EDDL and Profibus Common Ground

I saw ARC Advisory Group‘s Larry O’Brien’s post this week, Emerson Profibus Membership is One More Step toward Common Ground. In it, he writes:

In fact, Emerson has supported Profibus for some time. The PNO membership officially seals the deal and gives Emerson a hand in future PNO development activities, most importantly the implementation of EDDL or Electronic Device Description Language in future iterations of Profibus. EDDL is a common technology that is shared across the Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus, and HART protocols, and serves essentially as a markup language that describes the characteristics of devices and how data should be stored and displayed. EDDL files are similar to XML files, and are used to describe equipment parameters, such as device status, diagnostic data, and configuration details. EDDL is operating system independent and host system independent.

Readers of this blog know that we do discuss EDDL and its cross-protocol applicability and importance to process manufacturers–a consistent view into devices from multiple suppliers, multiple digital communications protocols, and multiple operating systems. In one post, I summed it up:

Following the EDDL standard, device suppliers create Electronic Device Description (EDD) files for their smart field devices. These files provide a standardized form and structure for automation systems and handheld communicators to access and display device diagnostic and setup information, independent of communication protocol or operating system.

Emerson’s Terry Blevins gave a nice, quick demonstration of this interoperability including WirelessHART devices at last year’s ISA Expo.

The EDDL.org team also has quite a number of demonstration videos on their wwwEDDLorg YouTube channel. Emerson’s Jonas Berge provides a lot of the energy behind the new content on EDDL.org. He had a conversation last fall with Automation World’s Gary Mintchell, recorded in Gary’s Feed Forward blog podcast.

As Larry notes, Profibus has been supported around Emerson for a long time. One example is Profibus DP support in the DeltaV system introduced back in the v5.1 release.

Common ground is a good thing when it comes to access to the information in the smart devices which touch your process and have the ability to warn you of abnormal situation which might impact your plant’s performance. The advancement of the EDDL standard is one example of this common ground.

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Update: Thanks to the person who spotted and alerted me to the broken link to Larry’s post. I’ve fixed it above and added it here.

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Posted Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 under Interoperability, Profibus, Wireless.

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