S4 to Support Haystack Tagging in S4 Open Appliances

Project Haystack is an open source initiative to develop tagging conventions and taxonomies for building equipment and operational data. In our continued effort to expand the features and services of the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router and in response to the increasing interest in public and private cloud based services, we have defined an enhancement package to support the Haystack effort. There are three components to this effort. Device type templates will be expanded to accommodate Haystack tags. The user interface of the Management Console will be expanded to accommodate assigning and editing tags in a manner similar to what we have recently implemented for engineering units:  a drop down menu that allows the user to select the appropriate set of tags for any point. The final component will be the ability to publish the tags along with other attributes of data points in a manner prescribed by each upstream protocol that we publish to. These could be either traditional on-site BAS protocols like BACnet, or protocols for cloud based systems that utilize the tags.


We encourage our Integration Partners to play an active role in the Haystack community effort. Our partners are experts at installing and commissioning HVAC systems and are much closer to the details of how and why points are being utilized than we are at S4. We believe that it is important to tap into that expertise to get the best results possible.  If early adopters do the tagging for their projects and send resulting device type templates back to us, we will include them in our standard catalog of templates for everyone’s benefit.

This approach to supporting the Haystack effort is taxonomy agnostic. That is, it is a toolkit that perfectly supports the Haystack effort as it continues to gain momentum in the industry. We also understand that there are other taxonomies that will need to be supported to meet the needs of the integration community, or specialized vertical application markets. So, what is being implemented is extensible to support any tagging taxonomy that our integration partners deem necessary for their projects.

Continuing with our strategy to leverage every feature we develop for all future products, the tagging toolkit will be a standard feature of every future S4 Open product.

To learn more about Project Haystack, please visit their website: http://project-haystack.org/