Filling the gaps
OCPP integration: to buy or to build?
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is a communication protocol used to manage electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. It allows charging stations to communicate with a central system, such as a back-end server, to exchange information about the charging process, including the status of the charging station and the vehicle being charged. OCPP is designed to be an open, extensible protocol that can be used with a variety of different charging station hardware and software systems.
When it comes to implementing an OCPP system, there are two main options: to buy an existing solution or to develop one from scratch. Each approach has its own set of pros and cons, and the decision will ultimately depend on the specific needs of the organization and the resources available.
One of the main benefits of buying an existing OCPP solution is that it is typically faster and more cost-effective than developing one from scratch. Pre-existing solutions are already developed, tested, and validated, which means they are likely to be more stable and reliable than a custom-developed solution. Additionally, because these solutions are already in use, they can be expected to have a higher degree of compatibility with other systems and technologies used in the organization.
On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages to buying an existing OCPP solution. One of the main disadvantages is that these solutions are typically designed for a general use case and may not be able to meet all the unique needs of a particular organization. Additionally, some pre-existing solutions may be proprietary, meaning that the organization may be locked into a particular vendor or may have limited ability to customize the solution. Also, buying a pre-existing solution can be quite expensive, particularly for small organizations.
We’ve already covered buying an already-existing solution, so let’s now focus on developing one from scratch. The main benefit of creating an OCPP solution from square one is that it can be tailored to meet the organization’s specific needs. This means that the solution can be customized to work with the organization’s existing systems and technologies, and it can be designed to meet the unique requirements of the organization. Additionally, because the solution is being developed in-house, the organization will have full control over its development and maintenance, meaning it can make changes and updates as needed.
However, developing an OCPP solution from scratch has its own set of disadvantages as well. The main drawback is that it can be time-consuming and costly to develop a solution from the ground up, particularly if the organization does not have the necessary resources or expertise. Additionally, there is a risk that the solution may not work as expected or may have bugs or other issues, which can lead to additional development costs.
When it comes to implementing an OCPP system, organizations must weigh the pros and cons of buying an existing solution or developing one from scratch. The decision will depend on the specific needs of the company and the resources available. Still, both options have their own set of advantages and disadvantages and therefore are worth thinking about.