Thursday, April 4, 2013

Open Source C-Code for IEC 61850

Some six weeks ago I reported about the open source Java code for IEC 61850. The group that developed the Java code has now also published the open source C code.

“In cases where Java is not an option (e.g. if you want to implement a server on very resource constrained systems) you can also consider libiec61850 which is an alternative implementation in C.”

libIEC61850 provides a simple API for MMS. This API is in no way specific to IEC 61850 but provides a generic MMS client API.

This MMS API seems to be an option in case you have to decide to use (on one side) Modbus, DNP3, Fieldbus, or CAN in Automation OR (on the other side) to use IEC 61850. It may help you to get started with IEC 61850. There is no reason anymore not to start with IEC 61850!! The cost argument has gone.

As a Siemens employee I wrote two remarkable papers on the standardization:
one about the future of Fieldbusses/MMS and one about MAP/MMS in 1991:

Click HERE for the paper “Fieldbus standardization: Another way to go”
[PDF, 720 KB].

Click HERE for the paper “Bridging MAP/MMS to Ethernet” [PDF, 720 KB]

It took some 30 years from the fist baby steps to the availability of open source MMS code and other IEC 61850 solutions like the one from SystemCorp that is quite powerful and comprehensive. The time where you have to pay high (“voltage”) prices is over! “High voltage” refers to the application domain high voltage substations – the domain that first used IEC 61850 some 10 or 15 years ago.

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