frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Which use cases does AutomationML support?

Generally, we support the data exchange within the whole engineering process in different data exchange scenarios. However we start with those use cases most important for the AutomationML members, e.g.:

  • Transition from robot simulation system to robot specific programming system
  • Transition from mechanical design to functional (electrical and PLC) engineering
  • Data exchange between CAD systems
  • Transition from CAD system to documentation system

Which data exchange scenarios does AutomationML support?

AutomationML has the capability to support respectively enable the following data exchange scenarios. Nevertheless, the software tools involved in the scenariosmight need adaptionsto be able to participate in a particular data exchange scenario.

  • Simple Export of engineering data
  • Revision Supported Export of engineering data
  • Simple Import of engineering data
  • Revision SupportedImport of engineering data
  • Bidirectional data exchange
  • Data passing (and enriching) through tool (Import / Export)
  • Parallel Engineering including Split, Sync, Merge of data
  • Exchange of engineering data by using a AutomationML Warehouse

The core features, which enable these scenarios, are the ID concept, versioning information and changestate management.

Does AutomationML support the exchange of libraries?

Yes, the support of object oriented library concepts is a core feature of AutomationML and its related standards CAEX, COLLADA, and PLCopen XML.

Does AutomationML support versions, encryption, access rights, and data protection?

AutomationML is able to store version and history information. Tools are able to use standard XML methods for encryption, e.g. XML encryption or XML signatures.
Management of access rights is tool functionality, while AutomationML is a data exchange format.

What changes does AutomationML require in our engineering workflow?

AutomationML does not require changes in your workflow.AutomationML supports today’s workflows. Furthermore it simplifies regular synchronizations of parallel engineering steps. However, some tools might need further developments to benefit of all supported AutomationML functionalities.

How does AutomationML manage bulk data?

AutomationML supports distribution of data in separate XML files through reference mechanisms, e.g. geometry of objects can be stored in different XML files.

How is data stored?

Data is stored in any storage system that supports XML documents. Additionally, AutomationML defines the “AutomationML Container” to organize complete AutomationML projects consisting of multiple documents.

Which standards does AutomationML use?

AutomationML integrates the following standards:
  • CAEX as top-level format and for plant topology
  • COLLADA for geometry, kinematics, and motion planning
  • PLCopen XML SFCs and FBDs for behaviour and sequence descriptions
  • MathML for formulas

Why does AutomationML use an XML-based format?

AutomationML uses XML-based formats because:
  • XML is a globally highly accepted data format,
  • it is human readable,
  • it is very easy to provide connectors to XML,
  • a variety of stable and reliable XML parsers are
  • available for low cost.

Which documents and software does the AutomationML association provide?

The core of AutomationML are the specification documents (IEC 62714) and the related XML schemas. With this information you should be able to understand and use AutomationML. Additionally, we support you with a lot of additional information, examples and software, like:
  • AutomationML editor,
  • AutomationML engine,
  • Implementers examples,
  • Whitepapers to different topics,
  • Best practice Recommendations,
  • Application Recommendations,
  • Publications.


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