Updated FDI Specifications and Tools Now Available

Version 1.1 of the FDI Technical Specifications and Version 1.2.1 of the FDI Development Tools allow suppliers to develop a broader range of products with fewer tools and better capabilities

By FieldComm Group

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FieldComm Group has announced the availability of Version 1.1 of the FDI Technical Specifications and Version 1.2.1 of the FDI Development Tools. These specifications and tools allow suppliers to develop a broader range of products with fewer tools and better capabilities, while enhancing security and integration capability for their customers.

FDI solves the problem of integrating field devices with the multitude of networks, operating systems, and control systems used in the process industries. Leading process industry foundations, including FieldComm Group, PROFIBUS International, and the OPC Foundation, jointly developed the standard.

The updated FDI developer resources provide an additional step forward on unifying devices and systems on a single integration standard to fulfill the promise of “One Device. One Package. All Tools.” The enhanced technology bundle includes: FDI Technical Specifications, FDI Integrated Development Environment, and FDI Common Host Components. The features provided in these updates include:

  • Cyber Security Updates – includes UIP sandboxing and time stamping for device package signatures
  • Additional Protocol Support – includes ISA100.11a, and HART-IP and WirelessHART
  • Generic Protocol Extension – enables FDI extensibility to any protocol
  • Support for DD Development within FDI IDE – includes FOUNDATION Fieldbus and HART

The FDI specification update provides additional cyber security measures by enabling time stamping on FDI Device Package signatures and sandbox environments for UIPs. Sandboxing is not only a valuable tool for cyber security, but also for overall system integrity as it isolates third-party code to a tightly controlled set of resources in a system to ensure no bugs in software code can impact the performance of the overall system it is operating within. Both additional features serve to ensure FDI meets the stringent security requirements of plant operations in the era of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Additionally, support is now provided for three additional protocol profiles – ISA100.11a, HART-IP and WirelessHART, and Generic Protocol Extension. The tools are also capable of creating and testing standalone EDDs for HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus, thus allowing manufacturers to develop the widely used EDD technology in the same development environment as modern FDI Device Packages. This reduces software maintenance costs and engineering training costs associated with disparate technology development tools.

Achim Laubenstein, FieldComm Group’s director of integration technology, said, “The FDI Technology bundle version 1.1 of our specifications and 1.2.1 of our tools represent continued hard work by technical experts around the world who are creating more robust, user-oriented capabilities that exceed the rigorous demands of plant environments faced with modernizing installations without compromising security or reliability.”

He added, “FDI broadly integrates systems and instruments, while providing robustness and security to the enterprise.”

For more information about FDI, please visit the FieldComm Group website.

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