Odette File Transfer Protocol

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The Odette File Transfer Protocol ( OFTP ) is a network protocol developed under the umbrella of Odette International for direct electronic data transfer between two communication partners . Version 1 of it corresponds to recommendation 4914/2 of the German Association of the Automotive Industry .

Communication process

Communication is initiated by a partner. After exchanging so-called Odette IDs, which are issued in Germany by the Association of the Automotive Industry, and passwords, files can be exchanged in both directions. The files are given a preconfigured virtual file name for transfer. Data can be encrypted or unencrypted via OFTP.

OFTP flow chart

After the transfer, depending on the agreement, a confirmation in the form of an End to End Response (EERP) can be made. This can either take place immediately after the transmission within the same connection or the recipient automatically dials in again to the original sender for transmission. If the transfer takes place via a third party, the EERP is only sent back from the final recipient.

Areas of application

Originally developed for EDI in the European automotive industry and used there (see e.g. various recommendations of the VDA since 1988), OFTP is also used in other industries and applications, for example for the exchange of account balance data and payment transaction data between banks and companies. It is also often used to send CAD models between engineering offices ( ENGDAT ).


  • It allows restarting after the connection has been broken; the entire file does not have to be transferred again.
  • The implicit end-to-end response guarantees correct transmission and processing of the file by the recipient.
  • It can be based on different transport layers: ISDN ( B- and D-channel ), X.25 , TCP / IP ( RFC 2204 ).
  • A wide variety of products are available that master OFTP.
  • It is widely used to transfer files in ENX , the communication network of the European automotive industry.
  • Version 2 can also be used over the Internet.

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