PI believes in making life as easy as possible for end users during the setting up and configuration of PROFIBUS and PROFINET networks So, several standardized approaches have been evolved, either in house or jointly with other automation organizations.
The earliest integration aid for PROFIBUS was the General Station Description file, or GSD. A GSD defines the basic characteristics of a device such as its communications speeds and diagnostics. Loading this file into configuration tools means much quicker installation and commissioning. GSD files are normally delivered with the device or downloaded from www.profibus.com. PROFINET uses a similar GSD concept based on an XML format.
PI is a strategic partner of engineering technologies developed by other automation organizations. Examples of these include Electronic Device Description (EDD) files which are much more powerful ways of describing a device. The Field Device Type/ Device Type Manager (FDT/DTM) approach to device engineering and integration is another engineering technology supported by PI. There's more information about both here.
Technologies like FDT and EDD simplify how a device is integrated into automation systems. They cover advanced features such as the graphical interface to be used and encourage faster, better, commissioning, diagnostics and maintenance.
In some areas of automation - drives are one example - vendor-specific configuration tools are common. For the user this means unnecessary time and trouble during commissioning so, recognizing that a comon interface was needed, PI Working Groups developed a single application package called the Tool Calling Interface (TCI). This provides a universal interface through which a variety of vendor-specific engineering tools can be called up. More can be found here about TCI.