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AgGateway's Agricultural Data Application Programming Toolkit (ADAPT).

Different brands of farm equipment collect and consume data in a variety of proprietary file formats. While this is a natural consequence of how the industry has grown, it makes it hard for users to "connect the dots" and extract value from the data. The promise of seamless interoperability among precision ag systems--regardless of the system manufacturer--has entered an exciting new stage with AgGateway's ADAPT (Agricultural Data Application Programming Toolkit). ADAPT eliminates the barrier to the broad use of precision ag data by enabling interoperability between different hardware and software applications.

ADAPT is an open-source project, allowing stakeholders worldwide to use the software and contribute to its continued development. The toolkit was developed over several years by a large, collaborative group within the non-profit AgGateway organization--including members from a variety of equipment manufacturers and farm management information system (FMIS) software companies, who all recognized that growers and other ag stakeholders need to use data from multiple sources in their decision-making.

All segments of the ag industry that either use or create field operations data are expected to benefit from ADAPT, especially as leveraging data becomes critical for advancing productivity, efficiency, and sustainability. Specifically, ADAPT contains a common object model for field operations, a set of data conversion plug-ins (both open-source and proprietary), and a plug-in management framework (a software development kit) that enables all the parts to work together.

The plug-ins convert data between the common object model and other formats. A major goal of the ADAPT team is to reach the point where plug-ins exist for all the formats of interest to the industry. For example, the ISOXML plug-in makes it easier for FMIS systems to communicate with displays and terminals that use the ISOXML specification. The ISOXML plug-in provides a standard that can either be adopted or used as a guide in developing other plug-ins. Manufacturers and third parties are encouraged to write plug-ins for their formats of interest.

ADAPT's features include:

* Ease of use: A common object model can be used with all farm management software, including plug-in libraries that allow farm management software to convert to and from the common object model and different file formats.

* Eclipse Public License 1.0: An open-source license allows users to include ADAPT in their own software and modify it as needed.

* Plug-ins licensed by their developers: Anyone can build a plug-in for ADAPT, and developers are free to license their plug-ins based on their business needs.

* Cross-platform compatibility: ADAPT can run on Windows, Mac, or Linux if the user's software runs the .NET framework or Mono.

* International compatibility: Strong support for different geographies, languages, and geopolitical contexts.

* Transparent governance: Open-source, governed by AgGateway's ADAPT Oversight Committee. Non-members can participate.

The ADAPT team recently released ADAPT 2.0, incorporating enhancements to facilitate adoption by the broad ag community. The team is also working to continue cooperation between AgGateway and relevant standards organizations, such as the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF), which implements the ISO 11783 standard.

The diagram belows shows two examples of data conversion using ADAPT. Incoming data from a mobile implement control system (MICS, i.e., the controller in the cab) is shown in red. The proprietary-format data file from the controller is converted by a manufacturer-specific plug-in into an instance of the object model. The farm management information system (FMIS A in the diagram) consumes the data. The FMIS developers are responsible for reading and writing to/from the object model.

Communication between two different FMIS systems is shown in blue. FMIS A creates an instance of the object model, populates it with the data it wants to transmit, and uses the ADAPT plug-in to serialize it to a file. This ADAPT-formatted file is then transmitted to FMIS B using the internet or other means (file transfer is outside the scope of ADAPT). FMIS B uses the ADAPT plug-in to convert the ADAPT-formatted file to an instance of the object model and then consumes the data. Note that FMIS A and FMIS B are both supported by reference data, which is a distributed system of common unique identifiers for products that is shared across the industry by manufacturers and third-party data providers.

For further information on AgGateway and ADAPT, contact communications director Susan Ruland ( or e-mail

To review the ADAPT model and access a growing set of resources to help with implementation, visit

For a list of companies that are supporting ADAPT by developing plug-ins for their file formats or integrating support directly into their software systems, visit

Caption: How ADAPT enables data transfer between farm management information systems.

Caption: AgGateway's ADAPT framework is designed to make it easy for a grower's various hardware and software systems to communicate seamlessly with a shared data format.
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Title Annotation:A boost to interoperability in precision agriculture
Publication:Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World
Date:Jul 1, 2019
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