EtherNet/IP EDS

It’s time for me to eat a little crow I’m sorry to say. I eat lots of things. Weird things. Spicy things. Things I’d be embarrassed to tell you about.

I’ve eaten chicken from street vendors in Thailand. I’ve eaten the strangest Crepes you can imagine in France. I’ve eaten everything I could get my hands on in Milan. And, of course, I’ve eaten every type of Italian seafood; octopus, oysters, scallops, Scungilli and smelts (yes – with the heads).

But today I have to eat crow. Not a lot of it but some.

If you’ve read any of these rants, I have been complaining about EDS files for what now, 10 years, 15 years…maybe more. Ever since DeviceNet came out. I was in the 2nd boot camp AB had in Detroit (1995) when they introduced DeviceNet and I think that I complained about EDS (Electronic Data Sheet) files about 1 hour into the bootcamp.

The issue has always been that EDS files are a nice idea but of no value to anyone. None. No one. Just valueless.

You had to have one to pass conformance so we would doctor up an EDS file with a header and a few other minor attributes and send it in for conformance. What a waste.

Well, I’m eating crow today because that’s all changed. Yup. It’s a new ball game.

Version 20 of RsLogix 5000 will be able to read and use your EDS files for DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP applications. Yes, RA finally did it. After telling us for years (and I mean lots of years) that RsLogix would support EDS files. The day is finally here. [No help for you Modbus guys by the way]

Effective with that version, your customers can use RsLogix 5000 to configure your devices, define data types for your I/O blocks, automatically scale incoming data and more. All the hype that ODVA has been throwing out to users that don’t understand the practicalities of EDS files is being converted to reality.


This looks like it’s going to make the end users job a lot easier. Before I go too far let me add a disclaimer here.

RsLogix v20 is not released. What it will do and won’t do remains to be seen. I am only commenting on what I HAVE BEEN TOLD it will do. As they say in car lots, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)

End Users could really benefit with this enhancement. If your a PLC guy that’s reading in scale data over an EtherNet/IP I/O connection you’ll be able to build a data structure, a UDT (user defined type) that describes your data. You’ll be able to scale data, configure what I/O Assembly you want to use and do a host of things that vendors used to make work arounds to do. FINALLY!

You may even be able to setup the RPI (packet interval) using the EDS.

Stay tuned. I have my ace EtherNet/IP guru working on this. We’ll soon publish a white paper describing what is does and what it doesn’t do and what you might need to your EDS files to make them compatible with RsLogix 5000 [Send me an email through the CONTACT US link to get on the list for the white paper].

I am just amazed! WOW! What’s next? If RA can finally implement EDS files in RsLogix there’s no telling what might happen. In 9th grade Debbie D promised me she’d go out with me if I did her Algebra homework [Debbie was a gorgeous 9th grader]. She never did but could that come true now?

Wait here. I have to run get my cell phone and check for messages…

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