows the power of Open an example here

Thanks for kind words, I am very pleased that folks find our kaleidoscope 3D flyover with connection useful, We created it to share freely our online scrapbook of now 21 years of industry thoughts linked with a few HTML clicks to each month's article, interview, reviews, new products and news. Thousands of pieces of Building Automation history for anyone to quickly catch up with what we have witnessed and it still grows monthly.

Please thank our sponsors and advertisers and the complete industries' support allowing the creation and maintenance of your free online resource.

"What does Open mean 2 U?"


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