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About XDOP

A few years ago we were in need of a device control protocol for one of our projects. A short research showed that there was no standard protocol for controlling devices. In fact there was and for now is a wide range of propietary protocols on the market. 

The existing protocols didn't suit our demands because most of them had at least one of the following failures:

  • The protocol was closed. There was no (complete) official protocol description available or the license was not granted.
  • The protocol was layed out for one specific transport layer.
  • The protocol itself was too limited.

As many other companies before us, we decided to define a new protocol. The difference in our attempt is that we tried to define a protocol which should be universal enough to become a alternativ for many device developers.

The resulting protocol is called XDOP (Indexed Device Object Protocol) and is an attempt to define an universal, simple and lightweight device communication protocol which can be used for controlling devices of all sorts.

Key Concepts

XDOP (Indexed Device Object Protocol) itself is a very simple and lightweight protocol, which can be implemented for almost every microcontroller (embedded systems).

The minimal code size for XDOP will be in the most cases between 2k and 8k, depending on the number of variables, actions and events.

The design of XDOP is based on the following requirements

  • XDOP is a universal control protocol for device objects
  • The device objects are accessed by numeric indexes (mapping between indexes and names)
  • The device delivers a description of its objects
  • XDOP is independent of any transport layer
  • The communication messages are mostly text-based and therefore human-readable
  • XML can easily be embedded into the messages
  • The protocol overhead is minimal
  • The parsing of the messages is very simple
  • The device can send events

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