ISA ( received notification earlier this week that an ISA technical report supporting Electronic Device Description (EDD) interoperability has received final approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI, “ANSI/ISA-TR61804-4 (104.00.02)-2007, Function Blocks (FB) for Process Control – Part 4: Electronic Device Description (EDD) Interoperability Guideline” is the official United States adoption of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) technical report of the same title.

The ANSI approval was announced by the ISA104 standards development committee at the Reliant Center in Houston at ISA Expo The approval follows and supports ISA”s publication in June 2007 of “ANSI/ISA-61804-3 (104.00.01) – 2007, Function Blocks (FB) for Process Control – Part 3: Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL)” as an American National Standard. That standard, also an IEC adoption, establishes how information-intelligent devices including control instrumentation and electrical gear integrate into control and device management systems.

The Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) is used to create a file describing intelligent devices to integrate them with control systems and handheld communicators for use in the field. An EDD is a text file, and its use supports information retrieval, diagnostics, performance analysis, operational statistics, parameter handling, operation, range setting, calibration trim, simulation, override, and monitoring of automation system components.

EDDL provides interoperability across software and handheld communicators, devices and bus protocols, allowing end-users to integrate all intelligent devices into the same single software. The newly approved technical report provides guidance that ensures even greater consistency in operation of different devices. For example, the guideline includes a standard root menu for all devices. In the guideline, menu conventions and styles are defined for using the graphical features such as waveform graph, trend chart, gauges, tabbed cards, windows, illustrating images, data tables, and managing persistent storage of test data that meet the requirements of event the most sophisticated and complex devices.

The technical report, for device developers, includes examples that demonstrate the use of EDDL. In particular, it shows how user requirements are fulfilled. In this way, it supplements the EDDL specification with examples of how graphics are defined to make devices easier when doing setup and diagnostics, giving users excellent access to diagnostics for maintenance purposes during the operations phase of the plant lifecycle.

For information about EDDL, visit For information about ISA104 or other ISA standards committees, visit