ByteSnap Participates In 1st Ever Remote OCPP 1.6 PlugFest
ByteSnap’s engineering flexibility pays off at 1st ever remote OCPP 1.6 PlugFest
OCPP 1.6 PlugFest is a testing symposium organised by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA). This is where different companies who’ve built their own OCPP clients or servers – which correspond to charge points or central systems respectively – can test against each other to ensure their implementation of OCPP 1.6 works correctly.
PlugFest is usually held a few times a year at locations in Europe, the US, and in Asia.
In the past, a few participants, including ByteSnap, have attended the EV charging symposium remotely from their company sites. However, due to the recent pandemic, this latest event was the first-ever fully remote PlugFest; no local connections – all via the internet.
This latest PlugFest was held over 48 hours to allow EV development teams from around the world to connect and book test slots in their own time zones. This 48-hour period was split into test slots of two hours with occasional breaks. Time slots within European working hours were the most popular, while fewer companies chose to test during American or Asian working hours.
As many as 98 teams from 29 different countries took part in the July 2020 PlugFest.
What ByteSnap Did:
ByteSnap’s engineers had two entries in the July 2020 OCPP 1.6 PlugFest; the Charge Point, (also tested at previous PlugFests) and the Local Controller.
Our team aimed to check that their interpretation of the OCPP spec worked with all the other companies (in the true spirit of PlugFest!).
The appearance of ByteSnap’s Local Controller was something of a special case at PlugFest. The Local Controller sits in between the charge point in the charge system, effectively relaying messages back and forth.
It’s rare to see Local Controllers at PlugFest, so presented an ideal opportunity for our team to join a couple of other companies at the symposium and relay messages via the Local Controller.
On the whole, testing was focussed on OCPP 1.6.
As well as testing the local controller, it was great for ByteSnap’s engineers to be able to test the charge point implementation fully. Our team, thankfully, didn’t encounter any time-sapping network issues on the average charge point side, as that can slow testing down (you could spend, say, half an hour trying to connect with your partner testing company if you encounter network problems).
ByteSnap’s team found a few bugs, which is always useful ! It was also helpful to test against other companies, ironing out system kinks and semantic differences. PlugFest creates a valuable space where engineering teams can examine a spec together and discuss how it should be interpreted.
And there’s no better final answer on OCPP than from the OCA themselves! Their experts are on hand throughout PlugFest to handle any queries.
Historically, PlugFest has always been a useful platform for identifying issues with OCPP code and implementation, in order to address them before release.
In addition, having the OCA so readily available to answer questions is an opportunity which is difficult to find elsewhere.
ByteSnap’s biggest strength at PlugFest was its flexibility. Our engineers were able adapt to what was happening during testing and respond quickly to real-time issues, such as concerns around network connections.
As a result of being able to test flexibly and quickly adapt to test conditions, ByteSnap were able to fully maximise the precious test slots at PlugFest.
A Totally Remote PlugFest – Did It Really Work?:
Actually – yes.
There were odd points in the testing where there were too many charging systems, and not enough charge points. To help mitigate this and keep things flexible, the OCA ran a Slack channel where teams could alert each other when they were free for testing.
Our engineers felt it went very well – so, kudos to the Open Charge Alliance, on their first fully remote OCPP 1.6 PlugFest!
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