DDL extension project

June 1, 2003
Three organizations dedicated to control network technology have launched a collaborative project to extend the specification for Device Description Language (DDL), the digital communication descriptive language used widely in the manufacturing and process industries.

The three organizations–Fieldbus Foundation, www.fieldbus.org, HART Communication Foundation, www.hartcomm.org and Profibus Nutzerorganisation e.V, www.profibus.com–all have a stake in ensuring an orderly extension of the technology.

DDL is a text-based language for describing the characteristics of field devices used in device networks. Automation suppliers developing devices based on Fieldbus Foundation, HART and Profibus specifications all use DDL to create Device Description files. These files describe parametric information for field devices and convey digital information such as device status, process data and configuration information.

Proposed DDL extensions include the addition of capabilities for describing display characteristics of device parameters, as well as the ability to include algorithmic relationships for complex device parameters, persistent data and real-time trends.

Fieldbus Foundation President Richard J. Timoney termed the DDL extension project “a logical step forward” to ensure that Device Description technology as it exists today continues to meet the needs of both suppliers and end users, while offering extended functionality when it is required.

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