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Glossary of IoT building automation and its systems

No other industry uses as many technical terms as in IT / ITK. What terms are used regularly in IT / ITK and what do they mean? Is there a special IoT vocabulary that you should know and need for a good understanding? We have compiled a list of the most important technical terms and explain their meaning.

Glossary of IoT terms for building automation


  1. adaptiv
    Easy to adopt in case of changes or enhancements
    German: adaptive
  2. agil
    Kind of working in an short period fashion
    German: agile
  3. Ambient Assisted Living (AAL)
  4. Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)
    Application Centric Infrastructure
  5. Application Programming Interface (API)
    An interface for developers
  6. Automatisierung
    Fully automatic handling instead of error prone human handling
    German: automation
  7. Betriebliches Kontinuitätsmanagement (BKM)
    Concept to avoid operational disruptions or total failures
    Siehe auch: Emergency Revovery
    German: Business Continuity Management (BCM)
  8. Black-Box
    A part of an application, which does work in an unknown fassion
    German: black box
  9. Building Automation and Control Networks (BACnet)
  10. Cluster
    An interacting group of systems
  11. Constrained Application Protocol
    Constrained Application Protocol
    The Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is a specialized web transfer protocol for use with constrained nodes and constrained networks in the Internet of Things. The protocol is designed for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications such as smart energy and building automation.
    German: Constrained Application Protocol ()
  12. Consumer Electronics Control (CEC)
    Consumer Electronics Control
  13. Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus (CAN-Bus)
    CAN Bus - high quality technology for industry & production
    A system integrations at the highest level are possible with CAN Bus. That is why the Controller Area Network is considered the de facto standard in industrial companies in various industries. In the automotive industry in particular, the numerous functions and possibilities of this fieldbus system are used. Rightly so: CAN Bus is a very powerful system that guarantees fast data exchange, easy use and low costs.
    With such its possible to capture measurement data flexibly, control digital inputs and outputs, flexibly expand systems, internal error management, design production processes sustainably - all this and much more can be implemented quickly and easily with CAN Bus.
    German: Controller Area Network (CAN) bus (CAN bus)
  14. Deep Learning (DL)
    Deep Learning
    Siehe auch:
  15. dezentral
    When services or functionality is locally provided
    German: decentalised
  16. Digitalisierung
    Providing a digital sibling for all real objects
    German: digitizion
  17. Do it yourself (DIY)
    A synonym for technical experienced makers.
  18. Edge
    A special way of data processing at the edge of the company.
  19. Emergency recovery
    A digital disaster recovery technique
    Typically after a widespread virus attack, a successful attack by a crypto Trojan horse or a cyber attack. It is assumed that all digital systems have to be completely rebuilt.
  20. ETS
    ETS is the programming software for KNX / EIB system
    KNX ETS Software
  21. Event Driven Architecture (EDA)
    Event Driven Architecture
  22. Event-Bus
    A kind (loosely coupled) communication by messages between components
    German: EventBus
  23. Fern UV-C
    Fern UV-C
    German: Far UV-C
  24. Gebäudemanagementsystem (GMS)
    Building management system (BMS)
    German: Building management system (BMS)
  25. Grid
    An interacting group of systems
  26. Heizkreislauf Verstellung
    German: HKV (Heizkreislauf verstellung)
    German:  ()
  27. Home Energy Management System (HEMS)
    Home Energy Management System
  28. Human Centric Lightning (HCL)
    Generic term for lighting adapted to human needs (bright white light in the morning, warm light dimmed in the evening)
  29. Informations- und Kommunikationstechnik (ITK)
    An abroviation for IT and communication. Mostly prefered in producing environments
    German: open (ITC)
  30. Informationstechnik (IT)
    A term for all kind of systems and components which are used for information and data handling
    German: information technolgy (IT)
  31. Infrastruktur Repository (ISR)
    A central datastore, where the setting is been stored for all kind of systems and components
    German: infrastructure repository (ISR)
  32. International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
    International Electrotechnical Commission is a standard for ...
  33. Internet of Things (IoT)
    A term for all kind of systems and machines which are communicating between the internet
  34. Interoperabilität
    German: interoperability
  35. ISO 12913
    Standard for determining acoustic well-being in restaurants
    Part 1Part 2Part 3
  36. KNX® (KNX)
    KNX® is a (worldwide & free) standard system, which is used to interconnect specific smart home devices
    KNX brings together over 400 brands and thus offers everything to install automation systems completely independently of the manufacturer. The approx. 7000 certified IoT develop can be individually combined and thus tailored precisely to the requirements of the users. Once installed, the various components and systems can be realigned and expanded at any time.
    Last but not least, KNX systems are characterized by a high level of convenience and have been proven to reduce operating and energy costs.

    See also: KNX Association
  37. Legacy
    A legacy software ore system is a older / longer used software or system
  38. Level of Control
    Level of automation
    There are 5 levels auf automation:
    • Level 1: Remote Control
    • Level 2: Programmed Sequences (Macros)
    • Level 3: Conditional Control
    • Level 4: Interactive
    • Level 5: Self-learning
  39. Lichtwellenleiter (LWL)
    Optical fiber
    German: Optical Fiber (LWL)
  40. Lock-in
    vendor lock-in
  41. lose Kopplung
    When software components are coupled by just exchanging messages and events
    Instead of a "hard" software link between components.
    German: loose coupling
  42. Maschinelles Learnen (ML)
    Machine Learning
    See also: , and
    German: Machine Learning (ML)
  43. monolitisch
    Single and locally operating system
    German: monolithic
  44. MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT)
    MQTT is an open OASIS and ISO standard for interconnecting devices via publish-subscribe
    MQTT: What is QoS (Quality Of Service)? The Quality of Service (QoS) level is an agreement between the sender of a message and the receiver of a message that defines the guarantee of delivery for a specific message. There are 3 QoS levels in MQTT: QoS 0 (at most once): This service level guarantees a best-effort delivery. There is no guarantee of delivery. QoS 1 (at least once): This service level guarantees that a message is delivered at least one time (> 1) to the receiver. QoS 2 (exactly once): This level guarantees that each message is received only once by the intended recipients. QoS 2 is the safest and slowest quality of service level. MQTT: What is the Retain Flag? A retained message is a normal MQTT message with the retained flag set to true. The broker stores the last retained message and the corresponding QoS for that topic. Each client that subscribes to a topic pattern that matches the topic of the retained message receives the retained message immediately after they subscribe. The broker stores only one retained message per topic. MQTT: What is the Client ID? The client identifier (ClientId) identifies each MQTT client that connects to an MQTT broker. The broker uses the ClientID to identify the client and the current state of the client. Therefore, this ID should be unique per client and broker. MQTT: What is the Clean Session flag? The clean session flag tells the broker whether the client wants to establish a persistent session or not. In a persistent session (CleanSession = false), the broker stores all subscriptions for the client and all missed messages for the client that subscribed with a Quality of Service (QoS) level 1 or 2. If the session is not persistent (CleanSession = true), the broker does not store anything for the client and purges all information from any previous persistent session. MQTT: What is the Last Will and Testament (LWT)? In MQTT, you use the Last Will and Testament (LWT) feature to notify other clients about an ungracefully disconnected client. Each client can specify its last will message when it connects to a broker. The last will message is a normal MQTT message with a topic, retained message flag, QoS, and payload. The broker stores the message until it detects that the client has disconnected ungracefully. In response to the ungraceful disconnect, the broker sends the last-will message to all subscribed clients of the last-will message topic. MQTT: Where is my LWT topic? The LWT messages will always be sent to (prefix)/(domainName)/(machineName)/lwt topic
  45. Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)
    Multiprotocol Label Switching
  46. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
    A form of AI for understanding text (spoken or spoken)
    Deals with understanding natural language. And is made up of the two subcategories Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Natural Language Generation (NLG).
    See also: , and
  47. Netzzugangskontrolle
    Network access control
    German: Network access control ()
  48. Neural Processing Unit (NPU)
    Neural Processing Unit
    Siehe auch:
  49. Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control (OPC)
    OPC Standard
  50. Observability
  51. offen
    An interface or program which can be used and enriched by everybody
    German: open
  52. Operational Technology (OT)
    Operational Technology
    Wikipedia Focepoint
  53. Privileged Access Management  (PAM)
    Privileged Access Management
  54. Product Data Management (PDM)
    Product Data Management
    Product Data Management
  55. Profinet
  56. proprietär
    Vendor dependent lock instead of an open and standardized technology or system
    German: proprietary
  57. Publish/Subscribe
  58. Redundanz
    German: redundancy
  59. Reihenklemmen
    A terminal block is an electric mounting point, for cable installation purpose
    German: terminal blocks
  60. Reinforcement Learning (RL)
    Reinforcement Learning
    See also: , und
  61. Representational State Transfer (REST)
    A de facto standard for using IT-services over HTTP/HTTPS
  62. Residual Current Device (RCD)
    Residual Current Device
  63. Retrofit
  64. Sanitär / Heizung / Klima (SHK)
    SHK is a German term for the crafts of plumbing, heating and air conditioning
    (german: Sanitär / Heizung / Klima). Whereas HVEC (heating / ventilation / air conditioning) is more common in Enlish speaking.
    German: plumbing, heating and air conditioning (SHK)
  65. Schichten
    Applications and their data flow are divided into different technical horizontal parts
    German: layer
  66. Service-Level-Agreement (SLA)
    Service-Level-Agreement (SLA)
    Service-Level-Agreement (SLA)
  67. Single Board Computer (SBC)
    Single board computer
  68. Smart Cluster
    A group of loosely coupled modules, which are working like on intelligent piece
  69. Smart Grid
    A connected group of mostly electrical components which can be easily reoganized
  70. Software Defined Networks (SDN)
    Software Defined Networks (SDN)
  71. Speicherprogrammierbare Steuerung (SPS)
    A programmable logic controller
    German: programmable logic controller (PLC)
  72. Standard
    A clearly defined and adoptable kind of interface
  73. Stellantrieb
    German: actuator
  74. System
    A term for IT components which are providing some kind of service
  75. System Engineering (SE)
    System Engineering
  76. Transparenz
    Full overview of the IT landscape an all its ongoing services and data
    German: transparency
  77. universal machine technology interface (umapi)
    Adaption of OPC UA standard as a brand of the mechanical engineering associations VDMA and VDW
    German: umapi (umapi)
  78. Zigbee Light Link (ZLL)
    A Zigbee 2.x profile for the light control
  79. Zigbee®
    Zigbee® is an wireless protocol standard, which is used to interconnect specific smart home devices
    Many wireless network systems in buildings are based on the ZigBee standard. And not by chance: ZigBee is one of the best-known standards of radio protocols & IoT adapters for smart buildings, embedded devices and the Internet of Things.
    In addition to the low energy requirement, ZigBee impresses with its high flexibility and simple application. The participating IoT devices manage the network completely independently and communicate using IoT sensors and digital signals.
    See also Philips HUE® and ZLL