The OSDL Protocol provides a way for sensors, triggers, actuators and controllers to communicate with each other using existing, established technologies.
Where possible technology is utilised to minimise the amount of configuration needed for sensor networks. As an example zero-configuration networking can be used with sensors and a universal recorder. The universal recorder will query any sensors it can identify on the network, and sensors can be added or removed without configuration of the recorder.
In real-world settings multiple sensors, triggers,a ctuators and/or controllers may be present on a single device ('node'). Each node has a node descriptor file that details what services it provides for the sensor network.