Product Enhancement: BACnet-N2 Router Release Update

Over the past few months, we have published several articles about specific enhancements
being developed for our S4 Open products. We are finalizing these major upgrades
to our S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router and OPC-N2 Router products. In the last year, we
implemented multiple project specific enhancements for our integration partners
taking on large, complex projects. Those enhancements are now becoming a part of
our standard product offering, along with several other frequently requested enhancements.
Here is an updated summary of the features in the upcoming release.

  • 1:1 publishing of N2 devices as BACnet devices on a virtual network.
  • Emulation of N2 Open Override and Release for DX-9100 systems. We hide the details of the Hold mechanism in the background.
  • Publishing of System 91 data objects as the appropriate BACnet object types. These were all previously published as AVs or BVs.
  • Support for BACnet COV. This is a major improvement for several of the BAS manufacturers because it both improves responsiveness and removes a complex process in setting up the HMI system to do polling.
  • Full support for BACnet priority arrays for internal and physical output points. Including the ability to disable the priority array to support special cases.
  • The Supervisory Controller as a BACnet Client feature forces N2 transactions from the NCM to go through the BACnet Priority Array mechanism. You select the priority that you want assigned to NCM transactions.
  • Support for appropriate BACnet data objects for N2 Open BD points. Data in this area is application specific and could be either small integers or Boolean values.

The field testing is going well with several systems now in production in an
FDA validated environment. Installation of the rest of their BACnet-N2 Routers will
continue during the next weeks. We also deployed to a cloud based energy management
early adopter site that is doing very well.

We are still working on editing the device type template catalog to support the
new features. That should be completed in the next week or so. The current device
type template catalog will be delivered on our support CD along with the new device
type templates. The system includes an option for existing customers to upgrade
their firmware and management console while utilizing the legacy N2 point publishing
method. New installations will only be able to utilize the 1:1 publishing method.
All of our future products will only offer the 1:1 publishing method.

Due to a customer specific request for a large project, we added the COV support
last week and the test process is underway. That addition will slightly delay the
product release date, but we felt that the benefits were worth the extra time. This
is a minimum risk enhancement since most of the firmware to support it was already
included in the system to support our OPC-N2 Router.

We are working with all of the BAS manufacturers who have deployed the BACnet-N2
Router to get our test environment up to current revision levels before starting
our final round of testing. This is a significant enough set of enhancements that
we are planning on testing with all of the manufacturers who have integrations installed.
We are planning on testing with:

  • Delta Controls ORCAview and their next generation product
  • Reliable Controls RC Studio
  • Automated Logic WebCTRL
  • Alerton Envision For BACtalk
  • Schneider Electric Continuum CyberStation and their next generation product
  • Trend Controls TOPS / 963
  • Tridium JACE
  • Honeywell EBI is being tested by a Honeywell consultant

Agreements are in place with each of the BACnet manufacturers to work together
to support our mutual customers to make sure that their integration projects are
a success for everyone involved. If you are a BACnet manufacturer and your product
is not in the above list please contact us about scheduling interoperability testing.

All of the enhancements to N2 support will be included on the OPC-N2 Router immediately
after the release of the BACnet-N2 Router. The enhancements to our BACnet stack
are the basis for our new product development efforts.