ECN publication
Deliverable D6 : software architecture requirements for powerline communication as a last mile local access
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Energy in the Built Environment 1-2-2001
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--01-006 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
57 Download PDF  

In this report we discuss the software architecture for services ina powerline last mile access infrastructure. We build upon existing and evolving standards for distributed software architectures and utilise them in service areas such as broadband communication access, in-home building services and services to core utility operations. A larger probability for successful introduction of large scale distributed applications comes from hardware and network innovations and from software standardisation, developments now rapidly progressing. We define the context of applications in terms of devices, nodes and networks each with their respective interfaces. With respect to the software architecture, software standards elements relevant for PLT-application-types are discussed briefly. Also the operating environment, as reflected in standards for distributed system operation, is discussed. These pertain to JINI on the micro-network level, COM, CORBA, Java-RMI for inter-application interfaces, XML/DOM for interfacing to a distributed database and WWW-wide inter-application communication) and ongoing industry co-ordination activities such as the OSGi (Open Systems Gateway initiative). On a more detailed level, last-mile service applications, from a software architectural point of view, require setting up a hierarchical architecture with a number of distribution levels where processes intercommunicate. Software systems on the service provider level have to be interfaced to software systems on ever-smaller scale systems, when the hierarchical tree is descended. Technically speaking, partitioning and dimensioning of components along the hierarchical tree has implications for object serialisation, persistence and replication. Obviously, no generic architectural framework for all applications can be derived. The way to define the abstract system architecture in this document is by following the industry standard UML (Unified Modelling Language) method, elaborating use cases and associated object models and business rules (object constraints) for a number of archetypal key application-types. These types cover clearly distinguishable categories of applications, such as distributely managed local control and monitoring systems, point to point applications, information exchange applications and entertainment/multimedia applications. Bach application type requires its own assignment of tasks to the different hierarchical levels in the software architecture.

Back to List