In recent years, the world has been exposed to many developments in different areas esp. computer technology, resulting in computers with high power of processing to be built. Among these devices, intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) have the capability to process considerable volume of data at high speed. Since, real-time data processing is vital in distribution networks as the largest users during their operation, IEDs would be applicable in such systems. In addition to IEDS, communication systems have improved during recent decades, providing the desired conditions for a concept known as distribution system automation (DSA) which has been discussed in this paper. Furthermore, the application of distributed generation (DG) in the context of DSA is addressed. Then, different control schemes have been investigated for DG sources while power quality (PQ) issues with DSA in microgrids are proposed in this paper. Moreover, the global automation standard has been presented and a combined strategy is suggested for demand-side management (DSM).