Canvas VTN v3 Release

Version 3 of Canvas makes it easier to install and use, both as a standalone OpenADR VTN or embedded into a broader DERMS platform

3 minute read ∙ Aug 12th, 2021

Version 3 of Canvas is now available! This release includes new features and enhancements to make Canvas easier to install and use, plus a number of general improvements that we have been making to keep up to date with how OpenADR is being used across many scenarios.

About Canvas

Canvas is a pure-play OpenADR VTN that abstracts away the complexities of the protocol and lets you get started with OpenADR as seamlessly as possible. Since it implements minimal business logic itself, it is not meant to replace complete DERMS (or similar) platforms but rather be the OpenADR interface for any range of programs and products.

Companies run Canvas in their environment, so they maintain control over security, uptime, etc. It can run standalone and be controlled via the UI, or embedded in a broader DERMS platform and controlled programmatically via a custom adapter, which GridFabric will help you develop. Typically, users will end up using a combination of the two, e.g. use a custom adapter to execute programmatic requirements like creating events and reading report data, and use the UI to monitor and test.

Page Images: Canvas Diagram SVG 2020-06-16

We also offer a hosted version that we call Canvas Cloud. The goal of Canvas Cloud is to provide the simplest and lowest cost way to use an OpenADR VTN. You can connect a certified OpenADR VEN to Canvas Cloud and use it to test and demonstrate OpenADR functionality. If you would like a free trial of Canvas Cloud to see if it suits your needs, please contact us.

Improvements for V3

Easier installation

We have added binary releases that include the necessary dependencies for a couple of common environments (Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04) to make the installation and upgrading processes much faster. Releases are OS specific, so let us know if you need a release for an OS that isn't currently covered.

Easier programmatic integration

We created a sample adapter that can be installed and used as-is for simple integrations and, more likely, extended for more complex integrations and performance enhancements. It exposes some API endpoints for interfacing with VENs and Events, and implements both Basic Auth and JWT-based Authentication.

As Canvas users get beyond the basics into more custom production implementations, GridFabric will help develop a custom adapter that provides the functionality you need and supports performance requirements. We will work with you to scope and execute custom adapter development and provide ongoing support.

UI updates

The first thing you may notice is the design of the UI has completely changed.

Blog Post Image: Canvas v3 Screenshot

Navigating around the UI has become easier with a new menu bar design, bread crumbs and some unused or older feature removed. In addition, a host of minor improvements, bug fixes, will make using the UI a smoother experience.

Communications logging

V3 includes a new feature that logs all communications between VEN and VTN and displays them in the UI. Seeing what the VEN is sending is useful for debugging interconnection issues with VENs, and can save Canvas users a lot of time.

Blog Post Image: Message Logging

There are a few options for filtering logs so that the communications log doesn't take up more space than it needs to. Logging can be turned off completely, and polls and/or responses can be filtered out.


Previous Canvas documentation was embedded in the source code. We have moved it onto the web so it can be accessed from anywhere and have made some updates for clarity. It can be found at


OpenADR's use is increasing in demand response programs across North America and the world. Practitioners need to implement OpenADR easily so they can focus on what they do best. With the release of Canvas V3, we have the simplest, most usable and extensible OpenADR VTN even simpler, more usable and extensible! Please contact us if you'd like to try it out or learn more.

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