August 2017

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Duffy O'CravenEMAIL INTERVIEWDuffy O'Craven and Ken Sinclair

Duffy O'Craven BACnet International
Thirty six years into a programming career, Duffy O’Craven still loves to make computers work better for people. He is a member of the SSPC 135 committee, oversees the world-wide BTL Testing program, and works regardless of the boundaries separating one day from the next, on seeing BACnet thrive.


PlugFest is an interoperability workshop where manufacturers can bring their BACnet products and test them with BACnet devices from other manufacturers.

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SinclairWhat is PlugFest?

O'Craven:  PlugFest is an interoperability workshop where manufacturers can bring their BACnet products and test them with BACnet devices from other manufacturers. It is a friendly and neutral environment, and the goal is to improve the overall quality of BACnet products in the market. The workshop includes multiple testing sessions with both one-on-one and round table tests, educational forums, and networking events to build industry relationships.

SinclairWho is this workshop for?

O'Craven:  PlugFest welcomes all developers, at any stage of their product engineering. Many industry veterans attend and are willing to help newer engineers understand the esoteric history of the standard. We are all aligned to the same purpose of getting the products to interoperate.

SinclairWho, specifically, from each company should attend?

O'Craven:   Companies should send engineering and product development staff. This could include hardware, firmware, and software developers as well as technical product managers. 

SinclairWhy should companies participate in PlugFest?

O'Craven:  PlugFest provides an unequalled opportunity to test product functionality with other manufacturers to ensure the core purpose of BACnet: interoperable networks.  It is an open and friendly environment dedicated to mutual success.  Attendees will have the opportunity to learn lessons from experts that may shorten their product development learning curve. They may also be exposed to tools that could make their jobs easier.  Further, this type of interoperability testing is a great way to lower the cost of BTL testing and Certification by finding and fixing errors earlier in the development cycle.

contemporary SinclairWhat if companies have intellectual property they don’t want to share?

O'Craven:  Companies are only required to share information necessary to interoperate with other products and diagnose any issues that arise. To protect sensitive information all attendees are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement designed to ensure information shared at PlugFest remains confidential. 

SinclairWhy do you offer both one-on-one and round table testing?

O'Craven:  In one-on-one testing or pairing, companies can test in-depth with a specific manufacturer. In round table testing attendees arrange their equipment on a larger Local Area Network (LAN) and test with multiple manufacturers simultaneously. This provides a more robust simulation of the interoperability environment that products will encounter in the field.

SinclairHow can people find out more about PlugFest?

O'Craven:  They can visit the BACnet International website’s PlugFest page to get more information and to register for the event.


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