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

Archive for category ASN2TXT

New ASN1VE and ASN2TXT releases for 2019

New major releases of our ASN1VE and ASN2TXT products are now available. The primary new feature added to each is support for the new ASN.1 JSON Encoding Rules (JER) as documented in the ITU-T X.697 standard that was made public last fall. ASN1VE now has a JSON tab that shows the JSON encoding for any binary message type. In addition, the Import and Export options under the File pulldown menu allow export to, or importing from JSON. ASN2TXT support translations in both directions (binary -> JSON and JSON -> binary).

Other improvements to ASN1VE included the following:

  • Added the capability to display and edit the contents of OCTET or BIT STRING types with contents constraints (CONTAINING constructs) using the inner contained type.
  • Added level to the tag search dialog to make it possible to search for tags at a given level instead of at any level.
  • Improved PDU tag matching for BER/DER messages with UNIVERSAL tags (common in ASN.1 used in security specifications). This makes it easier to find the PDU type of a message if it is not known.
  • Changed the Windows and Mac installation procedures to install the executable files in the Program Files area and sample programs in the User area. On Windows, sample programs are now copied to the user’s Documents directory under the ASN1VE folder.

For ASN2TXT, the capability do tag path filtering was another new feature that was added. This makes it possible to find and output elements in textual form if the full ASN.1 specification is not available. This capability was further described in this blog post.

Further details can be found in the release notes:

ASN1VE Release Notes
ASN2TXT Release Notes

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ASN.1 Tag Path Filtering in ASN2TXT

The latest release of our ASN.1 to Text Translation Tool (ASN2TXT) contains a new feature called “tag path filtering”. The purpose of this is to allow users to target specific items within a BER-encoded message without the need for full ASN.1 schema information. One use case for this would be the case where a user has a Call Detail Record (CDR) specification which has snippets of ASN.1 code, but which does not have the full specification. Another use case is where the user has the full specification, but is only interested in accessing a few specific items within the encoded data.

The way it works is the “tag path” to specific elements within the message is specified in an XML file along with other information such as the data type of the item and names to be used. The tag path is a concatenated list of ASN.1 tag values using a special compact syntax. So instead of using the full name for a tag such as [UNIVERSAL 22], only the first letter of the tag class would be used and there would be no space between the letter and the tag number. Therefore, [U22] would be the shorthand name for this tag.

In addition to the tag path, the following items can be used in a tag path specification:

  • name – a name that will be used in some types of output formats in place of the generated tag name.
  • type – the data type of the element used to format the value for output.
  • value – a textual value that would replace the actual data at the tag location.

The specification of a complete tag path is expressed in XML as follows:

<asn1TagPath>
  <path> path in tag path format </path>
  <name> name of the element </name>
  <type> data type of the element </type>
  <value> value to use for the element </value>
</asn1TagPath>

A tag path filter consists of one or more of these elements wrapped in an <asn1TagFilter> element.

This is just a brief summary of the basic idea behind tag paths. Full details can be found in the ASN2TXT User’s Manual in the section on ASN.1 Tag Path Filtering.

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New Major Release of ASN2TXT

Objective Systems is pleased to announce a new major release (version 2.6) of our ASN2TXT product.  ASN2TXT translates data from ASN.1 encoded binary formats (BER, DER, CER, PER, and UPER) to textual formats such as XML, JSON, or Comma-separated value (CSV).   The application allows ASN.1 schemas to be applied to data at run-time rather than having to first generate and compile code in some programming language.

The key new feature in the release is the addition of a Document Object Model (DOM) capability for users of the DLL.  Users can decode ASN.1 binary into a DOM tree format where values can be altered prior to serialization into an output format.  These alterations can be in the form of changing node values, adding additional nodes, or removing nodes from the tree.  The capability also exists to locate nodes in the tree using standard XML Path (XPath) expressions.

In addition to the new DOM feature, we have also added support for ISO 8601 date/time types as well as interfaces that allow the DLL to be used in C and C# .NET applications.

A free, 30-day evaluation version of the product may be downloaded from the ASN2TXT product page by clicking the “Download” button at the bottom of the page.

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ASN2TXT v2.5.0 Released

Version 2.5.0 of Objective Systems’ ASN2TXT product is now available.

The ASN.1-to-text translator (ASN2TXT) translates binary-encoded BER/CER/DER/PER ASN.1 data into various textual formats including XML, comma-separated value (CSV), and JSON formats.  It includes a DLL that can be embedded in user code as well as a command-line executable and GUI wizard that invoke this DLL.

This version adds the following new capabilities:

  • Ability to decode ASN.1 binary data to a JSON format. Most existing XML options are also valid for JSON output.
  • Filtering of CSV data. Using a configuration file, it is now possible to specify a selection path (and optional mapped column name) and only write records to the CSV file that match this path.
  • Support for decoding 3GPP TS 32.297 headers for XML and JSON. This is a standard header format now used in many LTE-related and other CDR formats.

You can find out more about ASN2TXT from our web site here: http://www.obj-sys.com/products/asn2txt/index.php

 

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Announcing ASN2TXT 2.4.1

We’re proud to release ASN2TXT 2.4.1, the latest patch to our ASN.1 to Text conversion tool. It is a recommended upgrade for all users that includes some under-the-covers improvements to error handling and some bug fixes. Those of you interested in embedding our ASN2TXT DLL in your own applications will appreciate code that integrates better, as well. You can find the latest in our changelog. Those who haven’t used it before can download an evaluation easily.

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