When “SDK” is a bad term

The Microsoft Hohm team has announced two sets of protocol documentation. The first has been in use for some time and it goes by the name “Microsoft Hohm Integration SDK” and the second is the “Microsoft Hohm Device Platform”. The problem is that these were both released as something called an SDK.

Well, that’s just the wrong thing to call them. These are protocol specifications only. The first “SDK” (on MSDN) is a set of WSDL and XSD that describes what the interaction between a utility company and Microsoft Hohm looks like. For what it’s worth, it was actually internally tested by building a Glassfish implementation of the utility side. That’s right, we built the sample utility in java. There’s nothing specifically Microsoft about it. Anyone on any platform can implement the protocol.

Same thing goes for the Device Platform that was announced a month or so ago. Its current incarnation is a PDF file that describes the REST protocol, authentication scheme, and entity schemas. That’s it. Nothing particularly Microsoft about that one either. Again, this specification was developed and tested using a 16-bit embedded controller on a small development board.

So, if our poor choice of terminology is scaring you off, don’t let it. Integrating with Hohm is simple and has no proprietary technology ties. So, get the Integration Protocol Specification (which is what I think I’ll call it from now on) and have a look. You’ll need to wait a little longer before the Device Platform Specification is publically released, but if you ask hohmutil@microsoft.com nicely, we might be able to get the document to you.