Affects Version/s: wd17
Fix Version/s: wd18
What's currently in Section 9 Conformance is a collection of requirements. Section 9 of EI should not be addressing requirements—that should be in an appendix, but rather Section 9 should point to a testing and conformance standard for EI and discuss how it is used and its role in an interoperability testing process. As for the use case requirements—they have a role in the interoperability testing process, as discussed below. But conformance is whether someone is implementing the spec according to the spec, not whether the spec meets requirements.
The SGIP SGTCC has just release v1.0 of their Interoperability Process Ref Manual:
In section 2 they state,
In the context of interoperability, product certification is intended to provide high confidence that a product, when integrated and operated within the Smart Grid, will function as stated under specific business conditions and / or criteria. The IPRM defines criteria, recommendations and guidelines for product interoperability and conformance certification. It is important to understand "Interoperability" has no meaning for a single product but for a relationship among two or more products. Alternatively, conformance does have meaning for one product as it applies to its meeting the requirements of the standard or test profile.
So, looking at use case requirements is important for product certification, but not for conformance testing. Section 5 of the IPRM v1.0 goes on to show that conformance testing precedes Interop testing, and it part of it.
• conformance testing is a part of the interoperability testing process (per line 175 of the IPRM v1.0)
• Line 187 states "Prior to interoperability testing, a product is tested for conformance to the specification at each relevant OSI layer."
• Line 203 "conformance testing is in general "orthogonal", or separate from interoperability testing. Nevertheless, conformance and interoperability testing are interrelated in a matrix relationship."
The statement on Line 187 (bullet 2 above) raises the issue of conformance in the context of some implementation, which may be web services or something else, with its own security, message requirements (what part of EI to implement), and some other requirements. Conformance testing requires that any product that claims to implement EI (as detailed in its PICS statement, which might indicate a limited set of services), can in fact implement these services according to the standard, correctly forming each supported service request, and consuming responses, producing responses as needed, with acceptable parameters, without barfing on bad data (i.e., returning required error messages), etc. Thus, Section 9 of EI should, I propose, point to a testing and conformance standard for EI and discuss its role in an interoperability testing process.
(separate item, note--The SGTCC is recommending that one organization serve at the Interop Testing and Cert Authority for a particular standard. Who will serve as the ITCA for EI? Perhaps the OpenADR Alliance?)