ASAM MCD-2 D (aka ODX) allows the data-oriented specification of vehicle diagnostics. The standard defines a data model for the description of diagnostics capabilities of ECUs needed throughout the lifecycle of a vehicle from development, testing, production to after-sales and service. The standard facilitates the exchange of diagnostic information between partners in development process, e.g. between OEM and ECU supplier or between OEMs in a cooperation project. In detail, ODX covers the description of:

  • Diagnostic communication via requests and responses, trouble codes (DTCs), parameters and other diagnostic data
  • Communication parameters for different diagnostic protocols
  • ECU memory programming
  • ECU variant coding
  • Function-oriented diagnostics

The standard defines a data model and description format, which is independent from specific vendors, busses or protocols, and which has well-defined semantics for all specification elements. ODX allows to store diagnostic data in a central location and to efficiently distribute the data to all involved parties from a single source. ODX data is serialized in a machine-readable XML format. Therefore, the standard enables the complete reuse of diagnostic data throughout all development phases of an ECU, e.g. for the design of diagnostic communication, the development of the ECU kernel and application software, configuration of diagnostic testers and the generation of the diagnostics documentation for the vehicle. Since the data originates from one source, ODX helps to prevent inconsistencies, errors and repetitive efforts.

ODX-compliant workshop testers or D-servers do not need to be re-programmed for every ECU or vehicle. The ODX-file is sufficient to configure such devices for handling diagnostic communication with an ECU or the vehicle network. The data in an ODX-file describes the communication between ECUs and external devices and allows the translation of the diagnostic data contained in the messages to human-readable values or text.

An ODX-compliant diagnostics stack of an ECU does not just allow to carry out basic diagnostics functions, but makes other functions available via the diagnostics system such as reading specific ECU-internal signals, reprogramming of the ECU, enabling or disabling of specific ECU features (variant coding) or identifying the currently flashed variant in the ECU. To prevent errors or misuse, ODX offers several means to ensure integrity, validity and authenticity of the diagnostic data access.

Standard Authors

Audi AG, BMW AG, Continental Automotive GmbH, Daimler AG, DSA Daten- und Systemtechnik GmbH, ETAS GmbH, General Motors Company, In2Soft, Porsche AG, Renault S. A., Robert Bosch GmbH, Siemens AG, Softing Automotive Electronics GmbH, SPX UK Ltd, Vector Informatik GmbH, Volkswagen AG.

Data Model for ECU Diagnostics (also: Open Diagnostic Data Exchange Format)
Current Version
Release Date
18 May 2008
Application Areas
  • Specification of diagnostic communication, data and capabilities of an ECU
  • ECU memory programming
  • ECU variant coding
  • Configuration of diagnostic devices, e.g. workshop testers or D-servers
  • Configuration of development tools
Specification Content
  • Data model specification
  • Authoring guidelines
  • XML schemata
  • Communication parameters for:
  • KWP 2000 on CAN
  • KWP 2000 on K-Line
  • UDS on CAN
File Formats
  • odx
  • pdx
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