An industry standard protocol
BACnet (Building Automation Control network) was initially designed by and for BMS (Building Management System) professionals (ASHRAE) seeking to build a vendor-independent communication and control system. OPC (OLE for Process Control) did not exist at the time, and so BACnet provided some revolutionary concepts:
- Communication by notification
- Command prioritization
- Advanced management of alarms, schedules, etc.
- Object-oriented programming for reading, writing, and creating objects
- Automatic network device discovery
- Standard open design
Although originally conceived in 1987, the first version of BACnet was not released until 1996. The solution really took off in 2005 as major vendors became interested. Today BACnet also covers other types of applications related to BMS: access control, fire safety, etc. BACnet is more than just a protocol—it is a full-fledged ANSI and ISO standard.
Interoperability with Panorama
BACnet and Panorama have many points in common:
- Object-oriented programming
- Notification when values change (BACnet COV)
- Open architecture
- Easy implementation.
In order to maintain all of BACnet’s advantages, it was vital to enable native integration without going through an intermediate gateway. The design of the Panorama E² and COM products made it easy for us to create a new BACnet configuration import tool. The tool makes it possible to automatically generate a Panorama application based on the discovery of the BACnet network. In 2010 we added support for BBMD (BACnet/IP Broadcast Management Device) so that Panorama E² can handle communications over the Internet for large installations distributed across multiple sites.
Today, the 2016 version of BACnet is integrated into Panorama Suite, offering better security management, primarily through backup & restore of controller configurations and the recovery of a controller’s sequence of event (SOE) logs in case of network disruptions (Eventlog).