EDDL – Electronic Device Description Language

EDDL or Electronic Device Description Language is a structured text declaration language that is similar to an XML, HTML web page or SGML document. EDDL isn’t a programmed software that needs to be translated for an operating system. It is interpreted at runtime by the EDD host instead. EDDL is standardized in IEC 61804-3 and IEC 61804-4. Profiles exist for the different fieldbuses to take into account the specific properties of the respective fieldbus.

Protocol Profiles / Specification
  • HCF_Spec-500
  • HCF_Spec-501
Logo FOUNDATION Fieldbus
  • FF-900
  • FF-901
  • PROFIBUSGuideline No. 2152 Vol.2
  • PROFIBUS Guideline No. 2362

The purpose of the EDDL is the decoupling of device development and software development. Device developers do not need to worry about the configuration tool and software developers do not have to observe the idiosyncrasies of each device type. Both implement the respective side of the communication interface of the device with the means available for each.

EDDL can theoretically be used with any protocol. However, the language is widely used in the world of process automation with HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, PROFIBUS and PROFINET more recently. EDDL can explain device parameters and their dependencies, visual representations for user interactions can be defined and communication paths with which the system can access device data can be described. Via different menu hierarchies, a display suitable for PC software and a display for small communications handsets can be implemented in the same EDD. EDDL also includes the ability to define interactive methods based on a subset of ANSI C and EDDL specific Built-ins that implement an interactive user guidance through complex processes such as calibrations or first commissioning of equipment.


EDDL provides an accurate description of the device data. For this reason, EDDL is also used in the registration of HART or FOUNDATION Fieldbus devices, by testing the protocol-compliant behavior of the field device by means of EDD implementation.

The Thorsis Technologies GmbH offers in the field EDDL different services such as EDD development and EDD testing.

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EDD Development

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