When ACES XML was first introduced to the automotive aftermarket as a standard for exchanging fitment data, it helped overcome some of the challenges faced with ACES and PIES. ACES is an acronym for Automotive Catalog Exchange Standard, and PIES stands for Product Information Exchange Standard.
ACES XML is just a file format that stores information about a product’s specifications, including color, size, weight, and other attributes. It can be used to transfer this type of information among different brands to help ensure compatibility across various manufacturers’ products.
Below we’ll be taking a closer look at ACES XML and how an automotive aftermarket business can export it to other formats.
What is ACES XML?
Even for those operating in the automotive aftermarket industry, ACES XML can be a mystery. ACES is the Automotive Component Engineering Standard, which encompasses ACES XML. ACES defines how various parts are designed and manufactured for automotive applications with certain specifications in mind that make them interchangeable between different vehicles.
To better understand:
- ACES uses an open and extensible standard called PIES to describe its engineering data requirements
- ACES contains tools to automatically generate documentation from component geometry descriptions (i.e., CAD)
- ACES also provides the capability to query individual components about their fitment relationships with other components
- ACES offers multiple formats as output, including ASCII textual representations, ECXML binary expression tree format, or JSON object notation – each having benefits for specific use cases depending on individual circumstances.
- ACES can be used in a variety of ways by automotive aftermarket businesses: it can generate documentation from component geometry descriptions (i.e., CAD), provide engineering data requirements for suppliers/manufacturers, or serve as feedstock for CAM software.
ACES XML is an open and extensible standard that allows ACES to query individual components about their fitment relationships with other components. ACES offers multiple formats as output, including ASCII textual representations, ECXML binary expression tree format, or JSON object notation – each having benefits for specific use cases depending on individual circumstances.
ACES XML is ACES’ standard for representing ACES data in a specific format that other software applications can read.
You need an ACES project and output file type (JSON or ECXML) to export ACES XML. The compressor tool will create the necessary files automatically once it’s configured with your desired configuration settings. Once you configure ACIES Compressortool, all you have left is choosing whether you want JSON or ECXML as the output format before clicking “Compress.”
What Are The Different Formats?
The most common formats used by businesses are CSV files (Comma Separated Values) and TXT files (Text Files). These two types can be generated from a number of content management systems such as WordPress, Drupal, Magento, or Shopify.
- CSV Format: This format stores data in one cell per line with each value separated by commas character, whereas ACES XML has several lines to store extensive metadata and information about where to find associated fitment records (e.g., the catalogs). The CSV storage method makes it easy for Excel programs like Microsoft Excel to access them, but ACES XML cannot be accessed using this program since it’s considered an unreadable file type.
- TXT File: A text file uses white space characters within its contents instead of delimiting data with commas. ACES XML uses white space characters to delimit metadata and fitment records, so this format is not an option for ACES exports since ACES does not use this character.
How to Export ACES XML to Other Formats?
ACES XML is not only used for ACES and PIES but can also be used by other industries such as the military, medical manufacturing, electronics, oil & gas pipeline construction.
The major problem that ACES faces is that companies in different countries use their own specification formats to draw up technical drawings and catalogs of products they sell. These files may contain proprietary data or be in a particular format, making translating them into ACES XML challenging.
For instance, if you’re trying to export your ACES XML file from Corel Draw version X to Adobe Illustrator, you’ll need another third-party software called SketchLab Studio to convert one type of ACAD file type into another. This problem persists with many other programs because ACES XML is not supported on many ACAD programs.
The way to avoid this issue is by using a CAD application that’s ACES compliant. For example, in Solidworks, you can export ACES XML files without any problems because it has ACES support for all ACAD drawing tools and workflows with their corresponding formats.
As another option, if you want to use different software, but your company doesn’t have the capability or license fee, some websites allow users to upload an ACES file for conversion into other format types. This includes Autodesk’s free service, AutoDesk Design Review, enabling designers from companies like General Motors Malaysia (GMM) who don’t already have licensing access to various products such as CATIA and AUTOCAD to ACES files to view the ACES file’s design data on their website.
The other conversion service is called ACES XML, which offers an online web-to-PDF converter for ACES XML that individuals or companies of any size can use without licensing fees.
While this may come with some disadvantages, such as a PDF-only viewing capability, it does allow you to save your design from CATIA into various formats, including SVG vector graphics format (SVG) for use in Google Docs. Other exported types include JPEG images created at 300dpi resolution and EPS vector graphic export, so there are many ways to convert ACES XML through these services successfully.
When it comes to exporting ACES XML to the CSV format, ACES files can be exported to CSV and then converted through Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. ACES XML export is also available for ACG, CATIA, DGX (Design Graphix), PIES/DLLS data file formats, and a variety of different ACES-to-ACES conversion tools available online that will help you avoid the usual complications in translating ACES into other formats without any licensing fees.
While these services are not always free, they provide an easy way to convert ACES XML from one type of format to another without needing to deal with complicated ACES translation processes on your own if you have limited time!
In terms of converting ACES XML to a TXT file, ACES XML is a document that contains ACES-readable content, and ACES TXT is an ACES formatted text file. ACER will do the conversion for you if you would like to export your data in this format. It’s also important to note that ACES TXT files aren’t ACES XML documents since they don’t contain the ACES tags and formatting.
For more information on ACES XML and fitment data, feel free to contact us directly.