Host Profile Testing & Registration Program
HOST TESTING PROVIDES THE BASIS FOR INTEROPERABILITY
Within the FOUNDATION Fieldbus automation infrastructure, interoperability is possible because devices and software must all conform to the same standard and they are tested and registered to that standard. Products bearing the FOUNDATION Fieldbus Product Registration symbol have undergone a series of common tests administered by FieldComm Group. End users can select the best device for a specific measurement or control task, regardless of the manufacturer.
Host registration provides an extra measure of confidence that fieldbus systems incorporate the robust functionality of FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology and are able to function as part of an open, interoperable control system. The host has been of particular concern in the past because it is the key element at the system level and can determine the success or failure of a fieldbus project. If your host is not registered and tested, you are taking some unnecessary chances and have no way of knowing if your host will work with a wide range of H1 and HSE devices from different suppliers.
HISTORY OF HOST TESTING
The FieldComm Group (and Fieldbus Foundation before becoming a part of FieldComm Group) has been doing host testing since its earliest days. Over the years, this process has evolved considerably. FieldComm Group's previous Host Interoperability Support Test (HIST) provided a host test protocol with no provision for formal product registration. With HIST, all the work was done by the host vendor. It soon became clear, however, that testing and registration of hosts was necessary. That’s when the Host Profile Registration Process was introduced.
Under the new Host Profile Registration Process, FieldComm Group conducts functional testing with a test device and specialized test Device Descriptions (DDs) and Capabilities Files (CFs). Registered devices from different vendors are also used during testing. The host profile under test must support a clear set of required features. A host will conform to some, or perhaps all, features as defined by the host feature checklist. However, because hosts can have various definitions, not all features may be applicable to a host implementation. Therefore, it is not expected that every host should support each feature.
Each feature contains a set of test procedures that are to be run against the host or the fieldbus system using the host. In order for a host to claim conformance to the feature, the host must be able to pass the test procedures defined by the feature. The features themselves are generic; therefore, manufactures will derive test cases, or actual implementation steps necessary to meet the requirements of the test procedure. Fieldbus hosts successfully completing the test requirements are authorized to bear the official FOUNDATION Product Registration symbol.
To view a complete list of registered FOUNDATION Fieldbus hosts, please visit our Product Registry.
HOST PROFILE REGISTRATION TECHNICAL PAPER
It is important to understand what host testing and registration means to the end user. The linked technical paper is specifically intended to help developers better understand the process.