xPL is an open protocol intended to permit the control and monitoring of home automation devices. The primary design goal of xPL is to provide a rich set of features and functionality, whilst maintaining an elegant, uncomplicated message structure. The protocol includes complete discovery and auto-configuration capabilities which support a fully “plug-n-play” architecture – essential to ensure a good end-user experience. Personally I consider it to be a UPnP light. Its an opensource project with its own project website where you can find a wiki and support forums.
My xPL stuff
Late 2009 was my first encounter with xPL and I like the open nature of the project, for all I’ve seen in home automation, most (especially the hardware) is proprietary. For every homeautomation control software there are always dozens of hardware types supported but also a lot unsupported,leaving you in the middle. The open nature of xPL provides an abstraction layer over the hardware that makes everything work together.
Since my involvement I’ve been working on these projects;
- xPL SMS sending; an xPL application that takes standard messages and forwards them to a mobile phone through an SMS gateway service
- xPL Updater; an application providing a catalog of vendor published xPL applications and a version comparison of running/installed applications against the latest published versions
- xPLGirder component; a Girder component that connects Girder to the xPL network, combining 2 powerfull home automation tools
- UPnP-2-xPL gateway; allows controlling UPnP devices from an xPL network
- xPLLib for .Net; generic library for xPL enablement of applications in the .Net framework
- xPL Check Package; a package to trouble shoot xPL connection problems, which can be included with an application installer to run at the end of the installation.
- xPL dissector for WireShark; an add-on for the network protocol analyzer package WireShark that allows to scan for xPL messages