Thoughts on the current state of ASN.1 and XML technologies.

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The ASN1C Visual Studio Wizard

You may or not be aware that ASN1C includes a Visual Studio Wizard that you can use from Visual Studio to build a library from one or more ASN.1 files. If you have at least ASN1C v732, the wizard is present and usable.

The files for the wizard are in the vswizard folder of your ASN1C installation. There are three files here that are the components of the wizard: ASN1CWizard.ico, ASN1CWizard.vsdir, and ASN1CWizard.vsz. There is also a README.txt file here that provides instructions for configuring and installing the wizard. One of the steps is to modify the .vsz file, and note in particular the instructions to remove the comment-like lines that are at the top. In ASN1C v7.4, which will likely be released in January, this .vsz file will be generated during the installation, and there will no longer be a need to edit it.

Once the files for the wizard are correct and in place, you can use Visual Studio to create a new project just like you normally would, but now you can choose ASN1C as the project type. The wizard will invoke the ASN1C GUI, with some of the irrelevant options disabled. You can use the GUI to choose the ASN.1 files and define how you want the code to be generated for your library. Then you click on the Compile button to generate the code and a Visual Studio project file. Once you exit the GUI, the project file will be loaded into Visual Studio.

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Missing DLL Error When Trying to Start ASN1VE on Windows

If you’re running a Windows system with a version of the operating system that’s older than Windows 10, there’s a chance you’ll see a pop-up box like this if you install and try to start ASN1VE:

The missing DLL is part of the Visual Studio 2015 redistributable kit. If this error occurs, it means your Windows system doesn’t have this kit.

You can download the kit and install it from here.

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Easy V2X Conversions with Python

You can now use Python and our V2X ASN.1 API to easily convert binary V2X messages to text – whether JSON or XML – and vice versa.

Our V2X API is a C++ API, but the latest update provides a Python wrapper that can be used to convert V2X ASN.1-encoded data. There are three classes, each with methods for converting between binary (unaligned PER) and text (JSON or XML), in either direction.  The classes are:

  • For SAE J2735 DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications):
    • MessageFrame
  • For ETSI ITS:
    • CAM (Cooperative Awareness Message), ETSI EN 302 637-2
    • DENM (Decentralized Environmental Notification Message), ETSI EN 302 637-3

The API kit includes a sample Python program that handles things like using files for input/output and working with hexadecimal representations of the binary data, but at the end of the day, the conversion itself is simple, using one of the following function calls:

  • binary to JSON: buf = cls.to_json(inp_data, len(inp_data))
  • binary to XML: buf = cls.to_xml(inp_data, len(inp_data))
  • JSON to binary: buf = cls.from_json(inp_data)
  • XML to binary: cls.from_xml(inp_data)

(where cls is one of the provided classes: MessageFrame, CAM, or DENM.)

Download our V2X ASN.1 API and give it try!  Be sure to choose one of the 64-bit downloads, as the Python wrapper is not available for 32-bit systems.  Full documentation for the API is available on our website and included in the download.

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XBinder Version 2.6 Release

We recently released a new major version of our XBinder XML Schema Compiler product.  XBinder generates C, C++, Java, or C# code from XML Schema (XSD) definitions, making it easier to create and consume compliant XML documents in a programmatic way.

New features in this release include the following:

    • Generation of C/C++ Code to Better Support 64-bit Architectures
    • Generation of Visual Studio Projects for 64-bits
    • Ability to Use Qt Types
    • Use of Newer Versions of Visual Studio for Windows
    • XML Validation in XBinder Editor
    • Generation of Visual Studio Projects in XBinder Editor

A full list of changes, and additional details on the above changes, are available in the release notes.

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V2X API Updates

The V2X ASN.1 encode/decode API provides functions for encoding and decoding messages defined in the SAE International Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) Message Set Dictionary J2735 standard and equivalent ETSI standards – CAM and DENM.  An updated version of the API is now available for download from the V2X API product page on our web-site.  The updated API was built with ASN1C v7.2.2 and adds the following new features:

  • Generated XER (XML) and JSON code was added making it possible to output binary data to these formats and conversely decode data in these formats back to binary form.
  • The updated API contains generated “print-to-stream” functions rather than standard print functions.  This makes it possible to set up print callbacks to print to output devices or mediums other than stdout (for example, to a GUI display).
  • Versions of the C/C++ API have been added for Linux x86 32-bit and Linux ARM 32-bit platforms.

Also note that the name of the product has changed.  It was formerly known as V2X DLL, but the name was changed to V2X API as the former gave the impression it was a Windows-only product.


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