Powerful test authoring and automation tool

With AutomationDesk, tests can be executed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, letting engineers increase test coverage and improve ECU software quality while saving time and costs.

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  • Test Automation Tools Support Center

    This website provides a link list for fast access to the most important support information for Test Automation Tools.

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  • AutomationDesk Training

    The training course covers the access to HIL platforms as well as a wide variety of tools: e.g., the Failure Insertion Unit, calibration and diagnostic tools, MATLAB®, and ControlDesk. The instructor will show you how to work with custom libraries filled with self-defined generic test steps and complete tests. You can gain hands-on experience in using predefined frameworks for your test implementation.

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Application Areas

AutomationDesk is a powerful test authoring and automation tool for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing of electronic control units (ECUs). AutomationDesk users can create and edit test routines in a graphical format without requiring programming skills.

AutomationDesk’s interface libraries, compliant with the ASAM standards, allow for a seamless reuse of automated tests across different development stages, such as MIL and SIL simulation with VEOS, dSPACE's platform for PC-based simulation, and HIL simulation with SCALEXIO or any third-party simulation platform that provides a XIL API-compliant interface.

AuomationDesk Core is a Linux variant for running AutomationDesk tests on Linux PCs or Linux Dockers.

Key Benefits

AutomationDesk provides libraries containing a large number of predefined test steps, e.g., for easy access to the simulation model, a Failure Insertion Unit (FIU), or calibration and diagnostics software. With AutomationDesk, tests can be executed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, letting engineers increase test coverage and improve ECU software quality while saving time and costs.

The close integration of AutomationDesk and SYNECT improves collaboration between test developer using AutomationDesk and test manager using SYNECT. Test case changes and test implementation state information are available directly in the tools. Inconsistencies are indicated by symbols and tool tips. Updates can be done by 'Push' and 'Pull' commands inside each tool.



Test Automation Software Overview: The modular packaging of dSPACE’s test automation software lets you select the packages you need for your automation tasks, and add other modules later on if necessary.

Functionality Description
Advanced Sequence Builder and Test project management and execution
  • Graphical test development
  • Library-based test authoring via drag & drop
  • Intuitive navigation in structured projects
  • Confi guring test executions and access results and reports
  • Powerful development support through debugger and consistency checks
Automation libraries
  • ASAM XIL API library to access simulation platforms and failure insertion units of HIL simulators compliant to the ASAM XIL standard
  • Access to calibration tools like ControlDesk, ETAS INCA and Vector CANape via the ASAM MCD-3 MC automation interface
  • Access to diagnostics tools like ControlDesk via ASAM MCD-3 D
  • Access to MATLAB®
  • Convenient access to tools in the dSPACE tool chain
    • ControlDesk
    • Real-Time Test Manager
    • ModelDesk
    • MotionDesk
Open architecture
  • Open COM API enables remote execution of tests, e.g., by test management tools
  • Edit and execute Python code or call Python scripts in AutomationDesk
  • Introduce and maintain custom libraries to develop and maintain reusable, test-domain specifi c steps
  • Robust implementation of interfaces to third-party tools via COM/DCOM supported by VirtualCom feature
  • Improved readability of AutomationDesk fi le artefacts by a new XML import/export format
  • Fine grained import and export down to single steps as ideal basis for version control
Test documentation
  • Automated generation of test reports in PDF or HTML
  • Report library to define the contents of the generated report
Framework Builder library
  • Library that allows building up highly customizable templates as a test framework
  • Build up own templates (e.g., for test steps and tests)
  • Templates can be maintained with the AutomationDesk library mechanism
Evaluation library
  • Powerful evaluation of measured signals
  • Automatic report generation, including plotted signals
Signal-based testing
  • Graphical description of signals for stimuli and evaluation
  • Intuitive test authoring as on a piece of paper
XIL API MAPort and XIL API EESPort support
  • Platform-independent handling of simulation applications
  • Seamless switch between of simulation platforms from different vendors
  • Access to the simulation model for reading, writing, capturing, and stimulating variables
  • Fast and easy test steps for Get/Set/Check operations including implicit reporting
  • Hardware-independent test steps for Failure Insertion Units (FIU)
  • XIL EESPort software trigger steps enable to switch error sets according to model variable states
Variable mapping
  • Variable mapping support, compliant to ASAM XIL
  • Convenient test step configuration for variable access by drag & drop, selection lists and autocomplete functions
  • Enabler for reuse of tests across models and platforms
SYNECT coupling
  • Connect to SYNECT workspaces to update test cases with push-pull commands or to analyze differences

Support of XIL API Standard

The ASAM XIL API standard is the next generation of the ASAM HIL API standard. The XIL Model Access port (MAPort) supports test bench access at all stages of the function development process: MIL (model-in-the-loop), SIL (software-in-the-loop), PIL (processor-in-the-loop) and HIL (hardware-in-the-loop) simulation. The XIL Electrical Error Simulation port (EESPort) in ASAM XIL controls electrical error simulation hardware. It lets you set different types of errors. 

XIL API Support in Platform API Package

The Platform API Package supports the MAPort implementation of the XIL API standard to access simulation platforms:

  • Configure the simulation platform
  • Read and write to scalar and vectorized variables
  • Capture data by using complex trigger conditions
  • Stimulate variables of a real-time application via a signal description set, such as the Signal Editor Module in ControlDesk

XIL API Support in Failure Simulation Package

  • XIL API EESPort (Electrical Error Simulation Port) implemented in .NET, in compliance with the ASAM XIL API EESPort standard
  • Access to all dSPACE Failure Insertion Units in automation scenarios from your own test scripts and applications
  • FIU tracing, i.e., monitoring of error set switch demands via real-time variable to allow cause-and-effect analysis in FIU tests
  • Watcher-based switching of error sets according to model variable states

XIL API Vendor Switch

  • Easy switching between vendor-specific XIL API implementations

XIL API Convenience Library

  • Quick, convenient XIL-API-based operations – detailed XIL API background information not required
  • Easy to use steps for failure simulation control and model access

Interfaces to dSPACE Tools


Convenient, comprehensive access to all ControlDesk features for:

  • Measurement and calibration
  • Diagnostics

Real-Time Testing

  • Real-Time Testing library for convenient script management
  • Easy integration into AutomationDesk tests

RTI CAN MultiMessage Custom Library

  • Product extension for access to RTI CAN MultiMessage Blockset functions from within AutomationDesk
  • Convenient access to RTI CAN MultiMessage Blockset parameters and manipulation options
  • CAN bus configuration via AutomationDesk blocks: save, restore and manipulate RTI CAN MultiMessage properties 


  • ModelDesk tool automation as preparation for ADAS tests
  • Remote control of ModelDesk to handle parameters, roads, maneuvers and traffic
    • Open project/experiment
    • Activate parameter set
  • Access to parameter handling
    • Modify parameters
    • Download parameters
  • Access to road and maneuver handling
    • Activate and download roads
    • Activate and download maneuvers
    • Modify road and maneuver parameters (surface conditions, velocities)


  • Remote-control MotionDesk
  • Support of camera-based ADAS system tests

Interfaces to Third-Party Tools

AutomationDesk can also integrate third-party tools, such as CANscope, CANstress, CANoe, and CANalyzer from Vector. Please contact dSPACE for details on supported third-party tools.

dSPACE also has experience in connecting AutomationDesk to third-party hardware-in-the-loop systems, provided they support the XIL API standard properly, and offers engineering support on request.

Implementation examples (e.g., VISA Access Library, AutomationDesk CANoe Library) can be found in the Test Automation Software Support Center.

ASAM interface

  • Access to calibration tools like ControlDesk, ETAS INCA, and Vector CANape, via ASAM MCD-3 MC
  • Access to diagnostics tools like ControlDesk via ASAM MCD-3 D
  • Access to simulation platforms via ASAM XIL MAPort
  • Access to failure simulation systems via ASAM XIL EESPort


  • Access to the MATLAB Command Window
  • Data exchange between AutomationDesk and MATLAB
  • Remote execution of MATLAB commands
  • Use of M files and MAT files

Certified according to ISO 26262

For validating ECU software, dSPACE offers several tools that are certified according to ISO 26262. These include Real-Time Testing (RTT), SIMPHERA, VEOS, AutomationDesk, the ASM tool chain and the Platform API Package. This means that all these products can be used in safety-relevant development projects in accordance with ISO 26262:2018 for all Automotive Safety Integrity Levels (ASIL).
The certification enables users to simplify their overall ISO 26262 processes. They can use the tools in safety-critical projects with very little qualification effort and are provided with safety manuals to support them in their use case.

Software-in-the loop (SIL) testing

AutomationDesk is part of the dSPACE SIL testing solution for PC- and cloud-based simulation.
Click to find out more.

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