The Z-line is an older generation product that was released around '92, and ALC has announced the Z line will no longer be manufactured as of this month. 13 years as an available product isn't too bad, is it? The U-line product allows Moe to have native WebCTRL programming, if he wants, something the Z-line couldn't.
I take it a CSI job will never need upgrading? CSI hardware and programming features will always remain the same, I take it? Maybe that's why CSI is where it's at in the evolution of BAS
Also, I don't have any problems at all getting the ALC product. It's probably more of a dealer issue vs ALC themselves.
Anybody that has the Eikon programming software and WebCTRL "server" software can download into the controllers. Since ALC doesn't have canned programming residing in their hardware, you still need the right tools to get in and do the job.
Eikon is part of the WebCTRL software package... so it's free!
You can read/write to any BACnet point in their system with the correct addressing, of course. Do you want to do more than that? I know what you're getting at with ALC not truley being an open platform, but the stuff rocks nonetheless.
Richards Zeta controls seems to be on the right track with interoperability with an IT based migration platform.