Glossary of Terms

Assets – Refers to physical components such as endpoints, gateways and handheld devices.

AMI/AMR (Advanced Metering Infrastructure/Automated Meter Reading) – State-of-the-art systems comprised of hardware, software and remote communications capabilities for measuring water consumption and gathering data to improve operational efficiency and help customers better understand their consumption habits.

API (Application Programming Interface) – A set of programming instructions used to automatically exchange or synchronize data between BEACON and other systems such as a CIS.

Backdate – The process of entering a date that is in the past. In BEACON, backdating is typically performed to restore usage history when a service agreement start date defaults to “today” (the date of an import) and hides data from an EyeOnWater user dashboard.

Backfill – The process of filling in missing data, typically meter reads that were skipped during an interval read for whatever reason.

Backflow – Backward water flow.

Backhaul – Telecommunications term that refers to the network connection used to carry data to and from servers, gateway and endpoints.

Badger Meter Endpoints

  • ORION Cellular – These two-way endpoints eliminate the need for utility-owned fixed network infrastructure and significantly decreases downtime, allowing for rapid deployment and decreases in ongoing maintenance. ORION Cellular endpoints communicate over the same cellular networks used by phone companies.
    • ORION Cellular LTE – Two-way endpoints that communicate via 4G cellular network.
    • ORION Cellular LTE-M,ORION Cellular C, ORION Cellular HLA– Two-way endpoints that communicate via LTE-M cellular network.
  • ORION Fixed Network (SE) – Two-way endpoint for fixed network meter reading that support multiple network backhaul options including cellular, Wi-Fi and LAN. ORION SE endpoints continuously monitors the encoder circuit. At predetermined intervals, the endpoint broadcasts the totalized reading value along with other meter data to the network gateway transceivers or mobile collection devices.
  • ORION Mobile (ME) – A two-way endpoint for mobile applications. Formerly referred to as ORION Migratable, these endpoints can be upgraded (migrated) to fixed network mode to support future utility capabilities. ORION ME endpoints continuously monitor the encoder, broadcasting the totalized reading value along with other meter data to mobile collection devices.
  • ORION Classic (CE) – A one-way endpoint designed for mobile meter reading. ORION CE endpoints continuously monitor the encoder, broadcasting the totalized reading value along with other meter data to mobile collection devices.
  • GALAXY – Endpoints designed to provide hourly consumption data for fixed network meter reading in indoor/outdoor remote installations and in pit/vault installations that are subject to flooding or submergence. Like ORION SE endpoints, GALAXY endpoints support multiple backhaul options including cellular, Wi-Fi and LAN.

BEACON Web Services API – A set of programming instructions used to automatically exchange or synchronize data between BEACON and other systems such as a CIS.

Billing Reads – Water consumption data reported by a meter for a specific period of time used for billing purposes.

Billing Resolution – The smallest increment of water consumption measured for billing purposes.

Billing Unit Of Measure – Describes the measurement of water consumption that appears on a customer invoice. For example, CCF (Centum Cubic Feet or hundreds of cubic feet), 1000 GAL (KGAL or thousands of gallons), etc.

Cards (also referred to as Meter Cards) – User interface elements on the BEACON Monitor page that display crucial information about each meter in the system. Essential meter details, serial number, service location, reads and a summary of water consumption are among the details viewable via cards. Each Card can be expanded to reveal additional data such as detailed location information, information about meter reads and general endpoint health information. Cards also give users the ability to add notes, tag metadata and conditional alerts to any given meter in the system. Alert Thresholds can be set using the Alert button in each Card.

CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) – A cellular communications standard.

CIS (Customer Information System) – A repository of information used for billing, accounting, asset management and other purposes.

Class Code (also referred to as Service Point Class Code) – The billing category for a particular location where water service is provided. For example, residential, commercial, irrigation, etc.

CNAME record (Short for Canonical Name record) – A type of record in the Domain Name System (DNS) used to specify an alias for another domain. In BEACON, CNAME records are used to rebrand EyeOnWater services.

Compound Meter – A hardware asset with two elements that measure flow, one for high rate and another for low rate. Some compound meters incorporate a third measuring element for medium or “mid” flow. Adding the values registered by the high, mid and low elements measures total water consumption.

Configured Importer – An importer for bringing Badger Meter Read Center Format C data files into BEACON.

Continuous Flow – Indicates locations that the utility has tagged as places where water runs continuously on purpose. For example, manufacturing facilities and cooling towers.

CSV (Comma-Separated Values) – A common file type used to enable data stored in incompatible or proprietary form to be passed between programs. In BEACON AMA, Data Exchange files use the CSV format to transfer data as plain text including unicode characters from one database to another. The data consists of records that are divided into fields separated by delimiters: commas, tabs, semicolons, colons, pipes or tildes.

Data Exchange (formerly BEACON Data Exchange – BDE) file – A spreadsheet that conforms to the Data Exchange Specification. Each row of data in a Data Exchange file corresponds to a single encoder register, its location and the endpoint associated with the account. Compound meters require a separate row for each register.

Data Exchange (formerly BEACON Data Exchange – BDE) Specification – Guidelines that define the columns and rows of required to import, synchronize and update utility data in BEACON. The Data Exchange Specification spells out precise column names, maximum character counts and required formatting.

Data Exchange (Formerly BEACON) Starter Spreadsheet – A Data Exchange Specification-compliant spreadsheet file that contains a subset of data fields required to associate an endpoint with utility account data in BEACON.

Device Health Module – Provides utilities with an at a glance snapshot of the number and percentage of devices–endpoints, encoders and meters–reporting with and without issues or exceptions.

DMA (District Metering Area) – Infrastructure used by utilities to measure consumption across a water distribution network. In BEACON, such networks are defined as zones made up of Supply meters and Demand meters.

DN (diametre nominal) – European designation for pipe diameters measured in millimeters, per ISO 6708.

DNS (Domain Name System) – A standardized system used to catalog numeric web addresses in more descriptive, human-readable terms.

Diurnal – A term meaning “of or during the day; daily or each day.” In BEACON, Diurnal Demand exports let you quickly identify peak water demand cycles and thus manage costs associated with purchasing and moving water and wastewater.

Encoder Error – Indicates that an anomaly was encountered during an interval read of an encoder. Possible causes include but are not limited to mechanical or electronic problems in reading the value of the encoder totalizer.

Encoder Read (also Raw Encoder Read) – The number shown on an encoder register.

Encoder Register – A hardware asset used to display water consumption in a manner similar to a car odometer. Some registers use mechanical dials. Others employ LCDs to display consumption data. In AMI/AMR systems, encoder registers produce electronic signals that can be transmitted over cellular networks, network gateways or via radio signals that can be read manually using handheld devices.

Endpoint – A hardware asset that communicates with encoders that are attached to meters, capturing reads and meter status information.

Endpoint Status – Terms used to describe and catalog endpoints based on their lifecycle.

  • Available endpoints are ready to be installed.
  • Pre-provisioned endpoints are active endpoints that have successfully communicated with BEACON AMA but have not yet been associated with utility account data.
  • Provisioned endpoints are endpoints that have been associated with an account in BEACON AMA.
  • Archived endpoints are endpoints that are no longer in use but their data has been stored for reference.
  • Offline endpoints are still connected to meters in the field but are not actively communicating with the system by choice.
  • Decommissioned endpoints are endpoints that are no longer in use and were returned to Badger Meter.
  • Unassociated endpoints are not linked to utility data in BEACON.

Exceptions – Conditions that trigger various alerts. For example, endpoint tampers and encoder errors are exceptions.

EyeOnWater (EOW) – A web- and mobile-App enabled by BEACON that gives consumers direct access to their water consumption data and provides tools to help them manage their water use.

EyeOnWater eSummary – The electronic information service that delivers leak alerts and usage trends to customers through email or as SMS text messages.

Filter A user-interface element used to quickly sort vital information on the BEACON Monitor page.

Flow Health Module – Provides an overview of any flow issues in the water system. Select all the meters in the system or select a user specific group to view.

Format C (short for Format Connect) A file format originally used to receive and send data between billing systems and Badger Meter Read Center (RC) software. Format C files use 256 characters per line and are supported by both the BEACON Configured Importer and the Assets>System Sync>Import module.

Format D – The 512-character successor to Format C (see above) that uses delimiters such as commas (,) or semi-colons (;) to arrange data into columns and rows. BEACON support of Format C files encompasses support for Format D files.

Gateway – A network component used to connect one network with another. In AMI/AMR systems, gateways use radio frequencies to transmit data to and from fixed network endpoints.

Hybrid – A thing made by combining two different elements. In BEACON, the Meter>Endpoint Type>Hybrid filter on the Monitor page selects compound meters whose high and low flow sides are connected to different endpoint types. For example, an ORION Cellular LTE endpoint connected to the low-flow side and an ORION Cellular  endpoint connected to the high-flow side would fall under the Meter>Endpoint Type>Hybrid filter.

Index – A data structure technique used to optimize database performance. In BEACON, indexed databases are used throughout the system. In addition, Data Exchange file types such as Accounts and Assets files, ID Update files, Account Transaction files, etc. are indexed. As such, these file types are sometimes refered to as indexes or indices.

IR Communication Device – Hardware device with built-in authentication used to securely activate endpoints and E-Series Ultrasonic Plus meters with integrated valves.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) – An open-standard format used in the BEACON Web Services API to transmit data between a server (a utility CIS) and a web application (BEACON AMA).

Load Balancer – A device that distributes network or application traffic across a number of servers to increase capacity to support more concurrent users.

Leak – At locations where water flow is typically intermittent—for example, in a home—flow reported every hour in a 24-hour period is considered a “leak.”

Leak Alert – An alarm triggered when flow that exceeds a threshold has been detected every hour in a 24-hour period.

Leak Rate – The minimum hourly volume of water flow reported at locations where flow has been detected every hour in a 24-hour period.

Location – A term used to identify a premise or place where the utility company supplies water.

LTE – A term that describes 4G network high-speed wireless communications and data transmissions.

LTE-M – a low-power, wide-area communications network used by ORION LTE-M endpoints.

Maintenance Cycle–A process used to confirm that a device is operating properly. In BEACON, the term Maintenance Cycle refers to an automated process during which the E-Series Ultrasonic Plus meter with integrated valves closes then opens and reports its status. This process occurs every 30 days at about 2 a.m. local time. One cycle is two consecutive actuations, from ad back to the valve starting position. Last Maintenance Cycle is displayed under the Valve tab on Monitor page cards for service configurations where E-Series Ultrasonic Plus meters with integrated valves are installed.

Meter – A device used to measure something being delivered to a location. In BEACON,  “meters” typically means water meters. Alternately, a meter is a unit of measure.

  • Main Meter – A term used to describe the primary meter used to measure flow for which customers will be billed.
  • Deduct Meter – A term used to describe a meter whose flow does not count or is deducted from the usage total so that the customer is not billed for it.
  • Demand Meter – Designation for meters that measure water being consumed in within a DMA zone.
  • Supply Meter – Designation for meters that measure water flowing into a DMA zone.

Module (also widget) – User interface element used to access and display a variety of data such as billing reads, device health, gateway health, weekly water usage and so on.

Normalized Class Code – Pre-defined term used to describe the billing category of a location where water service is provided. In BEACON, the normalized class codes are: Commercial, FireService, Industrial, Irrigation, Sewer, SingleFamilyResidential and MultiFamilyResidential.

NPS (Nominal Pipe Size) – North American designation for pipe diameters measured in inches, per ISO 6708.

NRW (Non-Revenue Water) – Water lost due to leaks, theft and other causes. Also, the distributed volume of water that is not reflected in customer billings.

Pairing – A term used for configuring a handheld device to open communication with BEACON.

PII (Personally Identifiable Information) – Confidential, private information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact or locate someone.

Portfolio – Term that describes a utility’s resources in BEACON AMA. A portfolio encompasses a utility’s hardware assets (endpoints, encoders, meters, mobile reading technology, etc), customers and account holders, users with access to BEACON, etc. Badger Meter personnel create portfolios for utilities.

Provisioning (also Provisioning Process) – The process of associating endpoints with utility customer account information in BEACON. Once provisioned, the system uses data collected from the encoder for billing and water management purposes to improve customer service, increase operational efficiency and help users understand their water consumption.

Provision – The act of associating an endpoint with an account in BEACON AMA.

Provisioned – Describes an endpoint that has been associated with an account in BEACON AMA.

Pre-Provisioned – Describes endpoints that are active and communicating with BEACON AMA, but have not been provisioned (associated with an account in the system). Pre-provisioned endpoints that are connected to an encoder produce raw read data. Pre-provisioned endpoints that are not connected to an encoder produce no reads.

Un-Provision – The act of decoupling or dis-associating an endpoint with an account in BEACON AMA.

Utility Read – Current or historic reads that are brought into BEACON using a Data Exchange file instead of being supplied by an endpoint or manually read meter.

Read (also Full Read) – The number shown on an encoder register multiplied by the register resolution. 

Reads – Water consumption data reported by a meter, typically associated with a date and time.

Read Method – Monitor page filter category that lets you sort meters based on how reads were collected and brought into BEACON.

  • Network = ORION Cellular endpoint, pulse barnacle endpoint, magnetic barnacle endpoint
  • Fixed = ORION SE endpoint, GALAXY TR3 endpoint, GALAXY TR2 endpoint
  • AMR = ORION SE endpoint, ORION ME endpoint, ORION CE endpoint
  • Manual = User-entered value in mobile reading applications (BEACON Field Application Suite, ORION Mobile Read)
  • Utility = Data Exchange Read import file.

Read Resolution (also Register Resolution) – Determines where the decimal goes in an encoder read. Getting the correct resolution–and recording it in BEACON–is essential for accurate customer billing. Read/Register Resolution is based on a combination of factors: meter model and size, encoder type, unit of measure (gallon, cubic foot or cubic meter) and the type of endpoint that is attached to the encoder.

For more information on determining the read resolution of ORION and GALAXY endpoints connected to Badger Meter Recordall® Series meters, Badger Meter ADE® encoders and Badger Meter E-Series® with High-Resolution Protocol encoders, see the following application briefs on

To obtain the read resolution of encoders made by third parties, consult with their manufacturers.

Register (also Encoder Register) – A hardware device used to display water consumption in a manner similar to a car odometer. Some registers use mechanical dials. Others employ LCDs to display consumption data. In AMR, pulse or encoder registers produce electronic signals that can be transmitted over cellular networks, network gateways or via radio signals that can be read manually using handheld devices.

Reindex – The act of refreshing or restoring database content. In BEACON, reindexing takes place in the background so your work can go uninterrupted.

REST (Representational State Transfer) – A programming architecture style for networked hypermedia applications used to build web services that are lightweight, maintainable and scalable. A service based on REST is called a RESTful service. REST is not dependent on any protocol, but almost every RESTful service uses HTTP as its underlying protocol. BEACON Web Services APIs are RESTful services.

Rollover – Term that describes when a meter or an encoder register reaches its maximum reading and reverts to zero, for example, when 99999 advances to 00000.

RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) – A receiver designed to pick up radio frequency (RF) signals and generate an output equivalent to the signal strength.

RTR The Badger Meter Recordall® Transmitter Register (RTR) is used in conjunction with Recordall disc, turbo, compound and fire series water meters to measure totalized flow through the meter and output a signal to Badger Meter meter reading products.

SAML–Secure Assertion Markup Language, used to provide single-sign on (SSO) access to BEACON and related systems, such as a billing system, CIS, SCADA, CRM, etc.

Service A specific location where the utility company supplies water.

Service Point – Physically, a service point is where a water pipe connects to a meter and if applicable an encoder register and an endpoint.

Shell Script – A computer program designed to be run by the Unix “shell,” a command-line interpreter. In BEACON, Shell scripts can be used to make calls to Web Service APIs.

Synchronized Reads–Billing reads from multiple registers on a compound meter that were recorded at the same date and time. In BEACON, the Utility Settings page Sync Register Configuration feature lets you export synchronized billing reads from compound meters while BEACON Export Data Service APIs support synchronized billing reads exports from compound meters via sync register and tolerance parameters.

Tamper – Exceptions that indicate different conditions based on the type of endpoint:

  • For ORION Cellular endpoints, a tamper is triggered by any break in communication. Causes range from broken or cut wires to insufficient cellular signal strength or signal disruption and endpoint damage.
  • For ORION SE and GALAXY Fixed Network endpoints, a tamper is triggered when network communication is disrupted. Possible causes include but are not limited to electrical interference caused by close proximity to high-voltage power lines, a faulty network interface card (NIC), worn or damaged network cabling or other network-related condition.

Tolerance – Another term for resolution, typically used when describing the interval between billing reads. For example, 72 hours, 48 hours, 24 hours and so on.

Totalizer – A device or meter that records a count total.

Trimble Ranger 3 – A flexible, easy-to-use handheld computer that can be used with various meter reading technologies.

Truncation Codes – Short keys or number combinations used in billing systems to interpret read resolution. For example, a truncation code might tell the billing system to interpret a reading of “1” as 1,000 gallons.

Unique Identifier – A combination of numbers and characters that can be used to distinguish one thing (account, location, meter, service point) from another thing (account, location, meter, service point) in a utility CIS or billing system.

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