MotivationIn many complex systems, a wide range of different devices, often from several manufacturers, are installed. Controlling and monitoring these devices from a central point is a challenge. Even if a device is capable of being controlled remotely via a network, there is still the problem of the many different control protocols used in a heterogenous system. Such control protocols are usually very domain-specific and often even manufacturer-specific. A central control center would have to support all protocols present in the system, which is expensive in both implementation and maintenance.
The Generic Device Control Protocol is intended to remedy this situation by means of a uniform protocol for as wide a range of devices as possible.
ServicesGDCP® uses the concept of services to abstract from the physical (or virtual) devices that participate in the network. Each service is identified within the network by a unique name. Services can be discovered automatically by clients, minimizing configuration requirements.
Tree StructureThe main idea of GDCP® is to represent the state and functions of a device as a tree structure that reflects the device's functionality. Each node in a GDCP® tree is identified by a URI unique within the network.
Every value of the device's internal state that should be accessible from the outside is represented by a leaf in the tree. Other devices can access and manipulate these values. When a client changes a value in the tree, the device updates its internal state accordingly.