Tridium has created a new JSON Toolkit for Niagara 4 software that enables it to “speak” JSON. You can see their press release here. This is important, because much of the Internet speaks JSON in the background. A JACE that speaks JSON is starting to look like that futuristic IoT device we’ve been promised for years!
What Does The JSON Toolkit for Niagara Do?
It supports two-way communication via JSON. You can export point history, values, alarm states, etc., to some external service. The toolkit also allows you to import data the same way. You could use this to connect with a modern weather service, for example, or integrate with a centralized alarm system that handles more than just your BMS.
Communication can be handled over anything that’ll expose a string slot – you could serve the JSON exports via HTTP, an email, or using the modern MQTT messaging protocol that is becoming the standard for this sort of purpose.
What’s The Catch?
The JSON toolkit for Niagara comes with no standard “format” for these JSON messages. You have to define the schema, i.e.: the structure of the data. That schema has to match with whatever you’re talking with.
You need to have the DR-JSON license, and you need to have an active Niagara Software Maintenance Agreement. If your agreement expires, your JSON import/exports will stop working. It looks like they will bundle the DR-JSON license for free in Niagara 4.9.
You don’t have to pay extra to play with this now in your workbench, however. All “demo” licenses have been updated to include it, just update your license first!