BACnet Explorer NG
The Next Generation BACnet Explorer
Are you tired of restrictive, old-school BACnet Explorer software packages? Step up to the world of the cloud-connected FieldServer BACnet Explorer Next Generation (NG) from Sierra Monitor.
At its core, the BACnet Explorer NG does what a standard Explorer can do: it automatically discovers BACnet MS/TP and BACnet/IP devices and includes write capabilities to test newly installed devices or to debug the network.
On top of its standard Explorer capabilities, the BACnet Explorer NG provides next-generation features that opens the door for new opportunities in system integration and device management. The Explorer NG's next-gen features include: the ability to act as a Wi-Fi access point for modern configuration and access to the local applications from any mobile device with no user restrictions, supporting BBMD as a standard feature, and offering Monitor View and Historian applications for a network-wide view and the capability of visually tracking devices and data points of interest.
BACnet Explorer NG vs. Traditional BACnet Explorers
|BACnet Explorer NG||Traditional BACnet Explorers|
|Discover, test, and debug BACnet networks and devices||Discover, test, and debug BACnet networks and devices|
|All-in-one, plug-and-play hardware/software appliance; no additional hardware necessary; connect via Serial, Ethernet, or both||One designated PC needs a RS-485 dongle for connection|
|Wireless connections: Wi-Fi and Cellular||N/A|
|Wi-Fi access point for connection from any mobile device: PC (desktop or laptop), tablet, and smartphone||PC access via network connection only|
|Simultaneous multi-user access||One user at a time, per key code|
|BBMD: standard feature||BBMD: after-market add-on|
|Monitor View and Historian: local applications for continuous network and device monitoring with data trending||n/a|
|Cloud-connected through FieldPoP for remote access||Local access only|
|Local data snapshots as exported CSV/Excel-based reports available + network and device data can be logged and collected, be sent to FieldPoP, and be provided to 3rd party applications through REST API||CSV/Excel-based reports of data snapshots only|
Connect to the BACnet Explorer NG Wirelessly Anywhere, Anytime
While traditional Explorer packages require a user to be physically sitting at the PC in order to run the Explorer application, users can access the BACnet Explorer NG from literally anywhere. The BACnet Explorer NG platform has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in and acts as a Wi-Fi client or an access point. This allows any PC, tablet, or smartphone to connect to it over Wi-Fi and run the web application pages served by the BACnet Explorer NG. If the application does not have a Wi-Fi infrastructure in place, the user can use an Ethernet connection to perform the same functions.
In addition, the BACnet Explorer NG has BBMD as a standard feature, which enables all BBMD BACnet networks to be viewed for testing and debugging. For testing BACnet devices, the devices can be written to via the BACnet Explorer NG.
Simultaneous Multi-User Access, No Additional Hardware Required
Traditional BACnet Explorers require users to go through several steps before being able to explore a BACnet network:
- Designate one target PC and user for the BACnet Explorer.
- Load the software to that PC, and connect the PC through a dongle to the RS-485 network (BACnet MS/TP).
- The single user must sit at the PC to run the Explorer application, with no ability to access the Explorer software on any other PC without purchasing more key codes.
Unlike a traditional Explorer, the FieldServer BACnet Explorer NG is a pre-packaged software plus hardware "appliance" that can easily plug into a RS-485 network, an IP network, or both, without needing any dongles or additional hardware. The BACnet Explorer NG serves up web application pages that can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously from their browser-based devices. Power on the appliance and start exploring!
Monitor View and Historian: Device Monitoring and Data Trending Locally and in the Cloud
Traditional BACnet Explorers can produce simple CSV- or Excel-based reports with snapshots of data point values and store those reports locally. While still useful for integrators and installers, the next generation of BACnet Explorers has to be able to do more than just simple spreadsheets.
With the BACnet Explorer NG’s Monitor View and Historian applications, users can access, monitor, and log device and network data with ease. The Monitor View application allows users to monitor their entire connected network live and visually track devices and data points of interest. The Historian application gives the users the ability to set custom time parameters to display tracked data points on a graph.
The BACnet Explorer NG connects to the FieldPoP device cloud through the facility's Ethernet LAN or Wi-Fi WAN. It can also connect to the cloud via Cellular if LAN and WAN connections are not available. Therefore, all of the web application pages on the BACnet Explorer NG can be accessed from practically anywhere in the world through the secure FieldPoP cloud.
In conjunction with a Premium subscription to FieldPoP, the BACnet Explorer NG’s Monitor View and Historian application can be configured to upload selected data point values to the FieldPoP device cloud where it can be extracted through the FieldPoP APIs by other software programs. This unique capability allows the BACnet Explorer NG, along with the FieldPoP cloud, to serve as a continuous monitoring and data collection platform for value-added third-party software applications.