November 2008

Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.

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ECommerce, Buildings, and Energy
How do eCommerce technologies, including contracting, reliable messaging, security, and the application of Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) fit into the energy and buildings world?

Carol Geyer
Carol Geyer,
Director of Communications,

How do eCommerce technologies, including contracting, reliable messaging, security, and the application of Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) fit into the energy and buildings world? The eCommerce Approaches session at Grid-Interop 2008 ( has three in-depth presentations, two of them accompanied by papers. The session is on Wednesday, November 12, 2008, in the Architecture Track of Grid-Interop.

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Session Chair Carol Geyer (OASIS) sets the scene with a brief introduction to the standards landscape for these new applications of eCommerce and security technologies and standards, and how you can work in OASIS to help define this next generation approach to building and energy management.

William Cox (Cox Software Architects) and Toby Considine (University of North Carolina) have written a paper New Applications of eCommerce to Energy and Capital Management, exploring detailed applications of eCommerce and security; they use a plug-in hybrid (or battery) car and a home management system as a running example, but the ideas apply equally well to Building to Grid (B2G) and other environments. The example goes through several iterations, including planned usage and weather as inputs to make effective and economic energy decisions.

They argue that by enabling markets and the necessary information flows, infrastructure capital requirements can be reduced. In effect, letting price information shift demand in conjunction with information on intended use, building managers can select the responsiveness they need, rather than imposing sharp cutoffs as in some Demand Response approaches.

contemporary Toby Considine will present his paper Ontological Requirements of the Service Oriented Grid. Process-oriented integration does not scale well; he proposes a novel approach applying Service-Oriented Architectures (Semantic SOA) to abstract the services provided by buildings and the Service-Oriented Grid (SOG) into more meaningful, high level units that a building manager, maintenance manager, or emergency responder can use to better understand and control. He emphasizes consistency of interfaces achieved through service abstractions, and service abstractions that are meaningful to building managers.

SOA is broadly used in enterprise software, and includes both service definitions and business processes. He argues that process-oriented integration cannot scale to support the diversity of systems and interactions we have today, much less the richer ones in the near future.

Steve Ray (National Institute of Science and Technology) will speak on interoperability lessons learned from eCommerce, Manufacturing, and Business-to-Business sectors. Steve has extensive experience in manufacturing control and management systems, and brings insights on what has worked in other areas to the Building/Grid/eCommerce areas.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Toby Considine, William Cox, and Steve Ray for their contributions to Grid-Interop and to this overview.

About the Author:
Carol Geyer (, Director of Communications, works to increase the global visibility of OASIS as an international open standards consortium. She serves as primary contact for editors and analysts, promoting the work of the OASIS Committees and Member Sections. She oversees operations of OASIS information channels, including the Cover Pages and web sites, and coordinates all Consortium branding, collateral, newsletters, member communications, and events. Carol has more than 23 years of experience in marketing communications and has held senior-level management positions in a variety of high technology firms in a variety of industries including computer hardware, publishing, environmental systems, and robotics. She has been with OASIS since the Consortium was founded as SGML Open in 1993. Carol is based in Sarasota, Florida, USA.


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