The Road Ahead for FDT Technology

FDT Is Now An Internationally Recognized Standard in the Form of IEC 62453. What Is Next on the "To Do" List for the FDT Group?

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By Glenn Schulz; Managing Director – FDT Group

The FDT Group has accomplished one of its major objectives – it is now an internationally recognized standard in the form of IEC 62453. With that hurdle cleared, what is next on the "to do" list for the FDT Group?

Near the end of 2009, the FDT Group set out to deliver a refreshed mission / vision document and blaze trails with an ambitious technology roadmap. While the new mission / vision statement is available at www.fdtgroup.org, the technology roadmap is just in final review. What follows are some exciting highlights from the proposed roadmap.

Central to the FDT activities in 2010 is the completion of the FDT 2.0 specifications. This update to the existing 1.2.1 version provides simplified interfaces to make compliance with the standard easier, incorporation of the .NET annex for technology modernization, and preparation of the platform for future markets and features.

One of the more discussed new features on the slate for FDT 2.0 is the support of the emerging FDI standard. FDI is the initiative to consolidate the advantages of FDT and EDDL allowing equipment suppliers to provide advanced device integration solutions to meet the needs of end users. The so called "FDI packages" will plug into an FDT host application to take advantage of the harmonized EDDL features with the integration of business logic and an advanced graphical user interface.

The balance of the technology roadmap places features and capabilities into four major categories: User Experience, Platform, Time to Market, and Application.

User Experience is described as technology that simplifies; coheres; or accelerates the end users interaction with products employing FDT.

Platform encompasses technology that expands the portfolio of potential hardware or software platforms for FDT.

Time to Market captures technology that allows device and system manufacturers to bring products, software, and systems to market more quickly ultimately helping the customer to more rapidly achieve technical excellence.

Application includes technology that allows FDT to be applied in additional markets; end user applications; or interoperable environments.

The list of candidates for each of these categories is stimulating and extensive. The work underway is to prioritize the investment for each technology enhancement. For example, the FDT Express development environment will shorten the time from development to market for suppliers allowing products to be available sooner for end users.  This undertaking was on the early drafts of the technology roadmap and it will be fully delivered in 2010. Interoperability with FDI packages for developers will also be delivered within the next year. The concept of common components, to simplify and speed the development of DTM and Frame applications, already has a project manager assigned to drive out this deliverable.

So while 2009 has been an exciting year for the FDT Group and our members, 2010 promises to quicken the pace and eclipse prior accomplishments. Stay tuned to the FDT Group website at www.fdtgroup.org for further developments on the FDT Group Technology Roadmap.

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