September 1, 2005

Enhanced EDDL hikes device capabilities

Enhancements to the Elec-tronic Device Description Language (EDDL) should make standardized device configuration a reality for HART-enabled intelligent devices.

"One DD to work everywhere-that's our goal," said Ed Ladd, director of Technology Programs for the HART Communication Foundation (HCF). "And we expect this technology to be available to users by the first of the year."

The enhanced EDDL allows users to interact with their devices in new ways, including improved data visualization and display capabilities like waveforms and valve signatures, a standardized method to access historic measurement or device performance information and enhanced tools for high-level information (such as algorithmic relationships for complex device parameters) display and use in control systems.

During the EDDL Enhancements Interoperability Workshop in Düsseldorf, Germany, 12-14 July, 11 different HART member companies used standard EDDL tools-the Device Description Integrated Development Environment (DD-IDE) and the Smart Device Configurator (SDC-625)-to assess the interoperability of enhanced EDD files for their devices.

"The enhanced capabilities provide users with more information about the connected device while giving developers the tools they need to ensure a consistent look and feel across DDL-enabled host applications," Ladd said.

The EDDL enhancements are the result of a collaborative project between the HART Communication Foundation and other international fieldbus organizations and automation system and device suppliers. Specifications for the enhanced EDDL have gone to the IEC for approval, and manufacturers have begun implementation.

Member companies participating in the Interoperability Workshop were: ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser, Exalon Delft, Foxboro-Eckardt, Honeywell, Krohne, Saab, Samson, Siemens, and VEGA.EDDL is the only technology endorsed by the HCF for configuration of HART devices.