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The advent of power industry deregulation has placed greater emphasis on the availability of information, the analysis of this information, and the subsequent decision-making to optimize system operation in a competitive environment. Intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) being implemented in substations contain valuable information, both operational and nonoperational, needed by many user groups within the utility. The challenge facing utilities is determining a standard integration architecture that meets the utility's specific needs, can extract the desired operational and nonoperational information, and deliver this information to the users who have applications to analyze the information. This article provides an overview of substation integration and automation fundamentals and focuses on best practices.