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2020-02-24 Testing + Certification

Interoperability (IOP) – Testing and Certification at the VDE Institute

In the future, more and more devices will have the basic ability to communicate with each other. While doing so, it is important that these devices also speak the same language, or are interoperable. The VDE Institute tests and certifies interoperability. This gives you, the manufacturer–along with your customers–, the peace of mind that your devices will smoothly communicate with each other.

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Interoperability tests on smart home products with the VDE Test Suite 2.0

Cross-product IOP and uniform security standards are the foundation for marketing Smart Living products and applications. The VDE Institute offers comprehensive testing and conformity evaluation services for such applications. The cloud-based VDE Test Suite 2.0 allows for remote-controlled testing of products for interoperability.

VDE works with associations, energy suppliers, and manufactures on standardizing interoperable systems and provides testing systems for communication tests. Interoperability is a requirement that is fulfilled at different levels in the available smart living solutions:

  • Networking technology as a common standard from an alliance of manufacturers
    -Syntactical interoperability through compliance of protocol standards (e.g. KNX)
  • A manufacturer’s closed system with proprietary networking technology
    -Syntactical interoperability as a necessary product characteristic (e.g. HomeMatic)
  • Gateway-based platform for bridging network technologies
    -Cross-technology syntactical interoperability (e.g. QIVICON)
  • Cross-technology and cross-manufacturer platform for implementing applications
    -Cross-system semantic interoperability (e.g. EEBus)
  • Open integration platform with an ecosystem and open API for implementing smart home applications by independent developers
    -Semantic interoperability (e.g. Eclipse SH)

The cloud-based interoperability testing platform allows for devices to be tested for compliance with the EEBus standards, SPINE and SHIP. The following illustration shows the design of the test configuration:

Testing devices and systems on the VDE Institute’s cloud-based interoperability testing platform
  • VDE access device (VAD) is connected to the internet and device under test (DUT). The DUT can be connected to the VAD via LAN or Wi-Fi.
  • The VDE access device connects to the test site. The connection is encrypted.
  • Afterwards, the user can use their web browser to use the web application on the VDE IOP remote testing site to start different test scenarios.
  • The test log can be followed on the browser in real time. After the tests are completed, detailed log files and an HTML report are offered for download.
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The VDE Institute tests and certifies interoperability

The communication method, or the messages sent and received by the connected devices, is different for the various use cases. As such, data formats and message templates for all the relevant messages of a use case are defined for the implementation of the tests. Whether the device in question passes the test is contingent upon certain pre-defined evaluation criteria. As such, tests are conducted to see if a connected device’s sent messages are correct and whether it properly responds to received messages as well, among other things.

After a successful test, you will receive our VDE “Tested Interoperability” feature certificate. Here you can learn more about our test marks.

VDE Institute explains interoperability

Nowadays, assigning chores at home is no longer an issue. Thanks to intelligent and connected household appliances, the housework practically does itself. The only important thing is to have interference-free communication, and we will show you how that works in our video.

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