Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMB) is a framework and reference architecture comprised of existing standards that enables grid edge interoperability and distributed intelligence, augments operational systems, and enhances integration with field devices.

The grid of the future will require treating data differently; leveraging metadata and performing analysis locally to process the mountain of new data available from new technologies. Traditional headend systems, illustrated on the left below, have relied on relatively few sources of field information. New asset classes on the grid (AMI, smart inverters, PMUs, etc.) have added large amounts of data that can quickly and accurately describe the state of the power system. Traditional headend systems were not designed to process this increased volume of information as quickly as is needed to react to current operational scenarios and fully realize the benefits of these new grid edge assets.

Information no longer needs to go to the central system to enable decision making. Federated local data can be made securely available between assets at the grid edge to complement and enhance operations. OpenFMB nodes, shown as blue hexagons on the right of the figure below, host applications that analyze information to develop a higher resolution of situational awareness, and provide the ability to affect local control in coordination with other operational decision making.

OpenFMB Before/After

Figure 1: Traditional system (left) and OpenFMB system (right)

OpenFMB provides the ability to leverage new along with existing grid assets to ensure that the future power system is more resilient, reliable, safe, secure, and cost effective than traditional approaches. The OpenFMB reference architecture offers best practices and a variety of solution options that a utility service provider can draw upon in defining its specific OpenFMB implementation. Together, the business oriented framework approach and reference architecture support a utility service provider’s procurement process.

Guiding Principles

Based on operational and functional requirements

  • Business-driven top-down approach to drive use cases and requirements
  • Requirements determine and refine scope and success parameters
  • Features added only when requirements demand them

Agile and evolving architecture

  • Allows for a flexible set of solutions to accommodate a utility service provider’s asset mix
  • Compatible with multiple data models, communication protocols, and technologies as they evolve
  • Support multiple methods of telecommunication and integration
  • Leverage existing standards to federate data between field devices and harmonize them with centralized systems
  • Open, observable, and auditable interfaces at multiple scales for interoperability

No reinventing the wheel

  • Use existing standards, architecture patterns, and requirements where possible
  • Be consistent with other industry IoT solutions, such as Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) activities
  • Faster time to market

Focus on business value and objectives

  • Add features with most impactful business value first
  • Scale operations independently, without a system-wide rollout
  • Accelerate ability to stack operational benefits
  • Foster innovative products and services

Collaborate with standards bodies

  • Coordinate with the NAESB, IEC, and other relevant SDOs as required
  • Minimize or eliminate duplication of effort and scope
  • Coordination takes time and effort but brings benefits

No stranded resources

  • Consider topology and needs of the existing environment
  • Use of existing resources and ability to add new functionality without “rip and replace” is a key success criteria
  • Support integration of renewables and storage with the existing grid
  • Flexibility, scalability, and backward-compatibility are critical
  • Modify solutions as necessary to address the existing environment

Security built-in from the beginning

  • Security is a functional and operational requirement
  • Resiliency is increased when portions of the grid are segmented
  • Applications run in the field autonomously and require secure, reliable operation
  • Solution must be reliable and trustworthy

Framework and Architecture

The OpenFMB framework consists of a top-down approach moving from business case to use case, data modeling (UML and XSD/IDL), and then implementation approaches (apps/adapters, test/field and maintenance). The reference architecture includes operational, management services, and security best practices.

OpenFMB Framework Lifecycle

Figure 2: Framework Lifecycle

OpenFMB nodes are the deployment unit, and range in form from virtual software environments to a variety of physical hardware based options. The following diagram illustrates representative operational interactions between OpenFMB nodes, shown in yellow. Applications providing services, native controllers for their related field equipment, adapters to existing field controllers and their related equipment, and adapters to other systems such as central systems are shown in blue. In green are field equipment related to their native controllers as well as existing systems such as existing field controllers and their related equipment and other existing systems such as central systems.

Shown in red are Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) publish-subscribe middleware instances that provides authorized communications within a node without messages leaving the node as well as authorized communications between nodes. These communications utilize data profiles based on existing standards, such as IEC’s Common Information Model (CIM), for the semantic data model as developed through the framework approach. In this way, OpenFMB deployments can be scaled independently to meet specific needs without a system-wide rollout. For resiliency, peer-to-peer publish-subscribe protocols are commonly used.

OpenFMB Nodes

Figure 3: OpenFMB Node Architecture

History and Accomplishments

In March 2015, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) formally kicked-off its OpenFMB effort to foster field interoperability drawing upon Duke Energy’s previous Coalition of the Willing I and Distributed Intelligence Platform work. By the 2015 SGIP Annual Conference in November, three microgrid use cases had been developed and demonstrated: optimization, unscheduled islanding, and grid reconnection.

In February 2016, the first OpenFMB reference implementation, utilizing SGIP’s microgrid use cases at Duke Energy’s Mount Holly microgrid test center, was demonstrated at the 2016 DistribuTECH Conference by Duke Energy’s Coalition of the Willing II (COW-II) vendor partners. To advance interoperability among established and new technologies, the demonstration highlighted multiple technology options from 25 vendors with at least two independently developed implementations of each function.

For the annual SGIP Grid Modernization Summit in November 2016 the SGIP OpenFMB task force published a series of related foundational use cases that center on Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Circuit Segment Management for the active coordination of power systems equipment to DER, including a microgrid.

OpenFMB Nodes

Figure 4: Example DER Circuit Segment Management Reference Implementation at Duke Energy

The DER Circuit Segment Management and other OpenFMB use cases listed below are planned to be implemented as pilot projects by several utilities.

  • DER Circuit Segment Management
    • Primary Scenario: Voltage, Frequency, Power Factor Support
      • DER Point of Interconnection (POI) Coordination
      • Point of Common Coupling (PCC) Coordination with Microgrid Use Cases
    • Secondary Extensions
      • Solar Smoothing: Reduce Circuit Segment Volatility
      • Volt-VAr Management: Power Factor Optimization
      • Peak Demand: Shaving/Shifting
    • Tertiary Extensions
      • Distribution Transfer-Trip
      • Anti-Islanding: Inadvertent Island Detection
  • Circuit Segment Optimization (Connected Segment or Islanded Microgrid)
    • Markets, Weather, Dispatch/Load Forecasts
  • Microgrid Unscheduled Islanding (Grid-to-Island)
  • Microgrid Reconnection (Island-to-Grid)


OpenFMB was ratified by the North American Energy Standards Board on March 7, 2016.

The North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) established a Retail Markets Quadrant Task Force, RMQ.26, to develop the OpenFMB framework and reference architecture document in parallel with SGIP’s OpenFMB effort. SGIP appointed a liaison to the task force so that the framework and reference architecture reflects the experiences and lessons from the initial business case, use case, data modeling, implementation, and SGIP Annual Conference interoperability demonstration activities.

OpenFMB was ratified by the North American Energy Standards Board on March 7, 2016. The official release is NAESB RMQ.26 Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMB) Model Business Practices. It is part of the version 3.1 bundle of all their standards released at the end of March.

Obtaining a Copy

Utilities and other members of NAESB have access to NAESB RMQ.26 OpenFMB. The lower center of has a link "NAESB Copyright Policy & Access & Use of NAESB Standards” which goes to a page with a link in the middle center “NAESB Copyright Policy and Companies with Access to NAESB Standards Under the Copyright Policy” that lists entities with access to RMQ.26 OpenFMB. Ask your entity’s NAESB representative for access to RMQ.26 OpenFMB.

For non-members of NAESB the upper left of has a link "Order Materials" In particular, fill-in the bottom line of the Retail section of the document by specifying RMQ.26 OpenFMB



Conference Media

Trademark Guidelines

These guidelines describe the proper use of the OpenFMB™ trademark, which is owned by SGIP 2.0, Inc. (“SGIP”). SGIP is currently developing certification standards and procedures for OpenFMB™. This document describes the correct usage of the OpenFMBTM trademark. Please see “Guidelines for use of OpenFMB™ Trademark” for information.

Use Cases

Based on Phase 2 UML

Based on Phase 1 UML

Reference Implementations

Duke Energy’s Mt. Holly Site - Interoperability


Getting Involved

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) hosts general OpenFMB meetings and specialized task force meetings for topics such as use cases and cybersecurity. These meetings are where SGIP members including utilities, vendors, academic institutions, government agencies, and others come together to advance OpenFMB. These efforts have produced OpenFMB use cases, demonstrations, and other materials. Learn more about how to participate and join the SGIP.

In addition, the OpenFMB software web page and GitHub site provide a simulation and sample code especially for utilities and others to quickly start with OpenFMB. Read the wikis, clone or fork a repository, and get started.


Past Events

  • DistribuTECH 2017

    January 31 – February 2, 2017
    OpenFMB technical presentations

  • SGIP Grid Modernization Summit

    November 7 – 10, 2016
    OpenFMB Expo, presentation, and working session

  • DistribuTECH 2016

    February 9 – 11, 2016
    OpenFMB booths, live demonstration, and technical presentations

  • SGIP Annual Meeting

    November 3 – 5, 2015
    OpenFMB Expo, presentations, and working session


OpenFMB code repositories hosted on GitHub — a code repository, workflow and hosting site allowing developers to pull code and provide updates with approval. These repositories are intended to provide Utilities and Vendors with reproducible OpenFMB demonstrations using AMQP, DDS, and MQTT. The forward path will include core projects that can be used as a developers kit for OpenFMB.

  • All Repositories

    Review the current use cases and data models. Learn about device simulators for customer loads, solar, ESS and others. Learn about the device adapters such as DNP3, Modbus, and others.

  • DistribuTECH 2016 Demo

    Microgrid Demo of OpenFMB presented at DistribuTECH 2016. It has instructions for setting up the demo, leveraging several of the repositories that show the basic concepts of OpenFMB.