This specification defines base functionality for asset management to fulfil the use cases described in section 5. It is intended to be a base specification, that can be extended by domain-specific companion specifications and vendor-specific information models. Therefore, this specification does not define, what an asset is. It can be, for example, a piece of hardware like actuators, sensors, PLCs, network equipment, or software, like a PLC program or firmware. It can contain an OPC UA Server providing the information model, like on a field device or PLC, or it can be some passive component like a calibration target, gear, or pipe. In general, it can be anything that is worth to be manged by an asset management system.

This specification defines general concepts how to manage the assets, so that a Client can manage those assets, independent of the type of asset. The information model is built in a modular way, defining concepts for the different use cases, that can be used independent of each other. The ConformanceUnits defined in section 15.1 reflect those individual functionalities. As not all concepts are independent of each other, for example the identification of an asset is needed in most cases, the Profiles defined in section 15.2 combine the ConformanceUnits to functionality that is required to be provided together.

This specification defines an Information Model to represent one or several assets. It does not define, where the Information Model should be deployed. In some cases, the asset itself might provide a Server, and this Server might provide asset management related information about the asset as defined in this specification. Other assets might not have any electronics and no capability to even run a Server, and any Server providing information about the asset is running outside the asset.

Independent of that, even if the asset provides a Server, not all asset management related information has to be provided by that Server, and some information might be provided by some higher-level system potentially aggregating the information of many assets. For example, the information when the next maintenance activity is planned might not be known by the asset but only by some higher-level asset management systems.