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OASIS Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) TC

OASIS TC Call For Participation: oBIX TC

Date:      Tue, 11 May 2004 10:47:04 -0400
From:      Karl F. Best <>
Subject:   OASIS TC Call For Participation: oBIX TC

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) TC has been proposed by the following members of OASIS: Dave Clute, Cisco Systems; Paul Ehrlich, Trane; John Petze, Tridium; Toby Considine, University of North Carolina; Byron Hill, Johnson Controls; Jeremy Roberts, LonMark International; Sam Yang and Richard Blomseth, Echelon; and Anto Budiardjo and Anno Scholten, Individual members.

The proposal for a new TC meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process (see, and is appended to this message. The TC name, statement of purpose, scope, list of deliverables, audience, and language specified in the proposal will constitute the TC's charter. The TC Process allows these items to be clarified (revised); such clarifications (revisions), as well as submissions of technology for consideration by the TC and the beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

As specified by the OASIS TC Process, the requirements for becoming a member of the TC at the first meeting are that you must 1) be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an Individual member of OASIS; 2) notify the TC chair of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting; and 3) attend the first meeting of the TC. For OASIS members, to register for the TC using the OASIS collaborative tools, go to the TC's public web page at and click on the button for "Join This TC" at the top of the page. You may add yourself to the roster of the TC either as a Prospective Member (if you intend to become a member of the TC) or an Observer. A notice will automatically be sent to the TC chair, which fulfills requirement #2 above.

OASIS members may also join the TC after the first meeting. Note that membership in OASIS TCs is by individual, and not by organization.

Non-OASIS members may read the TC's mail list archive, view the TC's web page, and send comments to the TC using a web form available on the TC's web page; click the "Send A Comment" button. The archives of the TC's mail list and public comments are visible at

Further information about the topic of this TC may be found on the Cover Pages under "XML and Web Services for Facilities Automation Systems" at:

A FAQ for the TC is available on the TC's web page at:


Karl F. Best
Vice President, OASIS
office  +1 978.667.5115 x206
mobile +1 978.761.1648

oBIX TC Charter

Name of the Proposed TC

OASIS Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) TC

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the OASIS Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) TC is to define a standard web services protocol to enable communications between building mechanical and electrical systems and enterprise applications. This protocol will enable facilities and their operations to be managed as full participants in knowledge-based businesses.

The oBIX specification will utilize web services for exchange of information with the mechanical and electrical systems in commercial buildings.

Presently most mechanical and electrical systems are provided with embedded digital controls (DDC). Most of these devices are low cost and not enabled for TCP/IP. They are installed with dedicated communications wiring. Larger DDC controllers provide network communications for these dedicated controllers. There are several well established binary protocols (BACnet, LonTalk, Modbus, DALI) that are used on these dedicated networks in addition to numerous proprietary protocols. While these binary protocols can be used over TCP/IP networks — they have challenges with routers, firewalls, security, and compatibility with other network applications. There is an added challenge in that the industry is split between several largely incompatible protocols.

Because oBIX integrates with the enterprise, it will enable mechanical and electrical control systems to provide continuous visibility of operational status and performance, flagging problems and trends for system analysis or human attention.

OBIX provides a technology that enables facilities operators, owners and tenants to make decisions based on a fully integrated consideration of all life-cycle, environmental, cost, and performance factors.

TC Scope

The scope of the oBIX TC is to develop a publicly available web services interface specification that can be used to obtain data in a simple and secure manner from HVAC, access control, utilities, and other building automation systems, and to provide data exchange between facility systems and enterprise applications. In addition, the TC will develop implementation guidelines, as needed, to facilitate the development of products that use the web service interface. Work outside of the above will be considered out of scope for the TC.

TC List of Deliverables

Release 1 (Completion date, end of 2004):

  • Standard for the exchange of data between systems in a secure manner.
  • Eventing of data (alarms and events)
  • Logs of data for trending variables such as temperature

The intent of the committee is to complete several iterations of this standard, each of which will add in additional functionality. In addition the committee intends to address the issues of interoperability and conformance testing, and further revision and maintenance of the specification. Deliverables related to these ongoing efforts will be added to the TC charter in accordance with the OASIS TC Process.

Anticipated Audience

  1. Owners and managers of commercial buildings
  2. Manufacturers of Building Automation products
  3. Consultants and designers of buildings and their sub-systems
  4. The IT community that builds and manages networks



Additional Information

The following is informational only for the purposes of starting the TC, and will not be part of the TC's charter:

Similar Work

Work on this project has been under progress since 4/2003 under the trade group known as CABA. Significant progress and structure is already complete. See and for more information.

It is anticipated by the proposers that CABA will promote the technical work done by the OASIS oBIX TC. Appropriate liaisons will be created between the TC and CABA to coordinate efforts in this area.

Other significant work in the area of HVAC and Facility management protocols has been achieved by ASHRAE (BACnet Standard) and also by LonMark International. These are both Binary protocols and are designed for use over various types of networks. For more details please refer to and Liaisons will be established with these groups as appropriate.

List of Contributions

It is anticipated by the proposers that the current oBIX working drafts, completed under the CABA project, will be contributed to the TC at or after the first meeting of the TC.

First Meeting

Date: 6/15/04
Time: 9:00 AM Central Time
Type of meeting: teleconference
Sponsor: Trane

Ongoing Meeting Schedule

Weekly teleconferences; quarterly face to face meetings

Ongoing meeting sponsor: Tridium

oBIX TC Proposers

TC Convener

Paul Ehrlich

Proposed TC Chair

Toby Considine

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. Other details in the news story "OASIS Forms Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) Technical Committee." See general references in "XML and Web Services for Facilities Automation Systems."

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