The CPI Repository, which contains the data requirements, file format specifications, etc. required by various equipment suppliers, has gone through beta testing and Version 1.0 is now open to any registered Supplier for further input and use. Suppliers that are interested in becoming registered with TPI and willing to share their equipment file formats, etc. through the Repository can sign up via the link on the TPI website (https://www.tpinst.org/initiative-crossplatform). The CPI Repository benefits, as stated in an earlier blog post, are that it:
Will provide software developers access to definitive, vendor-provided interface specifications and upcoming changes which would lead to opportunities to better achieve cross-platform capabilities.
Will serve as a vehicle for an equipment manufacturer to notify software developers, via the repository, of equipment changes ahead of release permitting a better chance of achieving or maintaining cross-platform capabilities.
Will allow equipment manufacturers and software developers the ability to research the current status of interface support and adoption.
Will provide opportunities for better coordination between equipment and software developers which will lead to better cross-platform capabilities.
Will provide a step toward achieving cross-platform capabilities needed and desired by customers in a short time frame and will provide a steppingstone and resource for developing universal file format(s) which is a longer-term solution for achieving cross-platform capabilities.
In addition to the Repository, the Workgroup of registered suppliers is working on the longer-term goal of Universal File Formats. A draft concept document describing the units of work that will communicate with equipment using a Uniform Data Standard as its foundation has been created. The Workgroup is now beginning further development and fleshing out of the concept and creating examples of specific file outputs for some of the equipment types such as saws and tables. The current schedule regarding the Universal File Formats development is as follows:
September 2019 - A draft of the fleshed-out concept and file outputs will be available at the beginning of September for review by the Workgroup.
September – December 2019 – Ongoing development and review by the Workgroup.
December 2019 - Begin Alpha testing by year-end of 2019.