Applied Systems Engineering, Inc.

Features of DNP3

DNP3 offers flexibility and functionality that go far beyond conventional communications protocols. Among its robust and flexible features DNP3 includes:

  • Output options
  • Secure configuration/file transfers
  • Addressing for over 65,000 devices on a single link
  • Time synchronization and time-stamped events
  • Broadcast messages
  • Data link and application layer confirmation

 

DNP3 was originally designed based on three layers of the OSI seven-layer model: application layer, data link layer and physical layer. The application layer is object-based with objects provided for most generic data formats. The data link layer provides for several methods of retrieving data such as polling for classes and object variations. The physical layer defines most commonly a simple RS-232 or RS-485 interface.

DNP3 is very efficient for a layered protocol while ensuring high data integrity.

 

Feature DNP Modbus RTU MMS/UCA 2.0 IEC 60870-5-T101
OSI 3-layer model Check Mark X Check Mark Check Mark
Users > 500 1000's < 100 100's
Designed for utility environment Check Mark X Check Mark Check Mark
User group & technical committee Check Mark X X X
Revision control on final
documentation
Check Mark X Check Mark Check Mark
Defined protocol test documentation Check Mark X X X
Independent protocol verification programs Check Mark X X X
Migration path to enhanced architectures Check Mark X Check Mark Check Mark
Time synchronization & time-stamped events Check Mark X Check Mark Check Mark
Multiple masters & peer-to-peer operations Limited X Check Mark X
Unsolicited slaves do not need to be polled Check Mark X Check Mark X
Segmentation of messages Check Mark X Check Mark X
Secure file transfer Check Mark X Check Mark Check Mark
Broadcast messages Check Mark X Check Mark Check Mark
User defined data objects Check Mark X Check Mark X