A pluggable port adapter is used for connecting PCI devices to a host system through a PCI local bus while also adding functionality to the host system. The port adapter communicates with the host system through a port adapter/host interface that includes the PCI local bus and an auxiliary bus. The auxiliary bus is used for controlling the additional circuitry on the port adapter. A PROM on the adapter card is used for identifying the port adapter type, serial number and hardware revision. The auxiliary bus is used for conducting JTAG testing and is used by the host system to program logic devices on the port adapter. The logic devices can be reprogrammed in the field by the host system to repair bugs and to enhance performance and/or functionality. A power control circuit on the port adapter is controlled by the auxiliary bus for conducting hot swap operations.