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How Does BACnet Work?

BACnet works by dividing the problem of interoperability into three distinct areas, and by defining methods and standards for implementing each.

All information within an interoperable BACnet device is modeled in terms of one or more information objects. Each object represents some important component of the device, or some collection of information which may be of interest to other BACnet devices.

BACnet devices ask each other to perform services. For example, a device to which a temperature sensor is attached, may perform the service of reading the temperature and providing this information to another device which needs it.

The model of objects and services is realized by encoding messages into a stream of numeric codes which represent the desired functions or services to be performed. The "language" of this encoding is common to all BACnet devices. BACnet devices actually exchange information and do things by sending and receiving electronic messages containing this coded application language.

BACnet provides flexibility by allowing multiple types of transport systems to be used to convey these coded messages between devices. The transport system uses different types of electronic messaging standards and methods to convey coded messages. Even though different transport methods are used, the coded message content remains the same. This philosophy allows the designer or specifier to choose the most cost-effective transport method for a given application.

The critical thing to keep in mind is that BACnet allows you to use multiple types of transport mechanisms for electronic messages, but the contents of the messages are the same language.

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