Siemens and Microsoft to Converge Digital Twin Definition Language with W3C Thing Description Standard

Author photo: Chantal Polsonetti
ByChantal Polsonetti
Acquisition or Partnership

Collaboration with the W3C working group set to propel the convergence effort, bringing about a unified standard to unlock commercial potential being held back by IoT fragmentation.

As virtual replicas of physical objects, processes, or systems that mirror their real-world counterparts in a digital environment, digital twins enable organizations to monitor, predict, and improve the performance of their assets, enhancing efficiency and reducing costs. Standardizing Digital Twin languages is therefore crucial for interoperability, ensuring seamless communication and integration between different digital twin systems and platforms.

Digital Twin Definition Language

In a collaborative move with the W3C Consortium, Siemens and Microsoft have announced their commitment to converge the Digital Twin Definition Language (DTDL) with the Thing Description standard from international standards organization, W3C.   With customers typically deploying a mix of vendors in their infrastructure leading to lock-in and high integration efforts, this convergence is intended to allow for simpler system integration, interoperability, and consistent modeling experiences, mitigating fragmentation in an evolving IoT landscape.

This move toward standardization is intended to foster collaboration, accelerate innovation, and facilitate the exchange of digital twin models and data.  Siemens already facilitates the emerging W3C Thing Description standard for future products in building management, power distribution and smart grids.   This development extends the interoperability strategy to Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft's Digital Twin Definition Language enables modeling of the physical world with Azure services, while the W3C Thing Description standard provides an interoperable representation of device interfaces and their incorporation of standard industry ontologies. Both languages have revealed many conceptual similarities during the initial stages of convergence.

ARC’s Market Outlook on Industrial Digital Twin Software is available here

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