Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

Description of file format

The SDK's encoding descriptions are used as proprietary data elements. In two cases it may be necessary to know its structure:

  • In case of replicating the functionality of the EncodingConfigurator by your own application.
  • When using the SDK's so called "ice" interface to implement an own encoding device.


Encoding descriptions are text files. In the SDK's managed mode, the files are zipped additionally.1 The SDK's XMLs always contain the zip packed file, BASE64 encoded. In a minority of cases, the zip file may also contain additional files which may be necessary to encode a chip.

1The extension of encoding description files is .dsc. When exchanging zipped files, their extension is .dsz.


The content of the actual encoding description is structured in well known "ini-file" format. The section [Fields] contains the links between encoding fields and exchanged database fields.

This is a typical example for a description file:


Track 2=Field21


ADR_00000=Track 2,Track 2,X,,,S

With regard to the initial topic of replicating the functionality of the EncodingConfigurator by your own application, you can actually create a BASE64 encoded data element (as exchanged in the XMLs) by following these steps:

  1. Read a dsc file's content from disk.
  2. Assign encoding fields to database fields by entering the database field name at the right side of the equal sign inside the Fields section.
  3. Pack the resulting dsc file content by using the zip algorithm.
  4. Encode the zip file by using the BASE64 algorithm. The resulting BASE64 string is used as encoding description value in the requests XML.

As this is an administrative topic which is often only done once, it may even be appropriate to do step 1-3 manually by using any text editor and zip packer tool.

In general, note the following when modifying description files:

  • Only change section Fields when editing the encoding description and leave all other lines unchanged.
  • The right part of an encoding field assignment contains either:
    • A database field name, for example:

    • A fix value in which the actual value is in quotation marks, for example:

    • A formatted field to extend a value to a defined count of characters (typically to get numbers with leading zeros), for example:

    • A concatenated value, consisting any combination of above named elements, for example:

      EncodingNumber="000" + Field22 + Format(Field21,"000000")

In most cases, using a single field or a fix value is appropriate and recommended! Concatenation and especially the formatting is only rarely used and should only be applied if really necessary. It is virtually exclusively used in combination with magnetic stripe encodings as they typically expose one field per track. And such a track's content is usually built from different database fields.

You may find partially encrypted encoding description files like the following example. In such cases, take care, only to change section Fields and not the lines starting with a circumflex sign (^).


Track 2=Field21



JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.