The Fieldbus Application Layer (FAL) provides user programs with a means to access the fieldbus communication environment. In this respect, the FAL can be viewed as a "window between corresponding application programs".
This part of IEC 61158 provides common elements for basic time-critical and non-time-critical messaging communications between application programs in an automation environment and material specific to Type 23 fieldbus. The term "time-critical" is used to represent the presence of a time-window, within which one or more specified actions are required to be completed with some defined level of certainty. Failure to complete specified actions within the time window risks failure of the applications requesting the actions, with attendant risk to equipment, plant and possibly human life.
This document defines in an abstract way the externally visible behavior provided by the different Types of the fieldbus Application Layer in terms of:
a) the abstract syntax defining the application layer protocol data units conveyed between communicating application entities,
b) the transfer syntax defining the application layer protocol data units conveyed between communicating application entities,
c) the application context state machine defining the application service behavior visible between communicating application entities; and
d) the application relationship state machines defining the communication behavior visible between communicating application entities.
The purpose of this document is to define the protocol provided to:
a) define the wire-representation of the service primitives defined in IEC 61158-5-23, and
b) define the externally visible behavior associated with their transfer.
This document specifies the protocol of the IEC fieldbus Application Layer, in conformance with the OSI Basic Reference Model (ISO/IEC 7498) and the OSI Application Layer Structure (ISO/IEC 9545).
FAL services and protocols are provided by FAL application-entities (AE) contained within the application processes. The FAL AE is composed of a set of object-oriented Application Service Elements (ASEs) and a Layer Management Entity (LME) that manages the AE. The ASEs provide communication services that operate on a set of related application process object (APO) classes. One of the FAL ASEs is a management ASE that provides a common set of services for the management of the instances of FAL classes.
Although these services specify, from the perspective of applications, how request and responses are issued and delivered, they do not include a specification of what the requesting and responding applications are to do with them. That is, the behavioral aspects of the applications are not specified; only a definition of what requests and responses they can send/receive is specified. This permits greater flexibility to the FAL users in standardizing such object behavior. In addition to these services, some supporting services are also defined in this document to provide access to the FAL to control certain aspects of its operation.