Integration Level

Integration Level

FOUNDATION Fieldbus technology is more than just a network — it’s a forward-looking digital automation infrastructure that is built on field-proven IIoT concepts to manage data, communication, field assets, and plant events while providing highly distributed control functionality and interoperability between devices and subsystems. This real-time communication system has been designed specifically for process control applications in order to enable a smart network infrastructure that provides visibility at all levels within an organization — from plant floor to enterprise.

Field Level systems (H1 devices and associated Function Blocks) work in unison with the high speed Integration Level systems to provide a complete open-standard automation infrastructure.

The Integration Level includes:

  • Host Systems

  • EDDL & FDI

  • HSE


Host Profiles, Classes & Features

FOUNDATION Fieldbus Host Profiles

A host profile defines a minimum set of Foundation-specific features that must be implemented by a host to achieve compliance to a specific host class. A host may incorporate one or more hardware and software components as defined by the host manufacturer. Currently, FieldComm Group defines five profile classes. Each of these host classes has its own set of characteristics, primary end users, and use cases. These include:

  1. Class 61 – Integrated Host: Primary, on-process host that manages the communication and application configuration of all devices on a network
  2. Class 62 – Visitor Host: Temporary, on-process host with limited access to device parameterization
  3. Class 63 – Bench Host: Primary, off-process host for configuration and setup of a non-commissioned device
  4. Class 64 – Bench Host: Primary, off-process host with limited access to device parameterization of an off-line, commissioned device
  5. Class 71 - SIF Integrated Host: Primary on-process host for Safety Instrumented Functions

Features of Each Host Classification

In addition to the various host classifications, each classification also has its own set of Mandatory, Optional, or Prohibited features. View the Host Features Table below for a full breakdown of Mandatory, Optional and Prohibited features of each host classification.



It is important to understand what host testing and registration means to the end user. We have created a white paper specifically to help better understand the process.

Understanding Host Profile Testing and Registration

Building a Strong Foundation for Integration

EDDL and FDI (Field Device Integration) are the building blocks of today's and tomorrow's modern process control systems.


Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) is a programming language used to create Device Descriptions (DDs) to describe the attributes of field devices in an Operating System (OS). It is a universal, proven and state-of-the-art method of accessing diagnostic, real-time and asset management information contained in more than 30 million compliant field instruments from a host of manufacturers, and to provide optimum data and device interoperability. DDs provide device functions such as generic digital and analog input/output modules, HMI displays and transmitters, on-off and regulating valves, and closed-loop controller diagnostics.

With EDDL technology, a user can calibrate instruments, diagnose problems, provide data for user interface displays, identify process alarms and obtain information needed for high-level software, such as MES, UI/SCADA, plant historians, asset management and ERP.

To learn more about EDDL technology, download the brochure.

EDDL Brochure



FDI, put simply, is the rationalization of benefits of EDDL and FDT/DTM technologies. Users requested a uniform device integration solution for process industries that combines the broad benefits of EDDL with the enhanced feature sets of FDI. This solution must also span across all host systems and devices regardless of manufacturer. Thus, FDI was born. FDI device packages make it easier for automation suppliers to develop and integrate intelligent devices, because suppliers only need to create a single, unified package for each intelligent device that can work with all host systems and tools. This reduces overall development costs, while preserving and expanding existing functionality. Users will also find it easier to manage information from intelligent devices with a single device package, instead of juggling different technologies and investing significant capital in custom integration efforts to connect multiple technology platforms.        

To learn more about FDI technology, please visit FDI Technology Overview.

Fieldbus at the Speed of Ethernet

FOUNDATION Fieldbus High Speed Ethernet (HSE) enables tight integration and a free exchange of information needed for the plant enterprise. HSE is a superior solution to proprietary, Ethernet-based technologies since it provides end users with interoperability between disparate controllers and gateways in the same way that H1 supports interoperability between transmitters and actuators from different suppliers. And like H1, HSE is an international standard (IEC 61158).

HSE functions as a control network technology specifically designed for process automation to connect higher-level devices such as controllers and remote-I/O, high-density data generators, etc., and for horizontal integration of subsystems.

FOUNDATION HSE is ideally suited for use as a control backbone with capabilities for device, subsystem and enterprise integration. The HSE implementation employs a transfer rate of 100 Mbit/s and can be used for connecting hosts like Distributed Control Systems (DCSs) and linking devices via standard Ethernet cabling including fiber optic. It employs a full-fledged redundancy scheme giving control systems greater availability than systems using simple ring-topology. Use of unmodified Ethernet and standard IP makes HSE systems more cost-effective than other Ethernet solutions and proprietary networks. Since HSE is a standard, it enables simple and tight integration between package units and the main control system. The HSE network is easier and cheaper to manage based on common network knowledge and standard SNMP tools.

Standardized Solution for Integrating Remote Assets


In December of 2011, the Fieldbus Foundation (now FieldComm Group) announced the release of an extension to its High Speed Ethernet (HSE) technology called FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM).

Remote Operations Management – the management of automation assets and resources that are geographically dispersed – is one of the fastest growing segments of the process automation business today. Today, the ROM segment is plagued with a high degree of customization, solutions that are expensive and not easily configurable, and a break and fix mentality when it comes to asset management.

In a World of Choices, FOUNDATION™ Brings it all Together

FOUNDATION for ROM allows users to implement a true predictive and proactive maintenance strategy for remote assets that could not previously support one. Data from devices on multiple networks, both wired (H1 & HART) and wireless (ISA 100.11a & WirelessHART), can be brought into the FOUNDATION Fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single environment for management of diagnostic data, alarms and alerts, data quality, control in the field capability, and object oriented block structure.

FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management promises to change the world of remote operations management for pipeline supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), tank farms and terminals, SAG-D farms, offshore platforms, and water/wastewater facilities. Advanced knowledge of the process is required to operate sophisticated processes in an exclusively remote fashion, and the increased level of process and diagnostic information from fieldbus-compatible devices allows users to make intelligent decisions about the process and then act on them. This solution is key to improved integration of critical functional areas, including machinery health monitoring, safety interlocks, fire & gas detection systems, and video surveillance. Enabling the use of FOUNDATION Fieldbus based devices in remote applications marks a step change in the visibility industrial organizations have into their operations. Remote diagnostics via FOUNDATION Fieldbus provides significant improvement in labor costs by avoiding the need to send maintenance personnel on unnecessary trips to the field to check or diagnose problems with instrumentation without the benefit of remote diagnostic data. In the oil & gas industry, for example, the use of FOUNDATION Fieldbus and the remote access to devices it affords can reduce the exposure and risk operations personnel face in the hazardous environment of an offshore platform.

Access to high-quality process and equipment health data ultimately increases a user's profitability by minimizing downtime and increasing production, which results from well informed operational, maintenance, and management decisions.

ROM Whitepaper ROM F.A.Q. ROM Background





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