Fifteen Years of iPhone

Remember 10-12 years ago when some worriers considered all the bad things that could happen if workers took their iPhones and other smart mobile devices into the plant? I wrote articles at Automation World about all this mobile connectivity. Companies figured out how to connect them to the HMI of machines and processes. Engineers complained to me at conferences that I was responsible for their loss of free time even on vacation because bosses expected them to be always on.

But the benefits have been tremendous. Maybe managers had to learn how to allow people to be off the grid at times, but there would have been no way to negotiate these Covid times without them. My first smart device was a Palm Pilot. I lusted for a Newton, but I just couldn’t rationalize it. With the Palm, I synced my ACT CRM, loaded documents, and took notes. When I was calling on a large engine manufacturing plant or other large facilities, I didn’t have to take a big notebook, briefcase, and lots of paper. That was mid-90s.

One of my favorite tech writers, Om Malik, blogged a retrospective of his writing on the iPhone. He wrote for Wired and Red Herring and then started the Web-based news site GigaOm. Now he blogs on his own.

I brought the Palm (later generations) with me when beginning my editorial career at Control Engineering in 1998. Once again, I could call on a company and only take that along.

Gary’s Device Collection 1995-Present

The photo shows a couple of my Palm devices then several, but not all, of my early phones. Then a couple of iPods, which were way cool. A couple of early HTC Android phones, and then five of my iPhones including my model 12 at the bottom right.

These devices have been essential to my improved productivity and effectiveness. They’ve also been a time-waster, but you can’t have everything.

Thank you to Steve Jobs and Apple for the development and evolution of the iPhone.

Standardization Advances From OPC Foundation

OPC Foundation held a virtual SPS press conference combined with annual general meeting last month. The most profound news comes from the group working on Field Level Communications. That seemed to be a bit of a political football when the idea was broached several years ago. It now has momentum. A couple of other items of interest relate to work with other associations. OPCF will take ownership of the MDIS Sub-Sea Standard. Meanwhile, John Dyck continues to be busy building relationships as CESMII and OPCF have launched a UA Cloud Library.

OPC Foundation’s Field Level Communications Initiative reaches significant milestone and celebrates premiere

Three years after its launch, the OPC Foundation’s Field Level Communications (FLC) initiative has completed the second release candidate of the OPC UA FX (Field eXchange) specifications and has started the review and release process for them.  In addition, a multi-vendor demo with controllers and network infrastructure components of 20 companies – among them the world’s largest automation suppliers – has been realized to showcase the cross-vendor interoperability of automation components for the most diverse use cases in Factory and Process Automation.

The release candidate of the Field Level Communications Initiative consists of four specification parts (Parts 80-83) and focuses on communication between automation components to exchange process data and configuration data using OPC UA Client/Server and PubSub extensions in combination with peer-to-peer connections and basic diagnostics:

  • Part 80 (OPC 10000-80) provides an overview and introduces the basic concepts of using OPC UA for field level communications.
  • Part 81 (OPC 10000-81) specifies the base information model and the communication concepts to meet the various use cases and requirements of Factory and Process Automation. 
  • Part 82 (OPC 10000-82) describes networking services, such as topology discovery and time synchronization.
  • Part 83 (OPC 10000-83) describes the data structures for sharing information required for Offline Engineering using descriptors and descriptor packages.

Peter Lutz, Director Field Level Communications of the OPC Foundation says: “We are happy about the progress that our working groups have made over the last months, despite COVID-19 and the associated restrictions. The completion of the second release candidate and an impressive multi-vendor live demo is a major achievement because the specifications are now mature so that the member review process could be started.”

Since the start of the Field Level Communications Initiative in November 2018 more than 320 experts from over 65 OPC Foundation member companies have contributed to generate the technical concepts and elaborate the specification contents for extending the OPC UA framework for field level communications, including Determinism, Motion, Instruments and Functional Safety.

The OPC Foundation Takes Ownership of the MDIS Sub-Sea Standard 

The OPC Foundation (OPCF) announced that it consolidated and took over the MCS-DCS Interface Standardisation (MDIS) specification ownership.  Effective immediately, as with all OPCF Companion Specifications, MDIS is freely available for adoption by all interested parties at no additional cost. The OPCF MDIS working group, co-chaired by Markus Koenig from SubSea, Tim Fortin from Honeywell, and Paul Hunkar from DS Interoperability, now oversees the ongoing maintenance and expansion of the standard. Original MDIS network group members will continue working in the OPCF working group. The OPC Foundation invites all members interested in helping shape the future of the MDIS specification to join the MDIS working group.

MDIS was formed with a vision to optimize and standardize communications between subsea Master Control Stations (MCSs) and topside Distributed Control Systems (DCSs). A standardized MCS-DCS interface simplifies the implementation of data communications and increases data quality.

The OPC Foundation and CESMII launches the UA Cloud Library

The OPC Foundation announced the launch of the globally available UA Cloud Library co-developed with the Clean Energy and Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII). With its multi-cloud architecture, the UA Cloud Library saw contributions from all major cloud vendors leveraging open interfaces and is available for sharing, finding, and collaborating on OPC UA Information Models. Today, the UA Cloud Library already contains over 65 OPC UA Information Models created by individual companies as well as international standards organizations like AutoID, DEXPI, MDIS, MTConnect, and over 30 VDMA working groups as part of their OPC UA Companion Specification work.

While shop floor (OT) components routinely discover and use data structures and services of other OPC UA components, direct access to such semantic information has not been readily available to cloud-based applications due to security considerations. The UA Cloud Library eliminates this gap by providing IT and cloud-based applications access to semantic information directly from the cloud instead of manually getting it from the OT systems

“The UA Cloud Library is the missing link that makes OPC UA information models available in the cloud on a global scale without requiring a connection to physical machines,” said Erich Barnstedt, Chief Architect Standards & Consortia, Microsoft Corporation, and chair of the UA Cloud Library working group. “It enables OPC UA Information Models – used as blueprints for industrial digital twins – to be looked up and matched against time-series machine telemetry data provided by cloud-based analytics software, which is a common requirement in Industrial IoT projects.”

“It was an honor to partner with the OPC Foundation in this strategic initiative,” said John Dyck, CEO of CESMII. “The UA Cloud Library is truly an important step on the journey to Smart Manufacturing Interoperability and will pave the way for dramatic simplification and cost savings for manufacturing systems!”

Stefan Hoppe, President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation, said, “The value of what the OPC Foundation and CESMII joint working group created cannot be overstated because it equips us with the mechanism needed to facilitate access to all known OPC UA information models via an open, global, single-source of truth.” Mr. Hoppe continued, “Beyond the value the UA Cloud Library brings to applications, it will help with global OPC UA information model coordination and harmonization efforts by making it easy to search and cross-reference the latest OPC UA companion specifications in real-time. Finally, the UA Cloud Library will serve a crucial infrastructure role in Smart Manufacturing initiatives that depend on interoperability.”

ExxonMobil Announces Open Process Automation Field Trial

I wrote a piece yesterday about software defined control with a new German company called Software Defined Automation. I mentioned the Open Process Automation Forum in the piece. I have followed the developments of OPAF since its inception. It has made a lot of progress pushing the industry to accept a decoupling of software and hardware for control and automation. This effort is not unlike that undertaken years ago in the IT industry.

This effort was initiated within ExxonMobil, who remains a leader in the effort. You can check my latest updates here and here.

I recently ran across this piece by Harry Forbes, an ARC Advisory Group analyst, where he interviews some people from ExxonMobil.

At the November 2021 NAMUR General Assembly, ExxonMobil announced that they have internally approved progressing a field trial of an Open Process Automation system. The project will be engineered and started up during 2022-23. Previously, ExxonMobil has shared this decision only with the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF), a forum of the Open Group that is developing the related standards and compliance processes. The NAMUR event was the first time ExxonMobil had shared this decision at an industry event.

In discussing with ARC, ExxonMobil emphasized that the O-PAS standard (Rev 2.1) was sufficiently close even if the standard does not address all of the objectives articulated for an Open Process Automation system.

ARC: Explain how the ExxonMobil OPA Proof-of-Concept, OPA prototype, and OPA Test Bed fitted in with this ExxonMobil qualification process.

ExxonMobil: The Proof-of-Concept work demonstrated the art of the possible as well as began the process of understanding the important requirements for products fulfilling the roles in the OPA Architecture. The Prototype project continued to push the usage of the open, standards-based technologies and further refined the feature requirements and implementation methods along with testing industrial product usage in these new ways. The Test Bed serves as a return to more basic R&D in the beginning, progressing to qualification of candidate technologies and products in preparation for the Field Trial project in the later stages.

The Prototype system was capable of being operated and beneficial to the Operators running a pilot unit and supportable (in the short term) by our R&D partners in that project yet was not a complete solution for a system that would be fielded for years of service. The Test Bed completes the supportable technology set and provides confidence that the system can be successful in the Field Trial, as this requires components and integration that meet the ExxonMobil quality and performance requirements for an automation system.

Software Defined Control Architecture

A couple of years ago, I was amazed to discover a conversation in Germany regarding PC-based control versus “old, proprietary PLCs”. Seeing that the conversation was in Germany, I assumed the “old” one to be Siemens and the new one was relative to CODESYS and companies such as Wago and perhaps Beckhoff. Then I just saw a conversation on LinkedIn where an American magazine evidently re-ran an old programmable automation controller (PAC) versus programmable logic controller (PLC). In both cases, the “old” PLC vendor rendered much of the argument moot by adopting PC-based technologies into their products.

The Open Process Automation Forum opened a new branch to the argument with the push for Software Defined Control Architecture. This is interesting. OPAF has progressed through definitions and standards—more on that in my next post. For this post, I’m reporting some news from, well, Germany, about an advance by a new company called Software Defined Automation. I wonder where this will lead us. It will be interesting. I have yet to see anything push Siemens and Rockwell off their thrones on the factory side or Emerson/Honeywell/Yokogawa/ABB on the process side. But, you never know. 

Munich-Based Software Defined Automation (SDA) and VMware Implement Real-Time Virtual Programmable Logic Controllers (vPLCs)

The execution of deterministic real-time control on virtualized edge servers in combination with a comprehensive vPLC management interface in the cloud is aimed to be a unique solution, enabling customers to improve productivity, utilization, and security while at the same time gain independence from vendor-specific hardware and silicon.

The SDA solution will help improve industrial automation with the full virtualization of PLC controls on the VMware Edge Compute Stack that supports virtual machines (VM) and containers running on conventional IT servers at the edge. The real-time control on a VM will commission, monitor and manage vPLC instances on servers located in factories. The virtual real-time controllers, which will be installed and managed by SDA at the edge, have already been shown to achieve deterministic control cycle times of <10ms.

Many recent innovations developed by the IT industry have not been adopted in the area of PLCs. Traditional PLC implementations in hardware are costly and lack scalability. Since the emergence of the standard IEC 61131-3 in the 1980s, PLC technology has advanced very gradually. Current trends improve the PLC’s memory and processing power while shrinking their size. Yet, the technology still relies on on-site monitored and individually programmed PLCs that must be taken out of operation in order to change the code – leading to operational downtime and reliability risks. This common practice is due to the lack of alternative technologies and tools that could reduce the software limitations of PLCs and free them from the need to being manually managed on-site by automation engineers.

Virtual machines and containers transform hardware systems into software systems, in which all elements run on local off-the-shelf IT infrastructure. The VMware Edge Compute Stack in combination with SDA’s vPLC management and monitoring services will enable improved security, reliability and resilience while allowing for intelligent and deterministic real-time responsiveness.

The vPLC solution aims to bring the benefits of cloud systems to the shopfloor, increase resilience and security, while preserving real-time capabilities.

The solution is based on a hybrid architecture between a cloud system and an industrial workload on the edge. The hardware resources located at the edge will be efficiently used with VMware’s Edge Compute Stack, which manages the resources according to each vPLC’s needs. SDA is working on extending this technology stack with a management system for fully virtualized PLCs based on CodeSys technology to incorporate the industrial control layer as a software. The management system will simultaneously hold virtual PLC twins in the cloud.

The offering can then help to generate value for all sorts of industry processes controlled by PLCs. Software-based PLC implementations will end up being more flexible, simplifying the delivery logistics and reducing software commissioning time. The vPLC’s runtime at the edge can be updated over the cloud via the SDA management console. vPLCs will be handled as IT workloads and state-of-the-art IT best practices are applied to bolster automation IT security. Furthermore, the integrated monitoring service ensures that allowed vPLC response time thresholds are not exceeded. 

Dr. Josef Waltl, CEO and co-founder of SDA, stated, “Today’s technological advances in software and cloud computing allow management of real-time control systems in a pure software fashion. The SDA vPLC service is able to meet sub 10ms performance, required for the many of industrial applications currently controlled by conventional PLCs.” 

Muneyb Minhazuddin, vice president of edge computing, VMware, notes, “The pandemic has shown how vulnerable manufacturers still are at the edge despite having implemented latest industry 4.0 and cloud technologies. It’s the last mile that is still dependent on human intervention and vendor hardware, yet it is a vital part of production process controls that needs to be addressed. Together with SDA, VMware Edge Compute Stack will help manufacturers optimize PLCs in a time of semiconductor shortages, enabling resiliency, flexibility and effectivity at the very heart of their edge operations.”

Phoenix Contact News From SPS Show

Phoenix Contact sent an executive report meant for the SPS show in Nuremberg. I have not heard much from that company for several years. That’s a shame. The company has been active, investing, growing, and pushing technology forward. I’ve summarized the high points from an extensive letter detailing achievements of 2021.

In addition to the situation surrounding the pandemic, the biggest challenges we faced in 2021 were on the material supply side. It started with one of the coldest winters in Texas history. The location experienced system downtimes and significant production outages for key components in plastic manufacturing. Storerooms gradually ran empty along the downstream production chains, resulting in significant malfunctions and additional expenses on the purchasing side in large segments of our industry, in particular in the first six months of the year.

Despite the tense situation on the raw materials markets and challenges related to the pandemic, it currently appears that Phoenix Contact will conclude the 2021 fiscal year with revenue growth of approx. 25 percent, and total revenues of € 2.95 billion. Growth in all of our key regions (Germany, Europe, the Americas and Asia) has been unusually uniform, and is over 20 percent everywhere. The same applies to the business units. This growth is also reflected in the significant growth of our workforce of almost 20,000 employees worldwide. In light of the overall very difficult circumstances, this is an outstanding result.

Phoenix Contact continued to invest and expand during the pandemic totaling around 180 million euros. It said the investment could have been higher except for delivery bottlenecks for machines and plants. These investments focused on further developing the location in Blomberg and China and on expanding production capacities of Phoenix Contact E-Mobility in Poland. Phoenix Contact has also invested in Russia and is now part of Europe’s largest technology park in Skolkovo, with 2.6 million m² of space. Here, industrial companies, research laboratories, start-ups, and a university offer a unique high-tech combination. In addition to investing in systems and buildings, over 10 percent of the total investment was in intangible assets. This percentage will increase in 2022 by more than 25 percent, a disproportionate investment compared to this year. This is a trend that we expect to continue seeing in coming years, as a consequence of increasing digitization.

Sustainability: A challenge and driver of growth

While politicians bicker and posture, companies lead the way toward sustainable growth. “The aspect of sustainability is a top priority in the investments in our new Building 60. However, sustainability is becoming an ever more important focus not only when constructing new buildings, but in many other activities as well, since climate change is one of the most urgent challenges of our time. We have already achieved many milestones on our journey towards sustainable business practices, focusing on our ecological footprint throughout our entire supply chain, as well as the impacts on social factors.”

We continue to work on achieving the goal we have set for ourselves, of global CO2 neutrality throughout the entire company. Currently, we are addressing Scope 1 and Scope 2 within the power supply. Scope 1 deals with our emissions at our locations directly within the company. Scope 2 mainly includes the electricity that we purchase. We are already CO2 neutral in Germany as of the beginning of the year 2021 for Scope 1 and Scope 2, and we have been neutral for both in Europe since July. It should be noted that, in addition to converting to green power by purchasing electricity made from renewable energy, as well as implementing energy-saving measures, we are also investing in global climate protection projects, such as in wind turbine generators in India or in Turkey. In the long-term, we will compensate for these volumes by further increasing our energy efficiency and expanding our own renewable energies.

Sustainability as the engine of the economy

From the standpoint of automation technology, however, the goal of sustainability also represents a tremendous economic opportunity. Extraordinarily high investments will be required in order to provide more people access to more sustainable well-being. All areas of our lives must be electrified, networked, and automated if we want to achieve full electric mobility in all sectors. From regenerative power generation to different stages of energy storage, we need major changes in transportation networks and distribution grids, even down to intelligent secondary substations. Once we have achieved this energy supply, however, we also need to make much better use of energy efficiency potentials and intelligent controllable consumers, such as intelligent home chargers, air heating pumps, or decentralized storage devices. Factories must be digitized, sectors must be linked, and energy must be converted and stored if sustainability is the goal. And electrical and automation technology will be used in all of these areas. We are facing an era that offers an extraordinary potential for growth to our entire industry. Phoenix Contact has begun aligning its entire product and service range towards this goal, with its perspective of an “All Electric Society.” In the dimensions of “electrification, networking, and automation,” we want to provide our customers with specific technologies that facilitate or simplify solutions for an “All Electric Society.” In the electrification area, we offer new products under “Power” such as the intelligent CHARX power supply for high system availability, or the new and modular overvoltage and surge protection device CAPAROC under “Protect.” We deliver each of these products with a clear goal of meeting the grid requirements of the future today. In light of future DC (or direct current) grids, we are already developing network technologies under the point “Electrification” to serve all needs of the market and of customers in this area as well. In the “Networking” area, the first industrial Single Pair Ethernet Switches and associated IP20 and IP6X plugs stand for the next generation of network communication in factory and process automation. These are flanked by special services in the network security area, which delivers not only independent security devices such as our MGuard series, but also benefits all network-based devices as a technological platform.

Future Automation Technology

Through my work with the Germany-based analyst firm IoT Analytics, I’ve been introduced to the German passion for a newer PLC technology. I read this as a reaction to Siemens’ PLC technology. A number of companies have been pushing what they call “PC-based” PLCs. Phoenix Contact is one of them, and I could count Beckhoff Automation, B+R (now ABB), and Wago among the crowd. American companies seem not so impacted by the movement overall. I’ve seen pockets of alternative control technologies over here. What the future holds is up in the air. I think it is possible that the growth of Internet of Things installations could spur growth for the PC-based technology perhaps with Siemens (Europe) and Rockwell Automation (US) still dominant in machine control. We’ll see how it plays. Here is more from Phoenix Contact’s point of view.

Openness and replacing proprietary systems are the keys to success. Phoenix Contact has already been demonstrating the value of openness consistently since 2016 with the PLCnext Technology Ecosystem.

Classic partnerships replaced by communities

Partnerships morphing into ecosystems and communities pop up everywhere. Phoenix Contact contributes to the trend. “Openness also means a new way of thinking about partnerships and collaboration. In order to best utilize available potentials within the industry and drive innovations forward, new opportunities must be created to exchange knowledge and trade in existing software solutions. There are many partnerships with a generally exclusive character in the industry. The idea of bringing together as many experts as possible from the fields of IT and automation in a global network of relationships, thereby providing access to expertise from throughout the entire industry, is a new one. The PLCnext Technology Ecosystem turns exclusivity into openness.”

Phoenix Contact has been promoting networking among international experts in the industry since 2017 with our own website to serve as a central platform of exchange for the PLCnext Community. (  Phoenix Contact revised and further optimized the platform for the Community in November 2021. It offers better functions for digital networking and information. In addition to exchanging ideas and information via established platforms such as GitHub, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn, the PLCnext Community can also network here. This allows users, potential users, and software providers to become part of the global network of relationships between experts in the IT and automation fields in many different ways.

The hardware portfolio of the PLCnext Technology Ecosystem also continues to grow. Controllers are available in various performance classes within the PLCnext Control family – from devices optimized for edge use cases to modules for additional controller functions. PLCnext Extension Modules can be used to expand a PLCnext Control controller to the left. This makes it possible, for instance, to add further Ethernet interfaces or extend the system with Interbus or Profibus. Applications that require functional safety can also be retrofitted with an extension module.

Phoenix Contact Smart Business continues to develop its product portfolio, and will be offering new services in e-mobility and energy management starting in 2022. In the coming year, it will begin by offering a solution for billing charging processes for company electric vehicles in the private sector. The service is developed so that any home charger is taken into consideration, even home power generation with a photovoltaic system. By doing so, this service offers a universal, complete solution to companies and employees that can be used to significantly increase the attractiveness of electric mobility within the company. In addition, companies can achieve significant cost savings compared to charging an electric company car from the public grid, thereby significantly reducing fleet emissions.

Additional news and detail can be found at the Phoenix Contact website.

Quantum Intermediate Representation Alliance for Quantum Computing Development

Let’s mix open source, alliances, collaboration, and the future of computing—quantum—into a new Linux Foundation Alliance. This is more future than 5G and IoT, but this is something we need to pay attention to. It’ll be here before you know it. 

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the new QIR Alliance, a joint effort to establish an intermediate representation with the goal to facilitate interoperability within the quantum ecosystem and provide a representation suitable for current and future heterogenous quantum processors. Founding members include Honeywell, Microsoft, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Quantum Circuits Inc. and Rigetti Computing.  

QIR, or Quantum Intermediate Representation, is based on the popular open source LLVM compiler toolchain. QIR specifies a set of rules for representing quantum programs within the LLVM IR. Examples of QIR applications include using the standard LLVM  infrastructure to write quantum optimizers that operate on QIR and target it to specific hardware backends or linking it with classical high performance libraries for quantum simulation. 

“We expect there to be exciting advances in how classical and quantum computations can interact at the hardware level. The QIR Alliance will provide a single representation that can be used for both today’s restricted capabilities and the more powerful systems of the future,” said Bettina Heim, principal software engineering manager, Microsoft. “This will allow the community to experiment with and develop optimizations and code transformations that work in a variety of use cases.” 

Quantum development SDKs and languages appear and evolve at a fast pace, along with new quantum processors with unique and distinct capabilities from each other. To provide interoperability between new languages and new hardware capabilities and reduce development effort from all parties, it is imperative for the ecosystem to develop and share a forward-looking intermediate representation that works with present and future quantum hardware.

“Quantum technology is still quite nascent but the promise grows every day,” said Seth Newberry, executive director the Joint Development Foundation. “The QIR Alliance is poised to enable the open and technical development necessary to realize these promises. We’re very happy to provide a forum for this work.” 

“The Quantum-Intermediate Representation Alliance, also known as QIRA, is a key piece of the quantum computing ecosystem that enables quantum hardware suppliers and quantum software suppliers to reduce redundant efforts involved in implementing programming languages across quantum computer architectures,” said Alex Chernoguzov, Honeywell Quantum Chief Engineer, Honeywell. 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
“ORNL is thrilled to be a part of the Quantum Intermediate Representation Alliance, which aims to develop a unified LLVM-based intermediate representation for quantum computing. A consistent IR of quantum programs will enable interoperability between quantum applications and hardware devices, making quantum computing more usable to researchers and developers. We look forward to contributing to the QIR specification and the associated compiler toolchain under this partnership,” said Thien Nguyen, Quantum Computer Science Researcher, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Quantum Circuits Inc.
At QCI, we are very pleased to be participating in the QIR Alliance. The QIR approach represents a revolutionary advance in the representation of quantum circuits, enabling users to take full advantage of the unique capabilities of quantum computing systems across a variety of different hardware platforms,” said Tom Lubinski, Chief Software Architect of Quantum Circuits Inc. 

“Rigett has pioneered hybrid system architectures that are quickly becoming the predominant approach for cloud-based quantum computing” said David Rivas, SVP Systems & Services at Rigetti Computing. “The QIR Alliance is focusing on precisely the interface between quantum and classical compute, enabling rapid advances in quantum programming  language design and execution systems. We’re thrilled to be working closely with this community to design the necessary compiler technology and develop implementations for Rigetti hardware.”

About Joint Development Foundation
Launched in 2015, the Joint Development Foundation (the Joint Development Foundation) is an independent non-profit organization that provides the corporate and legal infrastructure to enable groups to quickly establish and operate standards and source code development collaborations. More information about the Joint Development Foundation is available at

About the Linux Foundation
Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more.  The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration..