The FDT® Group and its members worldwide share a common goal: open integration of control systems and instrumentation in multi-vendor environments, with the resulting benefits of freedom of choice, reduced integration costs and, most importantly, the advantages of continuous innovation.
To aid manufacturers in innovative product development, the FDT Group established a set of tools saving countless engineering hours when creating FDT-enabled solutions. For example, Common Components are available for both FDT/FRAME-enabled systems and FDT/DTM device solutions to create a library of routines to simplify the development process. The official test and certification tool for DTMs, dtmINSPECTOR, is also available. These tools ensure specification compliance, greatly enhance interoperability, and work together to ease developer efforts in delivering robust FDT®-enabled solutions while accelerating time to market.
The FDT/FRAME Common Component (also known as fdtCONTAINER component) create a library of routines to simplify the development of compliant Frame Applications. The Common Component supports all features and interfaces required to be compliant with the FDT standard. This saves countless engineering hours and increases the quality of FDT-enabled solutions.
The integrated Common Component within the integration options below allows for a graphical user interface with single point access to the installed base of intelligent devices across multiple networks.
FDT/FRAME OEM – This option provides device vendors or system providers with a stand-alone FDT® device management application enabled out-of-the-box. Suppliers can carry their company-specific branding by bundling the Frame Application with their DTMs and distributing it to customers as a complete turnkey solution for device parameterization.
FDT/FRAME-enabled System – This option allows developers to seamlessly integrate an FDT/FRAME interface into an engineering application, such as a PLC programming tool, a DCS, an asset management application, or just about any other type of software application. The Common Component toolkit encapsulates the FDT specification, thus simplifying integration of FDT in existing and new applications. Developers can link their graphical user interfaces with the component via defined software interfaces to give customers a familiar user experience with a native look and feel to their application. Developers can fully focus on other application tasks without having to deal with implementing the FDT specification. This helps to avoid mistakes and reduces overall development time and effort.
For information and pricing on the FRAME Common Component license and maintenance agreement, please contact the FDT Group.
FDT/DTM Common Component is a comprehensive solution meeting all the basic low-level software coding requirements for instrument manufacturers developing intelligent devices with FDT® compliance. It is essential in freeing up developer time to focus on unique differentiating features. The components can be used for both simple and complex devices, allowing these instruments to be seamlessly integrated within a FDT/FRAME enabled system.
Beyond the FDT/DTM Common Component, additional tools are available which deliver additional support by wizards, development libraries, productivity tools, etc.
To streamline DTM development, DTM Common Components accompanied with dtmINSPECTOR (the official FDT test tool) allows vendor the opportunity to test their solution during development to ensure compliance to the FDT specification, for the test and certification process when ready.
A key advantage of FDT Common Components (FRAME™ and DTM™) is that they have been extensively tested with each other through a rigorous battery of regression tests. This ensures FRAME and DTM products built using the Common Components will interoperate more seamlessly when they arrive in the field. The use of these powerful toolkits also expedites testing through the certification process; FDT-enabled solutions that employ them are automatically green-lighted for a wide range of test cases that would otherwise need to be performed on an individual basis.
Note for DTM certification – It is economical to use the DTM Common Component because a developer can rely on a library with already pre-tested basic procedures. Certification for DTMs not using DTM Common Components is a time and money consuming process, because the test cases covering Common Components are not included in the older versions of dtmINSPECTOR and have to be applied manually.
For information and pricing on the DTM Common Component license and maintenance agreement, please contact the FDT Group.
As the official test and certification tool that determines conformance of FDT/DTMs, the dtmINSPECTOR includes test cases to determine compliance with the FDT® specification, Common Components and Style Guide – maximizing interoperability. It delivers all the properties needed to effectively ensure DTM™ development compliance. dtmINSPECTOR is also an important tool accompanying DTM development and should be used from the beginning of the development process to the end. Developers can use the scripting engine function to write additional test cases to support customized DTM capabilities. In doing so, the developer can create a robust test environment providing optimal support throughout the DTM development process.
For automation suppliers, the current dtmINSPECTOR – aligned with the DTM Common Component toolkit – will drive the growth of FDT based products. Once an FDT-accredited test site determines that a DTM has “passing results,” they notify the FDT Group certification office. The DTM then receives the official electronic certification mark acknowledging specification compliance.
For information and pricing on the dtmINSPECTOR license and maintenance agreement, please contact the FDT Group. (Members of the FDT Group should contact the FDT Business Office to obtain their dtmINSPECTOR4 license and maintenance agreement.)