Wireless Applications

Tendril Launches Next-Generation Network Operating Platform

April 3, 2007

The improved and expanded version of the platform simplifies building, deploying, and managing Zigbee applications and will be complemented by a series of soon-to-be released application modules that support specific network-management and deployment needs.


Denver, CO and San Jose, CA -- Tendril, the leader in network-management software for building, deploying, and managing ZigBee applications, is marking a major milestone in the ZigBee market with the announcement of an improved and expanded version of the "industry-first" Tendril Network Operating Platform. The Tendril platform dramatically simplifies and speeds the development and deployment process for ZigBee applications by addressing key operational challenges related to building, deploying, and managing networks that use the open ZigBee low-power wireless protocol.

In addition to launching this significant new release of its software platform, Tendril is also releasing the first in a series of "groundbreaking" application modules that leverage the unique capabilities of the Tendril Network Operating Platform. Tendril Monitor automates the process of diagnostics and monitoring of the quality, reliability, and day-to-day operations of ZigBee networks, as well as the applications built on those networks. The significant benefits of Tendril Monitor and other applications to be released later are made possible by using the first, free industry-leading sub-4K Tendril Agent. Companies can simply compile the agent into their devices and derive the entire network monitoring and diagnostics benefits of Tendril Monitor.

Tendril is unveiling these new ZigBee software products at the Embedded Systems Conference and ZigBee Developers' Conference, which are being held concurrently in San Jose, CA, this week. Attendees of the conferences can visit Tendril at Booth # 6011 in the ZigBee pavilion in the McEnery Convention Center.

"This release of the Tendril Network Operating Platform is a major leap forward in software for the ZigBee market, and it underscores Tendril's leadership position on the software side of the market for companies that are taking an open approach to their 802.15.4 deployments by using ZigBee," said Adrian Tuck, CEO of Tendril. "ZigBee is the only open standard in the market, and Tendril's software is designed to fully support companies that want an open approach to their wireless sensor network initiatives."

"Deployments of ZigBee are poised to accelerate rapidly, and software will play an important role in addressing the operational issues that would otherwise slow down the adoption curve for this wireless technology. Tendril has been a pioneer in providing robust software that accelerates and simplifies the process of working with ZigBee, and this new release of the Tendril Network Operating Platform continues that track record of market leadership," said Kirsten West, Principal Analyst at West Technology Research Solutions, LLC. "Tendril is the only software company focused on network operations that has close technical partnerships with each of the major hardware vendors in the ZigBee market, and these relationships are a major asset in ensuring that its software platform meets the needs of customers."

The Tendril Network Operating Platform is the first and only comprehensive software platform for ZigBee applications, providing an open, extensible, and scalable software platform that enables manufacturers and integrators to quickly build ZigBee applications, effectively deploy them in the field, and easily manage them when operational. The Tendril Network Operating Platform reduces the burden of bringing ZigBee applications to large-scale production deployment. The Tendril Network Operating Platform can be deployed alongside existing ZigBee applications for those who have already built their products. It also can be used to build effective ZigBee applications that come prewired to solve all of the operational challenges leading ZigBee product companies face today.

"Tendril's software is designed to address the host of network operations challenges that organizations face as they implement and deploy wireless sensor network solutions. It allows customers to glide over speed bumps that would otherwise add a tremendous amount of time and cost to their projects and, in many cases, actively impede their actual path-to-production. Tendril's software was the first in the market, and by working closely with our silicon and network stack partners, we have made this second-generation platform the most comprehensive and most attuned to the needs of customers on the market today" added Adrian Tuck. "Our software helps customers successfully answer key questions—such as: How do I install and commission my network? How do I diagnose network problems in the field? How do I integrate this network with the rest of my enterprise software? How do I speed up the deployment process and get to the market faster? —and many other critical network operations issues. It is a mission-critical application for companies that are deploying ZigBee production applications."

Building, Deploying, and Managing ZigBee Applications Quickly and Easily
Key capabilities and benefits of the Tendril Network Operating Platform for companies in the building and home automation, energy management and conservation, and industrial control and process management markets include:

  • Building ZigBee applications
  • Reducing complexity and time to market dramatically
  • Simplifying and automating enterprise integration
  • Leveraging open standards
  • Working with both off-the-shelf ZigBee devices and devices installed with the Tendril Agent
  • Deploying ZigBee applications
  • Facilitating network planning and helping users avoid common planning pitfalls
  • Providing a wealth of easy-to-use deployment tools
  • Taking advantage of ready-to-use templates for diagnostics and test functionality
  • Ready for use with devices where there is a premium on storage, including the latest SoC and small microcontrollers
  • Managing ZigBee applications
  • Creating robust monitoring, diagnostic, and alarming systems
  • Automating the complexity of firmware management and backup
  • Addressing critical security and power management requirements
  • Supporting the operators and users of deployed networks, unlike other platforms designed only with the developer in mind

For additional technical detail about the Tendril Network Operating Platform, please visit the company's Web site.

Tendril Monitor Dramatically Simplifies Day-to-Day Network Monitoring
To complement this new and improved version of the Tendril Network Operating Platform, Tendril also plans to release a series of application modules that integrate with the Tendril Network Operating Platform and support specific network management and deployment needs. Tendril Monitor, the first of these application modules, provides the most comprehensive set of deployed network monitoring and diagnostics statistics available anywhere. Complete with a default GUI, comprehensive rules engine, and an API, Tendril Monitor simplifies building a custom monitoring tool or the integration of existing enterprise monitoring tools with ZigBee.

Tendril's close relationship with its stack and silicon partners has resulted in unique "hooks" into the respective ZigBee network stacks for unprecedented data gathering. The Tendril Agent, compiled alongside the ZigBee stack, overcomes the weaknesses associated with "sniffer" or "polling" data gathering to dramatically increase network coverage and reduce network traffic.

"After installation, wireless networks are not 100 percent hands-free. They require a watchful eye in order to ensure the health and integrity of the network. That is where Tendril Monitor comes in," said Tuck. "It provides an easy-to-use tool that enables all key constituents to monitor the network and detect, diagnose, and resolve issues that require either software changes or physical changes. Tendril Monitor does so with an intuitive interface that can be used by nontechnical users, with diagnostics and alarming features that address all the key aspects of day-to-day network monitoring and management. Building this kind of application from scratch would require a tremendous time and resource investment, which makes this ready-to-deploy application a valuable component of a company's ZigBee toolkit."

For more information about the features, functionality, and benefits of Tendril Monitor, please visit the company's Web site.

Availability and Pricing
The next-generation Tendril Network Operating Platform and Tendril Monitor application module will be available this quarter. Initial shipments will support the Ember, TI, and STMicroelectronics platforms, and additional versions will follow for other major hardware platforms. Pricing for this new version of the Tendril Network Operating Platform software is designed to support a low-cost of entry, including a developer license for API use and a runtime license. Companies should contact Tendril for specific pricing, which varies according to the number of runtime licenses. Application modules like Tendril Monitor are sold separately.

About Tendril
Tendril is uniquely positioned to catapult the "Internet of Things" economy to critical mass by assimilating everyday electrical things into the enterprise-computing environment. Our focus is on network operations and deployment, the next big stage of the wireless sensor and control network industry. We make software that allows companies to build, deploy, and manage these networks. With this approach, Tendril can address the macro trends of energy efficiency, security, life expectance, and connectedness that will generate new revenue streams for companies in the industrial and building automation, physical security, and home automation industries. For more information about Tendril, visit the company's Web site.

ZigBee: Wireless Control That Simply Works
The ZigBee Alliance is an association of companies working together to enable reliable, cost-effective, low-power, wirelessly networked monitoring and control products based on an open global standard. The ZigBee Alliance membership comprises technology providers and original equipment manufacturers worldwide. Membership is open to all. Additional information can be found on the alliance's Web site.

Tendril, Tendril Access, and Network Operating Platform are trademarks of Tendril Networks. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


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