Change History

Id Subject Date
Latest Commit KBLFRM-1230: Refactored structure for VEC-package. Clarified filename format. 2024-03-19
KBLFRM-1230  Consolidated information about the VEC package, added path format 2024-03-19
KBLFRM-1191  Extracted information from PSI recommendation and extended it where necesseray. 2024-03-14


A Vehicle Electric Container (VEC) in XML representation is a single file following the structure defined in the VEC XML schema. It contains all the information of a harness, a set of harnesses, or other related information defined in the VEC specification. A VEC Container can reference other files via the DocumentVersion element and information contained in other files via the different “External References” concepts.

There are use cases where one wants to exchange the VEC together with these referenced files. There is also the need to exchange a set of VEC files together (see Partitioning and Sizing of VEC Files). The VEC-Package addresses these use cases and specifies the mechanism to exchange VEC files and any associated files as a single package.

Detailed Solution

A VEC-Package is an archive containing two things:

  • One index file: index.vec (a VEC file)
  • At least one data file (not required to be a VEC file)

Depending on the individual requirements the technical format of the archive can be:

  • TAR
  • ZIP
  • or a zipped tar.

In addition, the archive can contain any number of addditional data files. There is no restriction on the type or format of these files. A VEC-Package may contain multiple VEC files and /or it may contain, for example drawings as SVG, CAD models of the harness or components as JT models.

The structure of the archive is not restricted. A VEC-Package may contain a flat set of files, but may also have a folder structure. It is recommended to use a folder structure to organize the files in the archive: e.g. to apply a grouping of all drawings or project related groupings.

There is no naming convention for files and folders inside the VEC-Package defined. It is up to the user to name a folder or a file. However, it is recommended to use the known and established file name extensions for the files in the package. I.e., .vec for a VEC file, .svg for a SVG file, or .jt for a JT file.

A VEC-Package shall contain an index file providing further information about the context of the package. The index file has the reserved name index.vec and it must be a valid VEC file, conforming to the VEC XML schema.

The elements of the index VEC file are restricted to the classes DocumentVersion and PartVersion. The index file contains a DocumentVersion for each file in the package. The attributes of the DocumentVersion are used to provide further information on the files:

  • dataFormat: the format of the file in the VEC-Package (as MIME-Type if available).
  • documentNumber: the number of the document
  • documentVersion: the version of the document
  • fileName: the name of the file as it appears in the package, including the folder structure. It must not point to any file location which is not part of the VEC-Package (e.g. a File on a central server file share). The fileName is relative to the VEC-Package root. It MUST NOT contain a drive or device letter, or a leading slash. All slashes MUST be forward slashes / (UNIX-style).

A DocumentVersion may reference one or more PartVersion objects via referencedPart to give further details on the usage of the file. For example, the fact, that an SVG file which represents the wiring diagram of a harness, can be expressed in the index file by a DocumentVersion pointing to a PartVersion, which represents the harness.

Index of a VEC-Package
Index of a VEC-Package

The figure above illustrates the structure of such a VEC-Package and the corresponding index.vec. The upper half of the diagram illustrates the file structure within the archive. In the root of the archive is the mandatory index.vec file that describes the content of the package. The content of index.vec is illustrated in the lower half of the diagram.

In the the example, the package consists of the following files:

  • index.vec: Describes the content of the package.
  • Information about a harness with the part number 4811 specified by:
    • drawings/4811_a.vec: A VEC file, containing the definition of the harness.
    • drawings/4811_a.svg: A 2D SVG representation of the harness.
  • Information about a connector housing (part number: 4711) specified by:
    • components/4711_a.vec: A VEC file containing the part master data of the connector.
    • components/4711_a.svg: A component symbol (to be used in the 2D-drawing) defined in SVG.

In the VEC (especially in the index.vec) a DocumentVersion object is created for each external document (see lower half of the diagram). This DocumentVersion object references the PartVersion to which it is related.