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To develop advanced manufacturing systems and industrial automation equipment, a distributed control application platform (DCAP) is proposed (A. Aendenroomer et al., 2003). The DCAP can collect data from any device over heterogeneous networks, and control, monitor and optimize the operations of complex plants. Our discussions are focused on only two key components of the DCAP: how to manage heterogeneous devices and how to transmit data and commands among DCAPs. The background is introduced first. The methods employed to manage the heterogeneous devices and transmit commands and data are then discussed. An example is given to illustrate the schemes for designing and implementing a DCAP. Finally, a brief conclusion and future directions are given.