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“New” and “Old” J1939 Database Format

Last updated: 2019-03-04

The following explanation is extracted from the CANdb++ Editor Release Notes:

"Since CANdb++ 2.7 SP8, an expanded J1939 database format is used. The identifier of a message in the database now contains the complete 29-bit CAN identifier including priority, sender, and destination address.

Therefore, the communication relationships can now be defined in the database. For additional information, see Define J1939 databases.

J1939 database from version 2.7 SP7 and before

You can continue to use a J1939 database that was created with Version 2.7 SP7 and before. However, some new functions from CANoe/CANalyzer Version 5.2, e.g. CAPL code generation, cannot be used with old J1939 databases."

The “new” format has been designed to contain more information (source and destination address) that were not available in the “old” one and be more flexible and performant. Therefor we strongly recommend to actualize the format of “old” dbc.

You can recognize the format of the dbc you are working with using the CANdb++ editor.

Double click the J1939 network. The attribute J1939PGN = 1 indicates the "Old" format:

Whereas the attribute ProtocolType = J1939 indicates the "New" one:

Vector was used to deliver with CANoe/CANalyzer a converter for the dbc transformation. Meanwhile, this converter is not delivered anymore as our customer usually do not work with such “old” format dbc anymore.

However you can find this converter in all older version than CANoe 8.0 (for instance in CANoe 7.5), in the CANalyzer/CANoe directory under:

If you have no access to this converter you can send us the concerned dbc to the following address and we will convert it for you. (

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