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 2 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 International Standard specifies interactions between remote applications and defines the externally visible behavior provided by the Type 2 fieldbus application layer in terms of
a) the formal abstract syntax defining the application layer protocol data units conveyed between communicating application entities;
b) the transfer syntax defining encoding rules that are applied to the application layer protocol data units;
c) the application context state machine defining the application service behavior visible between communicating application entities;
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 61158-5-2, and
b) define the externally visible behavior associated with their transfer.
This document specifies the protocol of the Type 2 fieldbus application layer, in conformance with the OSI Basic Reference Model (ISO/IEC 7498-1) and the OSI application layer structure (ISO/IEC 9545).
The principal objective of this document is to specify the syntax and behavior of the application layer protocol that conveys the application layer services defined in IEC 61158-5-2.
A secondary objective is to provide migration paths from previously-existing industrial communications protocols.
This document does not specify individual implementations or products, nor does it constrain the implementations of application layer entities within industrial automation systems. Conformance is achieved through implementation of this application layer protocol specification.