Standardised Solutions

Proposal Workshop: ODX Runtime Format

Sep. 26, 2017
Le Méridien, Stuttgart, Germany

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ASAM is hosting a Proposal Workshop to initiate a new project group.

Main Goal of the Project

Definition of a standardized diagnostic runtime format (associate standard of ODX).

Problem Description

Data-driven diagnostics in runtime systems in accordance with ASAM MCD-3 D (MVCI server, ISO-22900-3) has been defined as the most important (but not exclusive) goal for ODX. The standard actually supports many more aspects of diagnostics through the structure of ODX containers (single source for the diagnostic data definition process). For example, the standard supports distributed development of diagnostics functions (e.g. via inheritance and linking), the documentation of diagnostics architectures, the exchange of containers with suppliers and the tracking of changes via administrative meta-data.

The missing optimization of ODX-containers for diagnostic runtime systems makes direct access to the information within the containers for MVCI-servers very inefficient and slow. The primary reasons for this are:

  • The size of PDX-containers increases with increasing requirements for diagnostics. The processing of such files exceeds the RAM capacity of some of today's computer systems.
  • The nodes in an ODX-container are semantically linked with each other (e.g. via ODX-links). In contrast, the XML exchange format is based upon a pure hierarchical structure. This mismatch must be resolved while importing the container. This costs a lot of processing- and memory-resources, and is not feasible any more with larger ODX-containers.
  • The ODX-container includes a lot of unnecessary data from the view-point of a runtime system. This is primarily such data which supports aspects that are important during development, e.g. change management, administrative data, description of the connector pin layout.

For those reasons, almost every diagnostic runtime system uses its own, proprietary format for efficient data-driven diagnostics. A pre-processor transforms a given ODX-container into a non-standard format, which is optimized for the runtime system. 

Complete vs. task-oriented: An ODX-container typically describes and documents the diagnostics functionality of a logical unit in a complete fashion. Logical units are, for example, an ECU, an ECU product line, a vehicle or a vehicle platform with various ECU variants. However, in reality diagnostics is typically carried out in a task-oriented fashion. A tester requires for a specific task only a few parts of the complete description during runtime. This could be, for example, an OTX sequence, which reads out just one measurement value from exactly one ECU with exactly one protocol via one specific diagnostics command. The reduction of diagnostics data to a specific subset would significantly reduce the size of the description.

Goals for Standardization

The goals for standardizing a diagnostic runtime format are:

  • Transfer of a hierarchical, textual exchange format into a binary data format which is optimized for network structures (graphical representation).
  • Identification and elimination of those aspects, which are not relevant for a runtime system, e.g. administrative data, special data groups (SDGs).
  • Elimination of modular structures and aspects supporting distributed development, which are not needed for runtime systems, e.g. inheritance.
  • Preparation of a good foundation for further data reduction to support task-oriented diagnostics.

The transfer and processing of large ODX-files in the area of embedded- and telematics-applications is even more critical than in traditional areas. Processing- and memory-resources, as well as data transfer rates to the tester are very limited here.

Possible results of a project would be:

  • The definition of a standardized diagnostics runtime format for optimal use in an MVCI runtime system with regard to future use in the telematics area and embedded devices.
  • The definition of a transformation from ODX into a defined runtime format.


The new standard for the description of an ODX runtime format is based upon ASAM MCD-2 D (ODX) and would become an 'Associate Standard' to ODX in accordance with the methodology of ASAM. The ODX standard is considered as the starting point of the transformation and shall not necessarily be extended or changed.


The proposal workshop is open for ASAM members and non-members alike. Please note that participation in a future standardization work group requires an ASAM membership.

Register here

For questions, please contact thomas.thomsen(at)

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