As I write this, we are just completing the final prototyping activities for our exciting new FDT 3.0 (FITS) standard. By our next newsletter, the new standard and all related development tools will be available to the market empowering next generation FDT-based solutions for IIoT and Industry 4.0 applications with options to bridge the current install-base. It has been a fast paced but carefully managed process that had many parallel tasks across the organization. It is exhilarating to see it cross the goal line. I am very proud of the entire team that has brought this effort to life in record time. Be sure to download the new FITS architecture brochure that provides a high-level overview about the emerging standard set to deploy in March 2020.
One area of the FITS portfolio that is drawing a lot of attention is the new FDThub. This cloud-based infrastructure will house all certified FITS device and communication FDT/DTMs making them available to any registered FITS-based FDT Server or Desktop application. This completely eliminates the drudgery of searching on websites and DVDs for the FDT/DTM for the devices in the project structure. Instead, the FDT Server or Desktop application will automatically retrieve them from the cloud as needed – no visiting a special website and no worrying about file names and device versions.
The FDThub will also alert any registered FDT Server or Desktop application when an updated FDT/DTM is available. The user can then decide to install the upgraded version or stay with the existing version. This will be a real benefit for end users to be automatically notified as vendors add new features to DTMs or otherwise update their DTM.
While the FDThub is engineered from the ground up with a robust security model, we know some end users will not have access to the FDThub via the internet. We will be rolling out a locally installable version of the FDThub for these high security, air gapped end users. Contact the FDT Business Office or your local automation supplier for more details.
Look for the featured article, “FDThub Repository Eliminates Device Management Headaches”, in this newsletter for more details on the capabilities and benefits the new FDThub will offer.
Lee Lane, Chairman of the FDT Board of Directors