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The integration of microprocessed equipment from different manufacturers has been a difficulty in the automation of power substations, considering that the development of protocol converters is a demanding task, with questionable and costly results for the utilities. Even with the adoption of protocols that were particularly developed for the electric power sector, such as the IEC 60870-5 and the DNP, failed to solve all problems, as it only facilitates the communication between equipments, and a considerable engineering effort still must be made in the integration of such data. In response to such needs, the EPRI issued a set of recommendation standards that is now known as UCA. The IEC organization is working on the integration of UCA protocols, models and services for substations by means of the IEC 61850 standard. This article introduces the use of such protocol in substation automation from the user's viewpoint, analyzing the needed requirements to implement and integrate equipments using the IEC 61850 standard.