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Why Extensibility is Important for Energy Management Software

(Joseph Gottlieb, CTO, Thursday February 20th, 2020)

In my job as CTO for Rhombus Energy Solutions, a key responsibility is to help identify and define technologies and approaches that can bring our customers value. While our business is primarily hardware-oriented, software and firmware are just as important – they manifest themselves at many levels in our products and solutions. Regardless of where it resides, one thing we strive for in all of our software and firmware is extensibility. Software that lacks extensibility tends to quickly become obsolete since it cannot be adapted to new circumstances, such as changes in the features that are required or interfaces to new hardware or other software.

Though there are a lot articles on extensibility (check out this Google search), most experts agree that a well-defined and transparent software architecture is one of the most important keys to extensibility. Of course, extensibility has to be balanced against security and reliability. Allowing “base” software to be modified by all users can make it simple to adapt that software to each users’ needs, but it can also break interoperability and leave a gaping hole for security exploits to utilize. Providing a robust set of public interfaces for modules to interface with the base system so that it can be extended to support new business goals and deployment scenarios is one of the most robust methods to achieve extensibility without completely “opening up” the underlying software to security and interoperability issues. When combined with a well-defined and managed set of data structures, this approach can simplify the addition of new features and capabilities, including third-party or open-source software.

As a leader in the development and manufacturing of bi-directional, high-power energy systems and EMS software, Rhombus is dedicated to helping our customers minimize their energy costs, whether running a fleet charging infrastructure, an energy storage solution, or a microgrid. Our VectorStat® EMS software is a critical part of this equation. Like all of our software, we provide a high degree of extensibility, while utilizing security “best practices”. VectorStat utilizes an applet-based open architecture with robust and clearly-defined data structures and APIs that enables the simple integration of new features and functionality, whether to support new hardware or to provide cutting-edge data analytics capabilities. Find out how we can help you by contacting us at sales@rhombusenergy.com.

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