FDI continues on its path to becoming an international standard under the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The most recent draft of the FDI specification was submitted to the IEC in April of 2012. FDI is now awaiting the IEC review process and the accompanying comments, which puts FDI Technology one step closer to being a global standard.
Conformance testing is an important requirement for achieving interoperability and to ensure that devices meet the specifications in the standard. FDI Cooperation is comprised of the leading technology foundations within the world of process automation, including FDT Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation, OPC Foundation, and PROFIBUS & PROFINET International. It has been determined that conformance testing for FDI will be performed as an add-on to existing product conformance tests at Fieldbus Foundation, HART Communication Foundation and PROFIBUS & PROFINET International for the respective protocols. While the foundations will do the testing, FDI develops a conformance testing concept in addition to FDI Device Package conformance test tools, FDI Host Conformance test procedures, use cases, and requirements.
A comprehensive Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is necessary to ensure that products conforming to the FDI specification can be developed effectively and consistently. Thus, it will be also an important aspect of conformance testing. The FDI IDE supports device vendors that are developing FDI Packages across fieldbus protocols. It consists of an easy to use EDD Editor, which converts EDD into the common encoded file format and combines it with the User Interface Plugin to create an FDI Package. Run time debugging features allow extensive testing. FDI continues to make progress with the IDE, with a tentative release date for the end of 2013. The IDE will be marketed through the five foundations