ISA's Wireless Compliance Institute Says They Are Making Progress

ISA released another press release yesterday in the run-up to the current draft ballot comment period for the ISA100.11a draft standard. Even though the .11a Working Group has many months of work to go to produce a buildable standard, and there may not be enough votes to pass the standard at this point, the Compliance Institute appears to be going ahead and planning its work based on the standard as it currently exists. Based on the time tables described in the release, the Compliance Institute's compliance tools package and its compliance tests themselves may be ready before the standard itself is! Here's the text: ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute Makes Progress, Sets Goals Research Triangle Park, NC (15 May 2008) - As the ISA100 standards committee continues to develop the ISA100.11a standard, planned for release later this year, the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute is working to develop supporting compliance programs for the universal family of ISA100 standards. The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute, with an initial membership of nine major companies, will provide assured device compliance and interoperability with the ISA100.11a standard, an important development for users planning to deploy ISA100.11a standard compliant devices into their facilities. The early members of the Institute, including Shell, Chevron, Procter & Gamble, Airsprite, Honeywell, Invensys, Nivis, Shenyang Institute of Automation, and Yokogawa, have handled the development phase of the program and expect to formally launch the Institute this summer. The Institute has retained a technical director, Jay Werb, to coordinate the technical aspects of assured interoperability and compliance with the ISA100.11a standard. The Institute is currently developing ISA100.11a standard test points that will be used as a basis for conformance requirements in a test specification that is scheduled for May completion. To expedite development of compliance tools, the effort is being undertaken concurrently with the recently released Working Group draft letter ballot. The developed test points will be finalized in close collaboration with ISA100, and used by WCI to conduct compliance tests. A Wireless Device Test Kit (DTK) is also under development for testing device compliance with the ISA100.11a standard. It is scheduled for availability in the second half of 2008, and will be demonstrated in the ISA100 booth at the 2008 ISA EXPO in Houston, 12-14 October. In the short term, the Institute will test devices for compliance to a reasonable number of profiles defined by ISA100, and will collaborate openly and proactively with ISA100 to define the key profiles that are needed in the marketplace. In the long term, WCI expects to test devices for compliance to any profile that is of interest to its members, not necessarily restricted to profiles that are defined by ISA100. Because real world testing is critical to the success of the ISA100.11a standard, the Institute is establishing customer beta sites with on-site activities scheduled to begin late this year. The Institute is also developing, in conjunction with ISA, a five-course wireless training curriculum. The curriculum includes a device product developer's training course planned for presentation during ISA EXPO 2008 in Houston in October 2008. The Institute's founding members have established an ISA100.11a standard alpha test bed using a preliminary ISA100.11a device stack and associated management software. This test bed was successfully demonstrated at the ISA100 meeting in Chongqing, China in April of this year. Three vendors participated in the demonstration, providing interoperability among multiple vendors utilizing two radio platforms. The Institute is welcoming and encouraging other vendors to participate in this demonstration for our future venues later this year. These include the ISA Wireless Summit next week in Cleveland, OH; the ISA100 meeting 23-26 June in Nice, France; the ISA100 meeting planned for August at the ISA Headquarters in Raleigh, NC; and ISA EXPO 2008 in October. The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute will give a status report and hold an open Q&A session at the ISA100 Wireless Solutions Summit in Cleveland, Ohio, on 20 May at 12:30 p.m. To register for the summit, visit or call (919) 549-8411.