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Subject: RE: [obix] FW: Directory Services and BIM-aware integration (UNCLASSIFIED)

My mistake. It was once "Equipment Layout" 

See slide 10 of

And again, 3 years later, see Slide 17 of

And at the FMOC meeting at NFMT

And from a Canadian Source

But I can't find ELie itself. As I said, least googlable term ever...


-----Original Message-----
From: Bogen, Chris ERDC-RDE-ITL-MS [mailto:Chris.Bogen@erdc.dren.mil] 
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:28 AM
To: Considine, Toby; Toby Considine; oBIX@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [obix] FW: Directory Services and BIM-aware integrBogen, Chris
ERDC-RDE-ITL-MS <Chris.Bogen@erdc.dren.mil>ation (UNCLASSIFIED)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO


-----Original Message-----
From: Considine, Toby [mailto:Toby.Considine@unc.edu] 
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014 8:25 AM
To: Bogen, Chris ERDC-RDE-ITL-MS; Toby Considine; oBIX@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [obix] FW: Directory Services and BIM-aware integration

Well if you never heard of it....

Electrical Layout IE - did that finally morph into SPARKie? If so, it was
good, because ELie was the least goggle-able term ever.

-----Original Message-----
From: obix@lists.oasis-open.org [mailto:obix@lists.oasis-open.org] On Behalf
Of Bogen, Chris ERDC-RDE-ITL-MS
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014 9:12 AM
To: Toby Considine; oBIX@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [obix] FW: Directory Services and BIM-aware integration

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO


I am all on board with using LDAP for directory services, but I think you
could strengthen the case if you stepped back from the "BIM Query" branding.
When you say that "I propose that we declare LDAP to be the Official query
language for BIM," you have to know that in the least you'll get lots of
distracting arguments from people that use BIM for completely different
reasons (e.g. energy modeling, structural engineering, etc). If you can
tweak the proposal a bit to avoid such culture wars then you are gold. The
technical data mapping issues should be easy to accomplish and a
demonstration should be relatively easy to develop.

One editorial comment:
line 57 - I have never heard of "ELie." Do you mean SPARKie (for electric


Chris Bogen, Ph.D.
Computer Scientist

-----Original Message-----
From: obix@lists.oasis-open.org [mailto:obix@lists.oasis-open.org] On Behalf
Of Toby Considine
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:04 AM
To: oBIX@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [obix] FW: Directory Services and BIM-aware integration






"If something is not worth doing, it`s not worth doing well "    -- Peter


Toby Considine
TC9, Inc

OASIS TC Chair: oBIX & WS-Calendar

OASIS TC Editor: EMIX, Energy Interoperation

SGIP Smart Grid Architecture Committee


Email: Toby.Considine@gmail.com <mailto:Toby.Considine@fac.unc.edu>
Phone: (919)619-2104

blog: http://www.NewDaedalus.com 


From: Toby Considine [mailto:Toby.Considine@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:02 AM
To: 'FMOC@lyris.nibs.org'
Subject: Directory Services and BIM-aware integration


I had to leave early from the FMOC meeting in Baltimore because my plane and
the snow-delayed meeting overlapped. Before I left, I described an approach
of adaptive re-use of LDAP in BIM applications.


I want to start a broader conversation on this.


I have had a chance to write down a few of my thoughts on this in greater
detail in the hopes of starting a broader conversation. Using LDAP for BIM
Queries lets us use a broadly available and well tested code base, gives us
many opportunities to bake in as little or as much security as we need, and
will get us to useful applications faster than building from scratch. 


For convenience, I am including the content of the attachment below, for
easier reading on devices, etc. A PDF with line numbers for easier
commenting can be found at



Here is, as well, a link to some related thoughts from Automated Buildings.



Starter discussion follows.


Directory Services and BIM Queries

Toby Considine, toby.considine@gmail.com

There is a long-standing effort to define BIMQL, a language that allows
inquiries and searches of a BIM model. Building Information Models are
complex and each element may have multiple relationships with other
elements. Often the key attribute you are searching for is an attribute of a
related item. This has led to a well-studied effort to define a domain
specific open query language for Building Information Models, i.e., BIMQL.


While BIMQL is aimed at the non-technical user, it still creates yet another
slightly different syntax for inquiries. Selection can be based on a single
attribute or property:


Select ?Var1 Where ?Var1.Color = "Yellow"


Or based upon relationships to another attribute. For example, this query
finds all walls associated with a given space:


Select ?Var1 Where ?Var1.Attribute.GlobalId = "3iSzpa9d93jhTDB7hG0QBW"
Select ?Var2 := ?Var1.*(2)  Where ?Var2.EntityType = "IfcWallStandardCase"


The primary target of the BIMQL effort is to create plug-ins for a BIM model
server as typified by that developed by bimserver.org model server.


The vision of this effort is both too large and too small. 


It is too large in that it aims to create an entirely new query language,
one with its one syntax. This language requires a new code base, meaning it
requires a new security model, and new security testing, and performance
testing, and all those things that code to develop a new service that will
be available on the internet must support. 


It is too small because it envisions the sole back-end of this query
language to be a single platform, the BIMSERVER.ORG platform, in all its IFC
glory and complexity. A query language should be abstracted above the
underlying physical database and structure. A useful BIMQL will be asked to
work above other systems, including Building Automation Systems (BAS),
maintenance management systems (CMMS), asset management systems, et al.


One of the essential lessons of the internet is that small systems that can
be used for many purposes are more useful than single purpose specifications
that cannot be re-used. Simplicity of code makes it more likely that can be
adequately for bugs and for completeness. This is especially important for
security, which requires that each input, and each combination if inputs be
carefully examined.


"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by
definition, not smart enough to debug it." 

- Brian W. Kernighan 

The predominant query language for directory services is the Lightweight
Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). LDAP was developed as an easier way to get
to information kept in phone company and enterprise directories. It is
malleable and object oriented; widely directory objects include the person,
the organizationalPerson, iNetOrgPerson, the eduPerson, etc. Numerous open
source and commercial implementations exist. Many use the embedded directory
information to manage authentication and authorization as well. LDAP is the
most common way to communicate with Microsoft's Active Directory.


Many LDAP implementations have security as their predominant concern. Only
members of the HR Committee who are members of senior management can see
this report. Only Employees in the Registrar's office or a Student's advisor
may see that student's full transcript. Only employees of Student Affairs
can see all students' home addresses.


LDAP exists within a rich ecosystem of security applications and
specifications. Directory Services Markup Language (DSML) provides LDAP
functionality for those who want pure XML. Many LDAP applications support
declarative security directly or support plugins to use eXtensible Access
Control Markup Language (XACML) or other open specifications. LDAP is well
tested, widely deployed code that scales well. 

LDAP databases are heterogeneous databases. If you use a corporate
directory, it may already have people and rooms and equipment accessible to
a single query. Directory access and directory information can easily be
linked to role and employment status, either by LDAP federation, or LDAP


LDAP relies on extensible directory objects. Directory objects are
collections of named attributes that are formed according to RFC 1779 and
RFC 2247. Using LDAP for BIM Queries would require definition of directory
objects for BIM. COBie Lite provides formal semantics that can be easily
adapted to meet the RFC requirements. BIM queries for information related to
operations and maintenance can be achieved quickly. As existing efforts to
use the approaches of COBie Lite in HVACie, ELie, SPie, et al. develop, new
directory object sub-classes can be defined rapidly.


Not all building-based systems fit neatly into COBie categories. A medical
facility would host medical equipment. Manufacturing systems have their own
equipment classifications that are industry specific. Military facilities
have their own business purposes for space and classifications for unique
equipment types. The LDAP approach, which allows easy sub-classing and
extension of all directory objects, can readily support novel information
sets incorporated in BIM.


I propose that we declare LDAP to be the official query language for BIM.
The BIMQL effort can be refocused on bridging one of the open source LDAP
projects to a native BIM server. Numerous environments that do not have full
BIM can even so take advantage of BIM queries. For example, a commissioning
information set expressed in COBie Lite could load its data directly into an
LDAP module even without a formal IFC model in the back. 


Programmers and applications that have not grown up in BIM will be able to
start using BIM directory services right away. Owners and operators would be
able to use some of the best tested and most secure code without waiting for
long development. Numerous existing tools for managing directory
synchronization would be available to building owners using multiple
applications. Security and bug patches for LDAP services would be available
from the wide world of existing LDAP software providers.



"It is the theory that decides what can be observed."  -- Albert Einstein 


Toby Considine
TC9, Inc

OASIS TC Chair: oBIX & WS-Calendar

OASIS TC Editor: EMIX, Energy Interoperation

SGIP Smart Grid Architecture Committee


Email: Toby.Considine@gmail.com <mailto:Toby.Considine@fac.unc.edu>
Phone: (919)619-2104

blog: http://www.NewDaedalus.com 


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