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Subject: Contracts in v1.1

I would like to revisit the our concept of contracts in version 1.1 of oBIX. Contracts allow you to define the operating posture of the control system behind an oBIX server. Contacts can include schedules and set points; contracts can define logging and trend reports.


Creating a contract can be a daunting prospect for any but the simplest systems, for anyone other than the system integrator. This can limit oBIX to central command and control by the central building system server, leaving us with old model updated with shiny new whitewalls.


Several people have requested in private conversation that we have some means to pre-define these contracts. This would be useful in a couple scenarios (at least).


1)      In a peer to peer scenario, particularly between systems of different domains, it would allow each system to invoke pre-defined behaviors in its peer system. Each system integrator would be responsible for defining the contracts within his own system. These contracts would define the interface used by the peer system.

2)      These contracts could be the basis for easy interaction outside the domain of the control system.  OpenADR provides a compelling high-profile use case for this. In the light-weight scenario, the oBIX server itself could respond to ADR requests (Invoke contract “Shed Load” / ”OK”).  In the more compelling Enterprise Agent scenarios, the agent could coordinate the response across many group of oBIX, picking the services to shed, while remaining happily unaware of the deep process.


The lack of such pre-defined contracts is seen as significant missing functionality by more than one oBIX supporter.



"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." -- David Thoreau

Toby Considine

Facilities Technology Office
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC


Email: Toby.Considine@ unc.edu
Phone: (919)962-9073




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