Frequently Asked Question

EDS & DCF files
Last Updated 7 months ago

There are two types of electronic files used by most PLCs to configure the CANopen device parameters and the communication facilities.

1 Electronic Data Sheet (EDS)

EDS files are used to describe functions and properties of any not configured CANopen device implemented according CiA 301 (generic device), CiA 401 to CiA 463 device and application profiles.

EDS serves as a template that describes CANopen parameters such as:

  • Communication parameters as defined in /CiA301/
  • Application parameters as specified in CiA® device and application profiles
  • Manufacturer-specific parameters as defined by the device manufacturer.

The EDS file lacks the configuration properties such as used bitrate, node-ID and parameter value and thus can only be used for a general description of the device. The mentioned configuration properties are added with the DCF file. The EDS format syntax is BNF-based. The EDS file is a text file with the extension “eds”.

You can download EDS file for your sensor here:

An EDS file can be opened by an CANopen software, for example Vector CANeds etc. You can easily see the structure of an EDS file like this:
The version of the EDS file can be found in the File information.

  • File version and File Revision shows the first 2 numbers of the EDS version. e.g. this EDS file version is v2.0.0
  • EDS version (4.0) is the standard version for the EDS definition.
  • More details of the EDS file is described in Description and Comment.

The EDS file on the website are made for DIS standard sensors. It contains DIS factory default values for some parameters. If the DIS default values are causing problems during the initialization, please contact us. 

The EDS file can also be edited with a notepad.


2 Device configuration file (DCF)

The DCF format describes functions and properties of a device in a specific configuration. The DCF is generated from the provided EDS file and thus specially designed for the PLC or a tool configuring the device in the specific CANopen network. Although PLC or a tool capable of the device configuration can use EDS files for that purpose, the DCF is a recommended standardized way to do so. The DCF format syntax is derived from the EDS format syntax and is as well BNF-based. The DCF file is a text file with the extension “dcf”.


DCF files are on request, it is not supplied as standard service. You can also generate the DCF file by yourself with CANopen software. Once you received sensor, first save the configuration to a DCF file, you might use this file in the future to restore your sensor.

Example, with PCANopen Magic ProDS:


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