XIL Cross Tests 2016 – Easy Exchange Enabled!

The ASAM XIL API is a generic simulator interface for the communication between test tools and test benches. It enables users to freely choose testing products according to their requirements and to decouple test-cases from real and virtual test systems. A cross test has been conducted in July 2016 at dSPACE in Paderborn to prove the interoperability of XIL-compliant tools from different vendors.

Effectively decoupling test case descriptions from specific test tools and test benches in order to improve test reuse is a challenging and time-consuming task for test developers. The problem: the unsuccessful exchange of test cases complicates the quality assurance process of a unit under test. This sometimes even leads to a complete and costly reimplementation. The side effects include redundant code that is difficult to manage and increasing maintenance costs. The best way to overcome these problems is standardization.


The ASAM XIL-API workgroup has developed the XIL-API as a generic simulator interface for the communication between test tools and test benches. It enables users to choose products freely according to their requirements, independent of the vendor. Thus, the Standard supports test benches at all stages of the development and test process. Moreover, the knowledge transfer from one stage or tool to another becomes much easier, ultimately resulting in lower costs for employee training and system maintenance. Several implementations based on the latest version of the Standard, XIL API 2.0, are currently available on the market.


Cross tests among the major vendors and their products took place on July, 13/14, 2016 in Paderborn, Germany. The goal was to ensure Standard coverage and conformance for each test bench implementation as well as compatibility between automation tools and test benches.

Constantin Brückner, AUDI AG and Project Manager of the ASAM cross tests:


“The successfully completed cross tests demonstrated a good interoperability of test benches and test tools that implemented the ASAM XIL API Standard and cover a wide range of functionalities of the Model Access Port, defined by end users and tool vendors within the XIL-API workgroup. In the project, we developed a vendor-independent test suite based on NUnit together with a Test Result Reporter financed by ASAM. These two new components will be part of the ASAM XIL–API Standard and will be supplied with a future version of the Standard. The big benefit: the test suite and generated results help end users bring their systems into operation and isolate problems easily due to a high number of standardized tests and a good transparency of the reported results.”

ASAM XIL Cross Test


Dr. Rainer Rasche, dSPACE GmbH and Project Manager of the XIL workgroup: 


“While we are collecting requirements for the next major release of the Standard, the main focus of the operational XIL workgroup will be on maintenance topics in order to actively process issues reported by the active user base.”

The following test functionalities were covered systematically:  

  • Processing metadata and initializing /de-initializing the Model Access Port 
  • Reading and writing variables (of different types), 
  • Sophisticated capturing of signals (including triggers) and signal generation.


Companies who have participated in the cross tests in Paderborn:



Test Bench

Automation Tool

Volkswagen AG



carts GmbH / MicroNova AG

NovaCarts Automation API



Platform APIPackage

AutomationDesk, ControlDesk

embeddeers GmbH



National Instruments

NI VeriStand

NI TestStand

TraceTronic GmbH



Vector Informatik GmbH





The tests demonstrated a good interoperability of test benches and test automation tools that use the ASAM XIL API. The developed test suite and the Test Result Reporter – as part of a future XIL Standard version – will help end users bring systems into operation and thus enables the easy information exchange between test benches and test automation software. A further cross test will be conducted in early 2017 to ensure that all issues that were found have been solved and removed. Furthermore, it is planned to focus on the EES-Port in this second part of the cross test. Meanwhile, the main focus of the XIL Workgroup is on maintenance topics in order to process issues reported by the active user base.


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