FieldComm Group announced a significant milestone in its effort to accelerate digitalization in the process industry with the updated release of its developer tool for the Field Device Integration standard (FDI).
Announced in conjunction with the availability of version 1.2 of the FDI specifications (IEC 62769), this release of the FDI Device Package Integrated Development Environment (FDI-IDE) provides significant enhancements for field instrument software developers.
“The latest FDI-IDE simplifies software development for our members and adds valuable IIoT features for end users," says Ted Masters, president and CEO of FieldComm Group.
HTML5 apps enabled
The FDI-IDE, in addition to previously available Microsoft .NET support, now allows for the creation of device-specific application programs using HTML5. This feature allows users to integrate device-specific application tools with emerging web-based asset management systems.
“The world is moving to web-based technologies, and process automation is no exception," says Axel Lorenz, vice president for process automation at Siemens' Industrial Automation Systems business unit and FieldComm Group Board of Directors member. "HTML5-based user interfaces through FDI will significantly improve usability for complex device management and configuration.”
JSON-based device information
Originally envisioned as an integration technology for control system asset management software, FDI is increasingly being considered for local and remote cloud monitoring and optimization applications. By providing monitoring and device identification information in lightweight JSON format for HART devices, the FDI-IDE enables standardized creation of simple monitoring and optimization applications.
“JSON based DeviceInfo for HART devices provides text-based information in a format recognized by all of the major cloud solutions providers, thus simplifying the development of basic monitoring and optimization applications for the massive FieldComm Group installed base," says Peter Zornio, chief technology officer at Emerson and FieldComm Group Board of Directors member.
OPC UA cloud integration
For applications that rely on OPC UA information models, the FDI-IDE now includes a device information model server with OPC UA local discovery server support to provide a software conduit from FDI servers to local and cloud-based OPC UA applications. “OPC UA is an extremely important enabling technology for process automation success in IIoT and Industrie 4.0. Inclusion of an information model server within FDI is the first step in exposing device information to applications as originally envisioned by the creators of FDI," says Thoralf Schulz, industrial automation research manager at ABB and FieldComm Group Board of Directors chairman.
Single solution for multiple protocols
The release of this latest version of the FDI-IDE provides a single developer tool that process automation suppliers can use to create FDI-compliant software for many process automation protocols. FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART, WirelessHART, PROFIBUS, PROFINET, ISA100.11a and a generic protocol extender are all supported.
Online repository assures access to latest registered device files
FDI-IDE also enables developers to take advantage of FieldComm Group’s online FDI Device Package and DD (Device Description) repository. Through the FDI-IDE Reference Runtime Environment, developers can access the up-to-date registered files available for process automation device integration.