This section provides instructions on scanning the BACnet network to create CSV files which can be used as input for creating MSIB nodes.

MSIB can independently discover BACnet devices on a BACnet network. This enables MSIB to create scan configuration files for systems without requiring the use of other tools or databases such as Commissioning Tool or an Insight database. The discovery is a real online discovery taking advantage of the BACnet Who is? – I am sequence to find all reachable BACnet devices. Depending on the system size, this process can take considerable time to complete. The process is slow to keep from affecting the existing network.

The following BACnet object types are supported by the MSIB scanning function:

  • Analog-Input
  • Analog-Output
  • Analog-Value
  • Binary-Input
  • Binary-Output
  • Binary-Value
  • Multi-State-Input
  • Multi-State-Output
  • Multi-State-Value
  • Pulse Converter

MSIB can discover DXRs with applications of 14,000 and above. Both MSTP and Ethernet DXRs can be discovered. See the section titled MSIB Discovery of DXRs for more information.

MSIB can discover local MSTP slave devices if these devices are both physically connected to a master BACnet Field Panel and included in its binding table.

Before beginning

Before scanning a BACnet network, complete these prerequisites.

MSIB relies on a healthy network. If your network traffic is already overloaded, it would not make sense to add another communication task. Make sure that you allow enough time for the scanning to complete. If you are already communicating with a panel, the communication will slow down as MSIB also communicates with the panel. You can expect to start the discovery process, allow it to run, and then come back to it.

Process details

MSIB will need to be configured to discover BACnet devices. MSIB will send out a BACnet “Who is?” and create an internal list of all BACnet devices responding. MSIB will then obtain the object list of each device and read the properties of each supported object in each device. The learned information is collected in CSV files stored in the msib_discovery folder, one file for each device, using the file format already used by the established set of tools: Discovery Tool, Site Explorer, Data Design Assistant and Rule Mapping Tool. When scanning is completed, a summary file with all of the devices is created as well.

The scanning can be limited to specific devices or include an entire network.

MSIB Network Scanning

Collected data

Before setting up the configuration settings, gather the following information:

  • IP address for BACnet network
  • Range of desired device instance numbers to discover
  • The port to use for the WHO IS request
  • IP address of BBMD, if used

Configure for discovery

Follow these steps to configure MSIB for BACnet discovery.

  1. Go to Discovery.
  1. Select Start.
  • The Settings dialog opens.
  1. Complete the following fields:
  • For Use Manual Discovery (1), select No to use the standard BACnet Discovery feature. See Using manual discovery.
  • Select Network IP Adapter (2) and choose the network interface that is connected to the BACnet network.
    This drop down contains the networks connected to your computer. If the system has only one, it is already selected.
  • For Discovery Minimum Device Instance Number (4), set the minimum value of the device instance to discover. If you want to include all, leave the default range of 1– 4,194,302.
  • For Discovery Maximum Device Instance Number (5), set the maximum value of the device instance to discover.
  • Enter the Discovery Network Number (6) on which you wish to discover devices. The default of zero sends the discovery request to all networks. MSIB also filters for the responses and avoids adding additional devices not requested if a Who is? was initiated by another device on the network during discovery.
    See Navigating the User Interface for a discussion for identifying a particular BACnet server for the Discovery process.
  • In Discovery IP Address Filter List (7), either leave blank to allow any IP address, or enter multiple IP addresses, using commas to keep them separate.

Normally you either filter by IP address or by device instance range but not both at the same time. The outcome for either filter method is the same: one file for every discovered device and a master file combining all the individual files in the discovery folder.

  • In Discovery Port (8), enter the UDP Port to which the Who is? request is sent.
  • Use the Register Foreign Device with BBMD (9) if you are using a BBMD and need it to send out the WHO IS without using the same port as your BAS. If used, this field should have the IP address of the BBMD to register with. If left blank, MSIB will send out a WHO IS without a foreign device.

You must use a BBMD if MSIB is on the same PC as your BAS.

  • If MSTP local slave devices are to be included in the discovery, select Discover Secondary Nodes (10) check box. To obtain these local slave devices in your discovery, you need to include the following:
    Indicate the IP address of the Field Panel on which the slave device is bound in the Discovery IP Address Filter List setting.
    Leave the Discovery Network Number as zero.
    Leave the device instance filters as 1– 4,194,302.
  1. Select Start to begin the discovery.
  • The discovery starts. Once it is started, you can stop it by selecting Stop.
  • The discovery status changes from stopped to listening, then to started. As soon as the discovery is finished, the status changes to finished.


  1. It is always a good idea to clear out the discovery folder before starting a new discovery unless you want to keep the files. For example, if you have two sets of ranges you want to discover, such as device ID 7,000 through 7,999 and 17,000 through 17,999. In this case you would run discover with the filter setting 7,000 and 7,999 and then a second discovery with the filter settings 17,000 and 17,999. The outcome would be a final master file with the device from the two ranges but no other devices which might be on the network.
  2. MSIB will try to use Read Property Multiple for reading object properties from a device. If a device does not support Read Property Multiple, MSIB will fall back to Read Property to read a single property in one poll. To accommodate this single property at a time Read Property device communication method, please allow five times as long for MSIB to capture the Read Property device values over the time it takes to read the standard RPM devices.