EDS files for CANopen devices

Functions and properties of CANopen devices are largely described by objects and are managed in an object directory. The object directory is represented in electronic form by so-called EDS files (Electronic Data Sheet). EDS files are a fixed component of standardization in the CANopen field (CiA DS306 and CiA DS311) and play a key role in configuring CANopen networks. The file format specified by CiA guarantees that device descriptions generated by tools of different software producers (e.g. ProCANopen) can be read and processed. All participants in the development of CANopen systems benefit from complete and correct EDS files for the CANopen devices available on the market.

A look at the general development process [see animation] shows how indispensible EDS files are in working with CANopen devices.

EDS files enable:

  • Access to the CANopen device via manufacturer-independent tools such as ProCANopen
  • Generation of device-specific simulation models, such as with CANoe.CANopen
  • Generation of a device-specific CANopen conformance test, e.g. with CANoe.CANopen
  • Generation of a test environment for application tests, e.g. with CANoe.CANopen

The suitable and standard-conformant EDS file

How do you get an EDS file that is right for your CANopen device, and who will guarantee its conformance to the standard? In answering these questions, two approaches need to be addressed:

You choose to integrate the CANopen device of a third-party producer in the overall system
An EDS file should be included with the purchased CANopen device. If this is not the case, please contact the device manufacturer and request the associated EDS file. If no EDS file exists for the CANopen device, then it is impossible to use a manufacturer-independent configuration tool to integrate the device in the overall system or configure the device! By obtaining the freely available EDS editor CANeds, however, your supplier will have a tool that can be used to create the appropriate and correct EDS file.
You choose to develop the CANopen device yourself
It is essential that the development process for CANopen devices includes the creation of an EDS file that is suitable for the device. It must be ensured that this file is syntactically correct, and that its contents match your CANopen device. The extensive functions of the freely available EDS editor CANeds let you conveniently create, modify and test EDS files. You should generate the device’s EDS file as early as possible, because the EDS file is already useful in the development process.