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Achieving OpenADR certification

The OpenADR Alliance maintains a testing process for certification to ensure high quality implementations and promote interoperability. While it is not the easiest process to get through, in our experience VENs and VTNs that have not been through the certification process end up causing a lot of issues when they are ready to connect to a live VEN or VTN. The compliance testing and certification process is a better environment to debug implementation issues than an integration would be. Therefore, going through the certification process should save more time and effort in the long run, and improve interoperability.

Typically, the process includes purchasing the official test harness, making sure you can run through all of the test cases without issue, and then working with an official test house to achieve certification (details here: https://www.openadr.org/how-to-build-a-product).

Since the primary goal of the testing process is to confirm proper VEN implementation (i.e. VEN communicates the right information to the VTN, in the right order, in the right format, etc), Plaid handles the majority of the certification tests out of the box. A number of tests do require checking the customer's end system to ensure that it works end to end,

Therefore, the certification process is reduced when working with Plaid. There are two ways to get certified:

Full certification: get certified as though you had built your VEN from scratch. After Plaid has been installed, GridFabric will run your implementation through all of the tests in the test harness, generate a full test report and submit it to the alliance on your behalf. Once certified, your product will be listed as though you had built it from scratch, with no mention of GridFabric.

Derivative certification: The OpenADR alliance also allows for a derivative certification, where you can implement Plaid as a certified VEN into your product and it does not require you to go through the full certification process. GridFabric still must verify a full integration of the VEN into your platform or product. The description of your product on the alliance website (products.openadr.org) will include the following blurb: The compliance of this product is achieved by implementing the unchanged certified GridFabric Plaid VEN.

Full certification checklist

Follow these steps if you are pursuing full certification

Step Description Owner
1. Prepare Plaid for testing* You
2. Schedule testing (plan for 3-4 hours)* You / GridFabric
3. Complete tests with GridFabric* GridFabric
4. Join OpenADR alliance: https://www.openadr.org/application You
5. Complete and sign the declaration of conformity You
6. Complete pages 1, 5 (postpone posting your product - optional) and 6 of the PICS document You
7. Complete the marketing materials doc and prepare an image. You
8. Send all completed materials to GridFabric You
9. Assemble package and send to the OpenADR alliance GridFabric
10. Review & award certification - usually take 2-3 days OpenADR alliance

Steps to prepare Plaid for testing

  • Install Plaid and verify that you are able to connect to the test VTN hosted at canvas.gridfabric.io.
  • Implement basic events and reporting
    • A reference implementation of an http server that receives POST messages from the plugin can be found here: https://github.com/gridfabric/nodejs-sample-middleware (the events section will need to be hooked into your system, reporting can be implemented as is)
    • Implement event logic
      • If you are using Plaid’s event scheduling, implement startEventInterval (or startEvent) and completeEvent for all event types.
      • If doing your own event scheduling, make sure to look out for common corner cases
      • For testing, your system must handle all event types - starting some kind of control
      • We recommend implementing specific logic for Simple/Level events and perhaps one more event type, and generic logic for all other event types. Please see here for more guidance.
      • We will need to witness some proof that the system is responding to events. This can be a log file, a visual on a UI, or a web cam that shows a response from the end device.
      • Beyond testing, event logic will depend on the utility program specific requirements.
    • Implement Reporting
      • Basic reporting functionality must be implemented. For certification purposes, you may use random data as values for certification
  • Expose API for testing
    • Prepare to expose the http endpoint (specified in the config file) just for testing, so we may control Plaid during testing
    • The HTTP API is described in the api guide
  • Go through testing with GridFabric
    • We'll start by connecting plaid to the test harness and running a few tests to verify connectivity. Once that checks out, we'll start the automated tests which take about 1 hour. Initial setup usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.
    • Once the automated testing is complete, the manual tests start. These tests require visual verification that events start and complete as expected by observing the external system. We can use a UI, log file, a webcam pointed to a device, or someone on your side can tell us, etc. Please confirm you can support this request.
    • The second part of the manual testing tests certificates and requires restarting plaid a few times. The security tests are easiest to perform when the host file can be modified to point the dns name vtn to the ip address of the test harness. If you don't know how to do this, we can show you what to change, but you'll need root access (or windows admin) to the machine.

Derivative certification checklist

Follow these steps if you are pursuing derivative certification

Step Description Owner
1. Install Plaid* You
2. Validate Installation* GridFabric
3. Join OpenADR alliance: https://www.openadr.org/application You
4. Complete and sign the declaration of conformity You
5. Complete the marketing materials doc and prepare an image. You
6. Assemble materials and send to the OpenADR alliance You
7. GridFabric sends a letter to OpenADR alliance confirming installation of an unchanged version of Plaid GridFabric
8. Review & award certification - usually take 2-3 days OpenADR alliance

Steps to install Plaid for validation

  • Install Plaid and verify that you are able to connect to the test VTN hosted at canvas.gridfabric.io.
  • Implement basic event logic
    • If you are using Plaid’s event scheduling, implement startEventInterval (or startEvent) and completeEvent for all event types.
    • A reference implementation of an http server that receives POST messages from the plugin can be found here: https://github.com/gridfabric/nodejs-sample-middleware (the events section will need to be hooked into your system, reporting can be implemented as is, or ignored)
    • If doing your own event scheduling, make sure to look out for common corner cases
    • For testing, your system must handle all event types - starting some kind of control
    • We recommend implementing specific logic for Simple/Level events and perhaps one more event type, and generic logic for all other event types. Please see here for more guidance.
    • We will need to witness some proof that the system is responding to events. This can be a log file, a visual on a UI, or a web cam that shows a response from the end device.
    • Beyond testing, event logic will depend on the utility program specific requirements.
  • Schedule a check-in with GridFabric to verify the installation. This should take 20-30 minutes in total – we will create a couple of events in the VTN and will need to confirm that your system responds to the event starting by changing state and returns to normal after the event ends. We will need to look at a log or screenshare in your system, or a webcam down to your end device, to verify.