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Isobus conformance test

For farm management information systems

At Agritechnica 2015, the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) presents a prototype of the Isobus conformance test for farm management information systems (FMIS) for the first time.

(Photo: AEF)

UP UNTIL NOW, THE FOCUS OF THE AEF ISOBUS TEST has been on the electronic interface between the tractor and the implement; from 2016, however, there will also be a test for the ISO-XML interface for transferring data between the farm management information system and the machine. One of the first steps will be taken in Hanover, where a small number of the more than 60 applications, for example fertilizer application rate as volume per area will be demonstrated.

The initial test version in 2016 is to cater for around 30 applications. The FMIS project group plans to progressively introduce 30 further applications in subsequent versions. Over the course of the coming year, the Isobus conformance test for farm management information systems will ensure that certified software fully supports the interface functions required for the specified functions, and that ISO-XML data can be exchanged with task controllers on the machinery, which have also undergone testing for these functions. Once software has been tested, it is listed in the AEF database and is entitled to bear the AEF Certified Label.

The situation in September 2015

As things stand, the transfer of job data often fails because the task controller does not process the data prepared in the farm management information system. Problems can also occur when transferring documentation data back to the FMIS Although the ISO standard provides for a broad range of use cases for the transfer of data in ISO-XML format, the various FMIS’s often only require part of this, and so this part alone is incorporated in the programming. However, no definition has been formulated to describe how a FMIS should deal with data elements that come from an ISO-XML file from an “unknown” machine.

If a farm management information system software product states that it supports ISO-XML, this often gives rise to the assumption that it enables all Isobus functionalities; on the contrary, this is generally not the case. For example, many FMIS’s support job documentation with ISO-XML, but not the creation of jobs with application maps for controlling the application rate on the machine. The fact is that all of the FMIS products currently available are not Isobus tested and are therefore proprietary standalone solutions that are not automatically compatible with products from other manufacturers.

About the AEF

The Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation was set up as an international “round table” of the agricultural engineering sector by seven leading companies and two manufacturers’ associations. The AEF promotes Isobus technology as defined in ISO 11783. Isobus primarily standardizes communication between tractors and attached implements, but it also standardizes data transfer between mobile systems and farm management systems, thus ensuring compatibility.

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