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New version of Foundation fieldbus Host Test Kit

21st February 2013


The Fieldbus Foundation is releasing its updated Foundation fieldbus Host Test Kit (HTK) DD Application Module (Version 1.1.0). This powerful test kit, driven by the foundation's End User Advisory Council (EUAC), includes hardware and software for testing the functionality of a fieldbus host and its conformance with the Foundation host profile specifications. It is designed to validate host applications implementing DD services, files for persistent storage of functional parameter data, and grids for vector data visualisation and manipulation.

Under the new host registration program, hosts successfully completing the test requirements will be authorised to bear the official Foundation fieldbus product registration symbol.

According to the Fieldbus Foundation's manager for fieldbus products, Stephen Mitschke, the updated HTK will streamline the process for automation suppliers to test and validate their fieldbus hosts prior to formal registration. For end users, the enhanced testing capabilities will provide greater assurance of seamless integration and interoperability within a Foundation fieldbus system. Mitschke says: "The Host Test Kit DD Application Module Version 1.1.0 is yet another solution offered by the Fieldbus Foundation to support the needs of automation equipment stakeholders around the world. This versatile tool will bring added value to our overall product registration program."

The Host Test Kit DD Application Module Version 1.1.0 has been updated with enhanced performance features. The most significant additions include support for device-level menus, enabling visualisation of multiple blocks and significantly improving the device integration experience; support for Unicode provides device and system suppliers with an expanded ability to write and visualise DDs using local languages (including Asian languages). The updated test kit includes cross-block built-ins and references, as well as testing for enhanced DD support.

Thanks to the Host Test Kit DD Application Test Module, end users benefit from significantly improved host-to-device integration. Foundation fieldbus host suppliers benefit from: standardised test requirements and test cases for all hosts within a profile tested to the same requirements; standardised DD and CF files assuring hosts can parse files; and standardised test devices for all basic I/O function blocks and specialised test transducer blocks.

The Host Test Kit DD Application Test Module is designed to validate host applications implementing DD Services 4.2 or greater. This includes DD Services 5.0 constructs such as: charts, graphs, images and waveforms for visualisation; files for persistent storage of functional parameter data; and grids for vector data visualisation and manipulation.

Developed in co-operation with the Fieldbus Foundation's EUAC and System Integration and Maintenance team, the Host Test Kit was requested by end users to bring about consistent interoperability between hosts and devices regardless of the host supplier. Specifications now include profiles for functionally different hosts and the appropriate features that apply to each profile.

For more information, visit www.fieldbus.org






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