The Agricultural Industry
Electronics Foundation Tour

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For cross-manufacturer compatibility

ISOBUS is a data bus for agricultural applications. It is based on international ISO standard 11783 and defines the "language" between implements, tractors and terminals from different manufacturers. However, even though agricultural technology manufacturers have agreed on a global ISOBUS standard, not all machines are compatible. In practice, "plug and play" is still some way off in a number of areas.

  • Why.
    The ISO standard was not specific enough in several points. Although manufacturers were launching ISOBUS systems, these did not function across equipment from different manufacturers.

  • This is why.
    The AEF has introduced additional guidelines for individual functionalities. AEF members work according to these guidelines when developing new products. And that works.


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Functionality concept

So everyone can understand and draw comparisons

Whether tractor, implement or terminal - every product offers a series of features. It can, however, be very confusing when manufacturers use different names or descriptions for these features. The technical definition can also vary considerably. When deciding what equipment to buy, it is therefore difficult to understand and compare different products in detail. And it is even more difficult to find out what tractor-implement-display combination actually supports a specific function.

Functionality concept

This is why AEF has developed the functionality concept. It describes each feature as an independant "module" on the ISOBUS. It is important to note that it is always the lowest common denominator that determines whether equipment works together properly. Only functionalities that are supported by all components can actually be used by the driver.

If you're interested to learn more
about the AEF Functionalities and the AEF Certified label:

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  • Icon UT

    Universal Terminal

    This functionality can be used to operate an ISOBUS implement on any display. Or an individual display controls different ISOBUS implements. This allows one ISOBUS terminal to replace multiple implement specific displays.

  • Icon AUX

    Auxiliary Control

    This is used to connect additional elements, such as a joystick or switchbox to the ISOBUS, making it easier to operate the implement. Once connected, the functions of the implement can be operated by the AUX device instead of having to use the ISOBUS Universal Terminal.

  • Icon TECU

    Tractor ECU

    The TECU represents the "job computer" of the tractor on the ISOBUS. As a gateway, it provides tractor data for the other ISOBUS participants, such as forward speed or PTO speed or rear hitch position. In this way, for example, an implement can apply fertiliser or crop protection products depending on the driving speed signal provided by the TECU.



  • Icon ISB

    ISOBUS Shortcut Button

    ISB can be used to deactivate functions of an implement that have been activated via an ISOBUS display. This can be helpful when the operator has navigated away from the Universal Terminal page in the display to monitor another tractor operation. The implement manufacturer defines which functions can be deactivated by the ISB.

  • Icon TIM

    Tractor Implement Management

    TIM is a cross-product and cross-manufacturer ISOBUS solution where the implement controls certain tractor functions and optimizes the working process. The implement sends information to the tractor via standardized and secure communication which leads to an optimization of the overall system.

  • Icon FS

    File Server

    The File Server enables data exchange with external instances (e.g. USB drive or cloud connection) and ISOBUS devices. The File Server acts as a central place to store or retrieve data. It standardizes the data transfer method, but the data content can, in fact, be proprietary.

If you're interested to learn more about TIM:

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  • Icon TC-BAS

    Task-Controller basic

    This functionality documents specific values of the work that has been carried out by the ISOBUS implement. Documentation can then be exported from the Task Controller and imported into the farm management information system thanks to the ISO-XML data standard.

  • Icon TC-GEO

    Task-Controller geo-based

    TC-GEO can additionally be used to collect location-dependent data, such as an as-applied map. This functionality also includes the use of a variable rate prescription map when the field has been devided into management zones which require different application rates.

  • Icon TC-SC

    Task-Controller Section Control

    This controls automatic activation of sections on the implement, for example when spraying fertiliser, based on the GPS position and the desired degree of overlap.

ISOBUS Certification

AEF ISOBUS certification - a label for functionality

AEF has developed the AEF ISOBUS conformance test to guarantee operational reliability for dealers and farmers.
The test by independant institutes confirms that the certified functionalities can actually be used in practice.

AEF ISOBUS certification

If a product has successfully passed the test, the manufacturer can use the AEF ISOBUS label as proof. It documents conformity of the ISOBUS components with the ISO 11783 standard and the AEF guidelines.

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ISOBUS Database

AEF ISOBUS Database - reliable information for dealers and farmers

AEF ISOBUS-certified products not only receive the label, they are also listed in the AEF ISOBUS Database. The Database can be searched to provide quick and easy information on which machines support which functionalities and to check compatibility with other machines. This is very helpful when purchasing equipment. The AEF ISOBUS Database enables dealers and farmers to access all the information in one place. They can also use the AEF Mobile App to call up information on a smartphone or tablet.


Get in touch

AEF Contact

  • Contact for Europe and Asia
    Stefanie Schemmink (AEF Office)
    Blessenstätte 36, 33330 Gütersloh
    Phone +49 5241 30 57 908

  • Contact for North and South America
    Anita Sennett
    (AEF Secretary / Administration)
    (Association of Equipment Manufacturers)
    6737 W. Washington Street, Suite 2400
    Milwaukee, WI 53214-5647
    Phone +1 414 298 4174

» Visit the AEF Website