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Host Profile Registration Program

Host Testing Provides the Basis for Interoperability

Within the Fieldbus Foundation's 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 Product Registration symbol have undergone a series of common tests administered by the Fieldbus Foundation. 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 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: From HIST to Host Profile Registration

The Fieldbus Foundation has been doing host testing since its earliest days. Over the years, this process has evolved considerably. The Fieldbus Foundation'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 Foundation introduced our Host Profile Registration Process. the_importance_of_host_and_interoperability_testing

Under the new Host Profile Registration Process, the Foundation 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, visit the registered host page.


Host Profiles and Classes

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, the Fieldbus Foundation defines four profile classes. 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

Each of these host classes has its own set of characteristics, primary end users, and use cases. For detailed information about each of these, please click here.

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.

pdf Understanding Host Profile Testing and Registration


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