openTCS: Release Notes
The openTCS developers
Table of Contents
* 1. Introduction
* 2. Getting started
* 3. Support
* 4. Changelog
+ 4.1. Version 4.0 (2017-02-11)
+ 4.2. Version 3.2 (2016-01-19)
+ 4.3. Version 3.1.1 (2015-05-06)
+ 4.4. Version 3.1 (2015-03-23)
+ 4.5. Version 3.0 (2014-11-25)
+ 4.6. Version 2.7.1 (2014-06-30)
+ 4.7. Version 2.7 (2014-06-25)
+ 4.8. Version 2.6.1 (2014-03-14)
+ 4.9. Version 2.6 (2014-02-28)
+ 4.10. Version 2.5 (2013-12-18)
+ 4.11. Version 2.4.2 (2013-07-29)
+ 4.12. Version 2.4.1 (2013-05-30)
+ 4.13. Version 2.4 (2013-02-07)
+ 4.14. Version 2.3 (2012-09-17)
+ 4.15. Version 2.2 (2012-07-10)
* 5. Contributors
openTCS (short for "open Transportation Control System") is a free
platform for controlling vehicles in an Automated Guided Vehicle System
(AGVS). It should generally be possible to control any track-guided
vehicle with it, even if the tracks are only virtual, but AGVSs are the
main target. It is being maintained at the Fraunhofer Institute for
Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, Germany.
The software runs on the Java platform (version 1.8 or later). All
libraries required for compiling and/or using it are freely available,
openTCS itself is not a complete product you can use "out-of-the-box"
to control an AGVS with. Primarily, It is a framework/an implementation
of the basic data structures and algorithms (routing, dispatching,
scheduling) needed for running an AGVS with more than one vehicle. It
tries to be as generic as possible to allow interoperation with
track-guided vehicles of practically any vendor. Thus it is usually
necessary to at least create and integrate a vehicle driver (called
"communication adapter" in openTCS-speak) that translates between the
abstract interface of the openTCS kernel and the communication protocol
your vehicle understands. Depending on your needs, it might also be
necessary to adapt algorithms or add project-specific strategies.
The openTCS source code is licensed partly under the terms of the MIT
License and partly under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public
License. A copy of the licenses is included in the distribution. For
details on the licensing, see the file LICENSE.txt.
Please note that openTCS is distributed without any warranty - without
even the implied warranty of merchantibility or fitness for a
particular purpose. Please refer to the license for details.
We are grateful to any developers that have contributed to openTCS. A
list of all contributors known by name can be found at the end of this
To download the latest version and/or read news about openTCS, please
see its web site at http://www.opentcs.org/ or the project homepage at
2. Getting started
To get started with openTCS, please refer to the user’s guide, the
developer’s guide and the JavaDoc API documentation that are included
in the distribution.
Please note that, while we are happy to be able to release openTCS to
the public as free software and would like to see it used and improved
continuously, the development team cannot provide unlimited free
support for it.
If you have technical/support questions, please post them in the forum
on the project’s homepage, where the community and the developers
involved will respond as time permits. For customers, Fraunhofer IML
also provides support via e-mail or telephone - please contact us via
Legal notice: This announcement of possible supporting services is not
intended to create any binding or legal obligations or an obligation on
entering any contract. It does not impose any duty on Fraunhofer IML to
disclose any information nor to enter into any individual agreement or
This changelog lists the most relevant changes for past releases in
reverse chronological order.
4.1. Version 4.0 (2017-02-11)
* Split the base library into a base API, an injection API and a
library with commonly used utility classes to reduce the load of
transitive dependencies for API users.
* Heavily cleaned up the APIs, including some backwards-incompatible
changes (mainly renaming and removing previously deprecated
elements). Notable examples:
+ Moved vehicle communication adapter base classes to
org.opentcs.drivers.vehicle and named them more appropriately.
+ Removed TCP/IP communication implementation from
org.opentcs.util.communication.tcp and a few more utility
classes. Maintaining these is out of the openTCS project’s
* Greatly improved extension and customization capabilities for both
the kernel and plant overview applications by applying dependency
injection in more places.
+ Communication adapters may now participate with dependency
+ Default kernel strategies may now easily be overridden.
* Simplified the default Scheduler implementation.
* Switched logging to SLF4J.
* Improved project documentation for both users and developers and
migrated to Asciidoctor for easier maintenance.
* Updated Guice to 4.1.0.
* Updated Guava to 19.0.
* Updated JDOM to 2.0.6.
* Updated Gradle to 2.13.
* Many small bugfixes and improvements.
4.2. Version 3.2 (2016-01-19)
* Switched to Gradle as the build management system for improved
dependency management and release process. This introduces cleanly
separate subprojects for base library, basic strategies library,
kernel application, plant overview application and documentation.
It also adds clean separation of application code and Guice
* Added an event bus-backed event hub implementation for the kernel
to distribute events sent by e.g. communication adapters and make
it possible to forward them to kernel clients. Also add method
publishEvent() to BasicCommunicationAdapter to allow communication
adapters to use it.
* Adjusted the dispatcher’s and kernel’s methods for withdrawing
transport orders to explicitly state whether the order should be
withdrawn regularly or aborted immediately, which makes them
deterministic for the caller.
* Moved code for handling transport order states/activations from the
kernel to the dispatcher implementation for better separation of
* Improved the use of dependency injection via Guice in the kernel to
make the code more modular.
* Added annotation @ScheduledApiChange for marking scheduled
incompatible API changes.
* Updated library Guava to 18.0.
* Many small fixes and improvements.
4.3. Version 3.1.1 (2015-05-06)
* Fix a crash in the plant overview client that occured when the user
tried to add a drive order to a transport order.
4.4. Version 3.1 (2015-03-23)
* Fix the encoding of model files written by the plant overview
* Fix a problem with renaming points that resulted in broken model
* Fix a crash that happened when trying to open a context menu on a
vehicle in modelling mode.
* Properly set the scale factor when loading a model from a file.
* Avoid a crash when trying to create a transport order with a model
that does not contain any locations/transport order destinations.
* Fix direction indicators of paths not being displayed properly
after loading a model from a file.
* Fix outdated documentation in a couple of places.
4.5. Version 3.0 (2014-11-25)
* The plant overview client can now be used for offline modelling,
i.e. without requiring a permanent connection to the kernel.
* To further reflect these changes, the plant overview client now
maintains its operating mode independently from the kernel’s state.
If the user sets the mode of the plant overview client to OPERATING
while the kernel is in modelling mode, an empty model will be
displayed and the actual model will be loaded as soon as the
connected kernel switches back to operating mode. Furthermore, this
allows to modify the driving course model in the plant overview
client while the kernel remains in operating mode. See the manual
for more information.
* The management of course model files was moved to the plant
overview client. As of this version, the kernel stores only a
single driving course model which can be persisted by selecting the
corresponding menu item in the graphical user interface of the
plant overview client. Changes made to the model in the plant
overview client must be explicitly transferred to the kernel. To
migrate all of your existing models to this new version, please
refer to the manual.
* Changes made to the Kernel API:
+ Method Set<String> getModelNames() was changed to String
getModelName(), as from now on there exists only one model at
+ Method loadModel(String modelName) no longer requires/accepts
+ Method saveModel(String modelName, boolean overwrite) no
longer accepts the boolean parameter and overwrites the model
+ Method removeModel(String rmName) no longer requires/accepts a
+ Methods createLayout(byte layoutData) and
setLayoutData(TCSObjectReference<Layout> ref, byte newData)
have been removed along with class Layout.
* Updated library Google Guava to 17.0.
* Updated library JAXB to 2.2.7.
* Updated project to Java 8.
4.6. Version 2.7.1 (2014-06-30)
* Fixed a potential crash with switching to plant operation mode when
the model contained static routes.
4.7. Version 2.7 (2014-06-25)
* Updated library Docking Frames to 1.1.2p11.
* Added library Google Guava 16.0.1 for better code readability via
small utility methods.
* Added position coordinates to locations.
* Added synchronization of model and layout coordinates for points
* Fixed reconstruction of routing tables when locking/unlocking paths
in plant operation mode.
* Reimplemented the former Dijkstra-based routing table construction,
now providing one based on breadth-first search and an alternative
based on depth-first search, and use pluggable routing cost
* Implemented a proper life cycle for plant overview plugin panels.
* Modified model management to not allow model names to differ in the
case of their spelling only to prevent inconsistencies on Windows
* Replaced the reference on a Location in a MovementCommand with the
Location itself to provide more information to the vehicle driver.
* Made more wide-spread use of dependency injection via Guice and
refactored, cleaned up and simplified source code in many places,
primarily in the plant overview client.
* Many small bugfixes and improvements.
4.8. Version 2.6.1 (2014-03-14)
* Properly color the route for vehicles that have just been created
and not loaded from an existing plant model.
* Fix loading plant models created by older versions of openTCS that
contained certain path liner types.
* Properly set point types as read from the plant model in the plant
* Do not provide a clickable graphical figure in the plant overview
client for vehicles that should actually be invisible.
4.9. Version 2.6 (2014-02-28)
* Updated library Docking Frames to 1.1.2p10e.
* Updated library JDOM to 2.0.5.
* Updated library JFreeChart to 1.0.17, including an update of
JCommon to 1.0.21.
* Updated library JUnit to 4.11, including the addition of Hamcrest
* Updated DocBook style sheets to 1.78.1.
* Added library Google Guice 3.0 for dependency injection and thus
* Added library Mockito 1.9.5 to simplify and improve the included
* Downgraded the Saxon XSL processor to version 6.5.5, as more recent
versions seem to have deficiencies with DocBook to FO
* Merged the experimental generic client application into the plant
overview client, which can now be extended with plugin-like panels
providing custom functionality.
* Added plugin panels for load generation and statistics reports into
the plant overview client.
* Improved the undo/redo functionality of the plant overview client
in modelling mode.
* Temporarily disabled the copy-and-paste functionality of the plant
overview client in modelling mode until some major usability issues
have been sorted out.
* Improved editing of multiple driving course elements at the same
* Temporarily disabled the possibility to add background graphics
until this works more reliably.
* Unified look-and-feel and fonts in the kernel control center and
the plant overview client and removed the selection menu for
different Swing look-and-feels from the kernel control center.
* Improved localization of the plant overview client.
* Removed the kernel’s explicit "simulation" mode, which was never
fully implemented or used and provided practically no advantages
over the normal mode of operation, in which vehicles can be
simulated using the loopback driver.
* Fixed/improved GUI layout in multiple places of the kernel control
* Many bugfixes and improvements to code and documentation.
4.10. Version 2.5 (2013-12-18)
* Added library Docking Frames 1.1.2-P8c.
* Made some panels in the plant overview client (un)dockable.
* Added a panel with an overview of all vehicles and their respective
states to the plant overview client.
* Added a pause button to the plant overview client to pause/stop all
active vehicles at once.
* Introduced pluggable themes to customize the appearance of
locations and vehicles in the plant overview.
* Added generic grouping of driving course elements, primarily to
support visualization in the plant overview.
* Translated the user manual to English.
* Many small bugfixes and improvements to both the code and the
4.11. Version 2.4.2 (2013-07-29)
* Updated the XML Schema definitions for the host interface.
4.12. Version 2.4.1 (2013-05-30)
* Updated the visualization client, including many bug fixes,
usability improvements and internationalization (English and German
* Properly included a vehicle’s length when persisting/materializing
a course model.
* Removed an erroneous JAXB annotation that led to an exception when
trying to persist load generator input data in the generic client.
* Changed the startup scripts/batch files to look for extension JARs
in lib/openTCS-extensions/ instead of lib/.
4.13. Version 2.4 (2013-02-07)
* Updated JDOM to 2.0.4.
* Updated JHotDraw to 7.6.
* Updated Checkstyle to 5.6.
* Integrated Saxon 9.4 and Apache FOP 1.1 into the build for
processing the DocBook manual.
* Major overhaul of the visualization client, including: Integration
of both modes (modelling and visualization) into a single
application, preparation for proper localization and integration of
the course layout information into model data structures, making it
easier to create complete models including course layout via the
kernel API. (This basically allows to implement other clients that
can create new models or import/convert existing models from other
applications.) Using models containing "old" layout data is still
supported but deprecated.
* Changed license of the visualization client to LGPL.
* Improved support for vehicle energy management: For each vehicle, a
specific charging operation may be specified (default: “CHARGE”),
which will be used by the dispatcher to automatically create orders
to recharge the vehicle’s energy source.
* Improved strategies for selecting parking positions and charging
* Changed initial processing state of a vehicle to UNAVAILABLE,
preventing immediate dispatching of vehicles on startup.
* Improved kernel methods for withdrawing orders from vehicles and
allow setting a vehicle’s processing state to UNAVAILABLE to
prevent it being dispatched again immediately.
* Added kernel method dispatchVehicle() to allow vehicles in state
UNAVAILABLE to be dispatched again.
* (Re-)Added 'dispensable' flag to class TransportOrder to indicate
that an order may be withdrawn automatically by the dispatcher.
(Primarily used to make parking orders abortable.)
* Improved handling of order sequences.
* Added a simple, preliminary implementation of data collection for
statistics based on event data in org.opentcs.util.statistics.
* Removed class VehicleType and all references to it completely. All
information about the vehicles themselves is stored in Vehicle,
now, simplifying the code in which VehicleType was used.
* Added Vehicle.State.UNAVAILABLE for vehicles that are not in an
ERROR state but currently remotely usable, either. (Examples:
manual or semi-automatic modes)
* Added methods Kernel.sendCommAdapterMessage() and
CommunicationAdapter.processMessage() to allow clients to send
generic messages to communication adapters associated with
* Removed methods stop(), pause() and resume() from communication
adapter interface as they had not served any purpose for long time.
* Removed kernel method getInfoText(), for which the query() method
has served as a replacement for a while, now.
* Properly propagate exceptions to clients connected via the RMI
* Small bug fixes and improvements to code and documentation.
4.14. Version 2.3 (2012-09-17)
* Moved sources of the generic client into the main project’s source
* Updated JFreeChart to 1.0.14.
* Use JFreeChart for drawing the velocity graph of a communication
* Instead of emitting an event only after the kernel’s state changed,
emit an additional one before the state transition.
* Implemented org.opentcs.data.order.OrderSequence for processes
spanning more than one transport order that should be processed by
a single vehicle.
* Added a set of properties to DriveOrder.Destination and
MovementCommand, allowing an order/command to carry additional
information for a communication adapter or vehicle, if necessary.
* (Re-)Added State.CHARGING and merged State.DRIVING and
State.OPERATING into State.EXECUTING in
* Added a settable threshold for critical and good energy levels of a
* Added a vehicle specific charging operation to Vehicle, settable by
the communication adapter.
* Recompute routing tables when (un)locking a path.
* Remove org.opentcs.data.model.Path.Action, which wasn’t really used
anywhere and doesn’t provide any benefit over a Path’s properties.
* Remove a lot of deprecated methods in the kernel interface.
* Replace the existing dispatcher with one that is aware of order
sequences and vehicles' energy levels and automatically creates
orders to recharge vehicles.
* Deprecated and largely removed references to
org.opentcs.data.model.VehicleType, simplifying some code.
* Bug fix in KernelStateOperating.activateTransportOrder(): Use our
own references to the transport order, not the one we received as a
parameter, as that causes problems if the order has been renamed
but a reference with the old name is being used by the calling
* Moved classes to packages properly separated by functionality, and
removed a few utility classes that were not used and didn’t provide
much. (This effectively means the API provided by the base JAR
changed. Fixing any resulting broken imports should be the only
thing required to use the new version.)
4.15. Version 2.2 (2012-07-10)
* Published as free open source software (license: the MIT license,
see LICENSE.txt) - Requires Java 1.7
* Update JDOM to 2.0.2.
* Integrated kernel and driver GUI into a single application.
* Basic support for energy management
* Support for dynamic load handling devices reported by
vehicles/vehicle drivers to the kernel
* Simplified integration of vehicle drivers: Vehicle drivers in the
class path are found automatically using java.util.ServiceLoader.
* Automatic backup copies (in $KERNEL/data/backups/) when saving
* Switched from properties to XML for configuration files
* Simplified and more consistent kernel API
* Many small bug fixes and adjustments of the included strategies
We are grateful for anyone helping us to improve openTCS by
contributing code or documentation. So far, the developers involved
were/are (in alphabetical order by last name):
* Hubert Buechter
* Iryna Felko
* Martin Grzenia
* Preity Gupta
* Heinz Huber
* Olaf Krause
* Tobias Marquardt
* Sebastian Naumann
* Volkmar Pontow
* Philipp Seifert
* Andreas Trautmann
* Stefan Walter
* Mats Wilhelm
* Mustafa Yalciner
* Youssef Zaki
If you have contributed to openTCS and we have missed you on this list,
please accept our apologies and send us an e-mail via firstname.lastname@example.org.