Project Haystack is an established open source initiative whose mission is to provide the building automation industry and related IoT applications with a standardized way of defining the context and meaning of building and equipment related data. Project Haystak just realeased Haystack 4.0, which adds data-modelling features that support the implementation of both a taxonomy and the resulting ontologies that define the relationship of things and between things.
A popular implementation of open-source Project Haystack is nHaystack. This module enables Tridium Niagara stations JACE and WebSupervisor to serve Haystack data via RESTful protocol. Using nHaystack, applications receive data complete with essential metadata descriptors. With a Haystack-tagged system, you can define tags once and realize value over and over again. Haystack makes it easier for system integrators to add meaning to the Java-based Niagara component.
There are numerous other implementations being worked on by the Project Haystack community too. For example, there are groups working in C++ and DART. All share the common goal of making it easier to unlock value from the vast quantity of data being generated by the smart devices that permeate our homes, buildings, factories, and cities. The way forward starts with defining tags for the most common types of points, devices, and their relationships. The resulting self-describing models will pay off at the device, equipment and building levels, as well as when they are shared by various applications for visualization, control, fault detection, analytics, maintenance ticketing, room scheduling, etc.