Phorio
Real-time data analysis

A networked world needs data that can be compared and exchanged

Through the process of standardization, our lives are made safer, easier, and more practical. As electronic business enters the 21st century, open standards will fuel the Internet, further speeding up the pace of the Global economy. With IT environments growing increasingly heterogeneous, open standards create a common framework that allows individuals and companies to improve integration, build portable applications, and simplify the task of changing and updating a system. Today more than ever, we need open industry standards to build and integrate the new generation of applications electronic business requires.

Phorio Standards are driving the development and adoption of cross-platform industry standards for practical use in the field of built objects, real estate and buildings. From our extensive experience to our development efforts and involvement with leading standard organizations and content providers, Phorio Standards demonstrate our belief that electronic business is all about "cooperating on standards and competing on implementation".

Meaningful and useful concepts are needed

Interoperability is an absolute necessity in the Information Technology (IT) Industry today. The ability of IT equipment to work together and communicate with each other is expected and demanded by customers. Standards activities in the IT Industry continue to grow and will be an important catalyst to future growth, development and customer satisfaction.

One result is the rapid development of interoperability specifications and market formation standards which help drive the acceptance of technology in the marketplace. While the cost of technology continues to decrease and functionality grows geometrically, it is the application of the technology in the marketplace that helps drive many of the new standards. Add to that the internet and short product cycles which contribute to the need to be the first in the marketplace and you have begun to describe the competitive IT environment in which standards must evolve.

The proliferation of standards activities results in more involvement on a global basis than at any other time in our history. There are many different types of standards and regulations and over the years the number of venues that have been created to generate the specifications/standards and regulations has grown substantially. While new information technologies such as linked data and the semantic web are evolving rapidly, uncertainty on how to get practical benefits from such developments is rising.

Data standards applied to buildings
Meta data about many different kinds of structures are coordinated (photo 492-021-099 by Nate Lindsey)

The data has to come to the user, not vice versa

Phorio believes that the natural evolution of the internet will inevitably erode the compartmentalization of data. People are talking more and more about a "semantic web" where human knowledge will be highly organized. Many economic models show the increased benefits of linked data, and major developments along these lines will happen within the next years.

However, there are still major problems that have not been solved yet.

The Top 10 obstacles to exchanging data over web services:

  1. Unwillingness of people to share data;
  2. Uncertainty over which provided data will be shared with others, if any;
  3. Concerns about data privacy;
  4. Lack of options to define licensing or payment options for passed data;
  5. Identification of objects across different IT systems is not possible;
  6. Insurance of data quality in terms of trustworthiness, precision, and accuracy;
  7. Management of timeliness and validity for data across spans of time;
  8. Concerns about the regional reach of a definition or data field;
  9. Incomparability of data entered by people with different understandings of a meaning;
  10. Misunderstandings between speakers of different languages;
  11. ...

Overcoming these obstacles will require a combination of steps toward a broadly workable solution.

A path to open data interoperability

A common problem with interoperability is that anyone may have his/her own pre-formed understanding of something. At the moment when a user tries to evaluate an information object automatically against other objects, especially beyond his own database or domain, a wide array of problems can occur including a mismatch, a misinterpretation, a total failure to coordinate, or even worse, delivering wrong results back.

In our belief, there are three key ingredients needed that can make automated information interoperability work:

  • Define the meaning of an object

    First, users must be capable of defining (widely accepted) constant definitions for their own information objects and parameters, if desired. The more guesswork someone has to do, the more error-prone the result will be. Users of Phorio Standards can create their own meanings (even differing from existing codes) and express them as variable definitions.

  • Define what to do with an object

    Second, users must be capable of defining reaction masks for compound codes they are supporting. A reaction mask shows how the information object should be understood (and it includes the standards it will transform to). The more users define for a certain compound, the stronger its own meaning will be, and the more practical its reactions with objects will be.

  • Perform an action with an object

    Third, users need a way to exchange information independently of the operating system, application, or data format they use. Relevant tasks needed for the actual exchange of data will be executed using the APIs which relies on definitions and processes of Phorio Standards.

An object may be any relevant real world object including associated meta data.

Vendor-independent implementation

Phorio does not foster the technical support for a specific vendor or meaning of information, and it tries to remain neutral and open-minded. That's why Phorio Standards provides a framework for handling different implementations of meanings of data in order to better coordinate them. The definitions, processes, and web services provided are open and available for free -- and will stay like this.

The basic functionality of the APIs and Passcoding will remain free of charge. Registered users can utilize extended features of these services which are available on a a pay-per-use basis, depending on the amount and depth of use.

Data standards applied to buildings
Illustration showing how data definitions are applied

Our mission - supporting the Internet of Things (IOT)
Phorio is providing a data exchange platform to manage information assets such as buildings. Users can submit and retrieve data manually using editorial tools or use a variety of web services to automatically coordinate and exchange information through open interfaces.

Frequently asked questions