The primary aim of PROFINET GSD Generic Model is to define a specification how Servers can create an Information Model for Devices which have no application profile (API=0) and therefore also no OPC UA companion specification defining an Information Model. It can be used also to extend the Information Model of a profile Device by adding vendor specific Data Objects.

The standardized way to describe a PROFINET Device in machine-readable format is the GSDML file (see [GSDML]). GSDML files are provided by the vendors of PROFINET Devices, and the primary usage is offering the information needed by engineering systems (TIA Portal and the like). This primary purpose was extended by enhancing the GSDML with additional information used for Device certification, and for the purpose of this specification elements describing Data Objects were added.

This specification describes how OPC UA Servers can create an Information Model for PROFINET Devices by obtaining the real and the expected configuration from the Device and by evaluating the GSDML file. The XML elements evaluated comprise information about the Devices’ IO Data, the Alarm data, parameterization records and readable data records. There are also XML elements evaluated referring to data described by application profiles, e.g. PROFIenergy and PROFIdrive.

Implementing the specification requires the provision of the GSDML files for the Devices on the host the OPC UA Server is running on. There may be other means to gain access to the GSDML file in the future, like a class-2 repository. Given the existence of such a repository and internet access from the host the Server is running on, provisioning GSDML files at the Server’s site is not necessary.