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About STEP (ISO 10303) standard

ISO-10303 (STEP) STEP is the name of the international standard ISO-10303 on Industrial automation systems and integration - Product data representation and exchange. STEP is developed and maintained by the Technical Committee TC184 Technical Industrial automation systems and integration Sub-Committee SC4 on Industrial data within the International Standard Organization ISO.

STEP is also often associated as an abbreviation for STandard for the Exchange of Product Model Data.

The focus of STEP is the representation of product model data in a computer sensible way. This allows:

  • exchange of data between different computer systems without human intervention.
  • integration of data from different computer systems.

Of course STEP is also ideally suited for human interaction because it allows to unambiguously describe various kinds of product data.

STEP parts

Due to its nature STEP is one of the most complex standards. The standard is split into many parts. We list here only those, which are most relevant for IDA-STEP:

  • Part 11 specifies the EXPRESS data modelling language, used throughout STEP.
  • The format of a STEP-File is defined in part 21. This format can be used for any EXPRESS schema.
  • Alternatively STEP data can also be represented in XML. There are several ways how this can be done. Part 28 documents the normative ones.
  • AP203 (part 203) was the first Application Protocol defining a data model for Configuration controlled 3D designs of mechanical parts and assemblies.
  • Afterwards the STEP community developed the application protocol AP214 on Core data for automotive mechanical design processes. It can be seen as a superset of AP203 with strong extensions in many ways.
  • AP212 on Electrotechnical design and installation is to some degree an extension to AP214, but is defined as a stand-alone part.
  • Since different application protocols have their focus on different application areas it was important to keep their common PDM data model in sync. This is the purpose of the PDM-Schema which is not a STEP standard by its own.

Additional information

You can find more on STEP on: