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What is a ZigBee Application Profile?

What is a ZigBee Application Profile?

If you might be familiar with ZigBee, you’ve got no doubt noticed a image of the stack with IEEE 802.15.4 at the bottom, ZigBee in the middle, and applications and profiles sitting down on major. This posting looks at the major little bit of the stack, and at how ZigBee profiles make it a lot easier for you to build your have interoperable apps.

ZigBee is an open standard, which is ideal for purposes that need extended battery life, lower expense, smaller footprint, and mesh networking to assist interaction involving significant figures of equipment in an interoperable and multi-application environment.

Just one of the approaches interoperability is accomplished is by means of application profiles. These profiles are described by the ZigBee Alliance, and offer a description of the equipment supported for a unique application jointly with the messaging scheme made use of by all those equipment for interaction–in impact, defining the sort, form and options of the community.

Adherence to these profiles guarantees the interoperability of various distributors for the identical application place.

Each software profile addresses the requires of a particular application current market. Profiles are now available or in advancement for the next varieties of apps:

  • Intelligent Strength
  • House Automation
  • Telecom Purposes
  • Business Setting up Automation
  • Individual Property and Hospital Treatment

Endpoints and clusters

Products are defined by profiles and implemented as software objects. Each and every application object is connected to the relaxation of the ZigBee stack by an endpoint, which is an addressable component inside of a unit.

For example, a remote manage may possibly allocate endpoint 6 for the management of lights in the grasp bed room, endpoint 8 to manage the heating and air-conditioning process, and endpoint 12 for managing the safety program. This makes it possible for the remote command to independently converse with these gadgets and discover which packets are meant for each and every software and system.

Interaction is produced from endpoint to endpoint by means of details structures referred to as clusters. Clusters comprise a set of characteristics that symbolize device state together with instructions that help communication in between software objects. Each cluster is recognized with a one of a kind ID.

Clusters employed in a precise application are described within its profile. For example, the Dwelling Automation profile incorporates a cluster committed to the management of lights subsystems.

Every single cluster has two ends:

  • The customer/output requests and manipulates the facts.
  • The server/input has the source details.

The ZigBee Cluster Library (ZCL)

All ZigBee software profiles are described working with clusters from the ZigBee Cluster Library.

This library permits common clusters to be reused throughout a selection of distinctive purposeful domains, for instance, the same lights clusters can be employed for any software that requires lights control, these as household automation and commercial setting up automation.

Clusters in just the ZCL are arranged into a amount of diverse practical domains, including Lights, HVAC (Heating, Air flow, Air Conditioning), Measurement and Sensing, Safety and Safety, and Typical.

Each individual cluster specification inside of the ZigBee Cluster Library defines

  • mandatory and optional characteristics
  • cluster-precise commands
  • functional description

Every product specification within an application profile defines

  • necessary and optional cluster use
  • values of totally free parameters in the ZCL
  • any extra practical description


At a substantial level, binding is the course of action of developing a romance between two equipment that can connect in a meaningful way, for case in point, which switch controls which lights. Each and every binding supports a precise application profile, and every single concept style is represented by a cluster within that profile.

Bindings can be established in between either individual or groups of endpoints, these as lights and switches, that have matching input and output clusters (with the similar cluster ID). ZigBee units can have up to 240 endpoints, so each actual physical unit can support many bindings.


By providing the ZigBee Cluster Library and software profiles, the ZigBee Alliance has currently performed a whole lot of the tough operate for you.

If you have to have your system to accomplish a specific function or behave a distinct way, there is no need to have to create factors from scratch. You can simply put into action the ZigBee cluster that already exists for that goal.

Adherence to the application profiles and the ZCL also assists to realize ZigBee certification to assure interoperability with other ZigBee equipment.