Device Description Language

Device Description Language (DDL) is a formal language for describing the operation and programming of devices in process and factory automation.


Today's devices, the process and manufacturing automation have a variety of settings in order to adapt to the individual application ( parameterization ). To this end, they offer a digital communication interface (HART, PROFIBUS, Fieldbus Foundation ). Various software tools allow the operation and parameterization of the devices. In order not to create a separate software tool for each device type, the early 1990s DDL was developed. A single software tool can by interpreting the device description ( DD) operated and programmed many different types of devices. Creating the descriptor using DDL is less expensive than creating a custom software tools.

HART Communication Foundation, PROFIBUS and Fieldbus Foundation have combined their respective description languages ​​and expanded. The result is known as Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL ) an IEC standard (IEC 61804 ).

The harmonization and further development of the EDDL is being promoted in the community of interest ECT ( EDDL Cooperation Team). To ECT include the boards of the Fieldbus Foundation, Profibus user organization, HART Communication Foundation, OPC Foundation and the FDT Group.

Structure of the DDL

Using DDL to describe:

  • Data ( for example, parameter )
  • Communication ( addressing)
  • Structure of the operation
  • Operations ( such as calibration)

Software Tools

An EDD (device description ) you can basically create a normal ASCII editor. However, this is prone to error as any other descriptive or programming language, so that offer special development tools that enable the creation of standard-compliant EDDs.

The following tools support the creation of EDDs:

  • IsEDD Workbench ( ifak system ) - Product conforming to standard IEC 61804-3 for

The following operating and parameterization programs interpret DDL:

  • SIMATIC PDM - " The Process Device Manager" ( Siemens)
  • AMS ( Emerson Process Management)
  • SDC 625 ( HART)
  • FDM (Honeywell)
  • IsEDDview DTM ( ifak system )
  • IDTM for Field Care ( Endress Hauser)