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1. (WO2019067198) SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DEPICTING AND USING ONE LOGICAL CONNECTION WITH COLLECTION OF INPUT/OUTPUT (I/O) MODULES AS MULTIPLE INDIVIDUAL LOGICAL CONNECTIONS
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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A method comprising:

presenting (702) a graphical user interface (400) to a user, the graphical user interface identifying multiple slots that are configured to be coupled to multiple input/output (I/O) modules ( 104b);

receiving (704), from the user via the graphical user interface, information defining a slot assembly data map (406), the slot assembly data map identifying data offsets and data sizes associated with the I/O modules, the data offsets and the data sizes identifying where data can be sent to or received from the multiple I/O modules over a single logical connection (202); and

using (706) the data offsets and the data sizes of the slot assembly data map to provide data to or receive data from one or more of the I/O modules over the single logical connection.

2. The method of Claim 1 , further comprising:

receiving (710) information defining an update to the slot assembly data map; wherein the update is associated with a replacement of one or more of the I/O modules, a reordering of two or more of the I/O modules, or a firmware update of one or more of the I/O modules that changeliat least one of the data offset* or at least one of the data sizes.

3. The method of Claim 1 , further comprising:

receiving (704), from the user via the graphical user interface, information defining a slot status assembly map (606),: the slot status assembly map identifying additional data offsets associated with the I/O modules, the additional data offsets identifying where diagnostic data can be received from the multiple I/O modules over the single logical connection; and

using (708) the additional data offsets of the slot status assembly map to obtain diagnostic data from at least one of the I/O modules over the single logical connection.

4. The method of Claim 1 , wherein the slot assembly data map defines a

split of data from a single device across two or more software representations of the I/O modules.

5. The method of Claim 1, wherein:

: using the data offsets and the data sizes of the slot assembly data map comprises using the slot assembly data map to provide or receive data associated with a consolidated configuration assembly, a consolidated input assembly, and a consolidated output assembly;

the consolidated configuration assembly comprises data defining a configuration of a collection of the I/O modules;

the consolidated input assembly comprises data produced by the collection of the I/O modules; and

the consolidated output assembly comprises data consumed by the collection of the I/O modules.

6. The method of Claim 1, further comprising:

generating a second graphical user interface (500) containing logical representations (206, 510) of the I/O modules;

wherein the logical representations of the I/O modules comprise a common representation, regardless of one or more types of connections between the I/O modules and an industrial process controller ( 106).

7. The method of Claim 1, wherein the single logical connection communicatively couples a head end module (104a) of an I/O module assembly (104) to an industrial process controller (106), the head end module configured to communicate with the I/O modules through a backplane (104c) comprising the slots.

8. An apparatus comprising:

at least one processing device (302) configured to:

generate a graphical user interface (400) for presentation to a user, the graphical user interface identifying multiple slots that are configured to be coupled to multiple input/output (I/O) modules (104b);

receive, from the user via the graphical user interface, information defining a slot assembly data map (406), the slot assembly data map identifying data offsets and data sizes associated with the I/O modules, the data offsets and the data sizes identifying where data can be sent to or received from the multiple I/O modules over a single logical connection (202); and

use the data offsets and the data sizes of the slot assembly data map to provide data to or receive data from one or more of the I/O modules over the single logical connection.

9. The apparatus of Claim 8, wherein:

the at least one processing device is further configured to receive information defining an update to the slot assembly data map; and

the update is associated with a replacement of one or more of the I/O modules, a reordering of two or more of the I/O modules, or a firmware update of one or more of the I/O modules that changes at least one of the data offsets or at least one of the data sizes.

10. The apparatus of Claim 8, wherein the at least one processing device is further configured to:

receive, from the user via the graphical user interface, information defining a slot status assembly map (606), the slot status assembly map identifying additional data offsets associated with the I/O modules, the additional data offsets identifying where diagnostic data can be received from the multiple I/O modules over the single logical connection; and

use the additional data offsets of the slot status assembly map to obtain diagnostic data from at least one of the I/O modules over the single logical connection.

11. The apparatus of Claim 8, wherein:

the at least one processing device is configured to use the data offsets and the data sizes of the slot assembly data map to provide or receive data associated with a consolidated configuration assembly, a consolidated input assembly, and a

consolidated output assembly;

the consolidated configuration assembly comprises data defining a configuration of a collection of the I/O modules;

the consolidated input assembly comprises data produced by the collection of the I/O modules; and

the consolidated output assembly comprises data consumed by the collection of the I/O modules.

12. The apparatus of Claim 8, wherein:

the at least one processing device is further configured to generate a second graphical user interface (500) containing logical representations (206, 510) of the I/O modules; and

each of the logical representations of the I/O modules comprises a common representation, regardless of one or more types of connections between the I/O modules and an industrial process controller (106).

13. The apparatus of Claim 8, wherein:

the at least one processing device is further configured to generate a second graphical user interface (500); and

the second graphical user interface comprises a tree (502) identifying:

different equipment; and

for specific equipment, (i) an adapter (204) associated with the specific equipment and representing a collection of the I/O modules and (ii) each of the I/O modules in the collection of the 110 modules.

14. The apparatus of Claim 8, wherein the slot assembly data map identifies, for each slot, at least one of:

an offset and a size for input; and

an offset and a size for output.

15. At least one non-transitory computer readable medium containing instructions that when executed cause at least one processing device (302) to perform the method of any of Claims 1-7.