Protocol and Application Engine

The FieldServer family of IIoT gateways, routers, and explorers contain two software environments: the Protocol Engine and the Application Engine. These two environments allow the FieldServer products to act as a protocol translator and to also host local or "fog" applications.

The Protocol Engine

In the industrial and commercial building industry, there are many industrial devices in the field such as HVAC units and boilers that are created by different manufacturers. In most of these cases, these devices “speak” different standard or proprietary protocols, which is the way a device represents and transmits data. As the need for building automation and cost efficiency grows, the requirement for integrating these devices into one common management interface becomes more important.

The Protocol Engine in all FieldServer products, implemented in high-performance "C", provides the ability for protocol translation between devices. Protocol translation is the conversion between a standard or proprietary protocol of one device (the industrial device in the field) to the protocol suitable for the other device (typically a building management system) to achieve complete interoperability. When protocol translation occurs, all of a device’s data on one end is mapped and translated to be able to be read by the device on the other. The major protocol translation messages involve conversion of data, commands, their representation, encoding, and framing.

Common, standard protocols such as Modbus and BACnet are prevalent throughout the building automation space, making protocol translation relatively simple due to the sheer number of Profiles available and common usage throughout the industry. However, very complex translations using proprietary protocols exist, and integrators must be aware and able to work with these seldom-used protocols. With support of over 140+ protocol drivers in our library, FieldServer products are the perfect choice for any situation.

Learn more about the Protocol Engine, protocol translation, and configuration concepts with FieldServer products:

The Application Engine

In addition to protocol translation, our FieldServer products run local or "fog" applications on the Application Engine. The Application Engine is a powerful node.js development and runtime environment for JavaScript based applications. These local applications provide the user with more insights into their device, providing web interfaces that display device data for diagnostics and trending.

Learn more about the different applications that run on the Application Engine »