System designers normally use configuration tools to integrate device in a CANopen network. Such tools require a machine-readable device description. In CANopen, there are two formats of Electronic Data Sheets (EDS): one is ASCII character based and the other uses XML. The ASCII format is specified in CiA 306-1, which has been updated recently.
In addition, the CAN in Automation (CiA) users’ and manufacturers’ group has released the CiA 306-2 profile database specification. It is used to teach the CANopen conformance test tool to proof the implemented CANopen services and profile parameters. The profile database is a machine-readable CANopen object dictionary specification.
The third part of this specification series (CiA 306-3) describes the network variable handling and the integration into programming tools. Network variables are used for example in controller compliant with IEC 61131, also known as PLCopen. This part was originally in the CiA 405 specification, which has been withdrawn. Other CiA 405 content was moved to CiA 302-4 (network variables and process image) as well as CiA 314 (PLCopen function blocks for CANopen).
For further information about CANopen please go to www.can-cia.org.