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    Virtual Plugfest Proves the Smart City Protocol

    Published on 2021-10-13

    Two weeks of intensive test sessions underline the interoperability of TALQ-compliant products

    The TALQ Consortium, which developed a global OpenAPI interface standard for smart city device networks, has just completed another – this year purely virtual – plugfest. TALQ’s regular plugfest events play an important role in assuring the reliability and correctness of the certification process as well as the protocol itself. During these sessions development teams from member companies tested their integrations against each other’s and validated the behavior and outcome of the Test Tool suite. After two weeks of intense work, 35 different pairing sessions have proved the interoperability of all systems and the reliability of the TALQ Test Tool.

    A plugfest is one of the most important events for anyone working with standards, whether defining or implementing them. That’s why the TALQ Consortium has organized regular plugfests, open to all member companies, since 2015. These events give the Consortium the opportunity both to verify the Certification Test Tool and to continue improving the TALQ Specification clarity. This regular testing of the integration of real systems from different vendors and careful analysis of the output of the Test Tool is a significant and differentiating strength of the TALQ Smart City Protocol and the Consortium itself.

    The benefits of a virtual plugfest
    As in 2020 and 2021 the covid-19 pandemic made a physical event impossible, the Consortium decided to organize a virtual event. Nine member companies signed up to participate and submitted 13 products – both Central Management Software (CMS) and Outdoor Device Networks (ODN or gateways) – to mutual online testing. Despite the challenge of remote working the participants agreed that it was a major success, improving their products and encouraging them to respond to further TALQ-mandating tenders.
    During the event, the development teams tested their interpretation of the protocol using real products. This presented them an opportunity to make their products more flexible and reliable by verifying the interoperability with other members' products. Furthermore, backward compatibility between different TALQ versions was confirmed and minor bugs on several sides were fixed.

    “The event provided participants an extraordinary networking opportunity to exchange with other members, which was exploited intensively. All participants agreed that further plugfests would be a valuable addition to future integrations” reported José Sanchis, Chairman of the Certification Work Group, who managed the event.

    “As we continuously improve the TALQ protocol and expand the range of use cases, we will continue to plan at least one plugfest each year” added Simon Dunkley, Secretary General, TALQ Consortium.

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