10.7. Dynamic Types profiles

Fast DDS supports the implementation of DynamicType by defining them through XML files. Thus the Dynamic Types can be modified without the need to modify the source code of the DDS application.

10.7.1. XML Structure

The definition of type profiles in the XML file is done with the <types> tag. Each <types> element can contain one or more Type definitions. Defining several types within a <types> element or a single type for each <types> element has the same result. Below, an example of a stand-alone types definition via XML is shown.

        <!-- Type definition -->
        <!-- Type definition -->
        <!-- Type definition -->


For more information on the difference between stand-alone and rooted definitions please refer to section Rooted vs Standalone profiles definition.

10.7.2. Type definition

Below, the types supported by Fast DDS are presented . For further information about the supported DynamicType, please, refer to Supported Types. For each of the types detailed below, an example of how to build the type’s XML profile is provided. Enum

The <enum> type is defined by its attribute name and a set of <enumerator> child elements. Each <enumerator> is defined by two attributes: a name and an optional value. Please, refer to Enumeration for more information on the <enum> type.

<enum name="MyEnum">
    <enumerator name="A" value="0"/>
    <enumerator name="B" value="1"/>
    <enumerator name="C" value="2"/>
</enum> Typedef

The <typedef> XML element is defined by a name and a type mandatory attributes, and various optional attributes for complex types definition. These optional attributes are: key_type, arrayDimensions, nonBasicTypeName, sequenceMaxLength, and mapMaxLength. See Complex types attributes for more information on these attributes. The <typedef> element corresponds to Alias in Supported Types section.

<typedef name="MyAliasEnum" type="nonBasic" nonBasicTypeName="MyEnum"/>
<typedef name="MyAliasArray" type="int32" arrayDimension="2,2"/> Struct

The <struct> element is defined by its name attribute and its <member> child elements. Please, refer to Structure for more information on the <struct> type.

<struct name="MyStruct">
    <member name="first" type="int32"/>
    <member name="second" type="int64"/>

Structs can inherit from another structs. This is implemented by defining the value of the baseType attribute, on the child <struct> element to be the value of the name attribute of the parent <struct> element. This is exemplified by the code snippet below.

<struct name="ParentStruct">
    <member name="first" type="int32"/>
    <member name="second" type="int64"/>
<struct name="ChildStruct" baseType="ParentStruct">
    <member name="third" type="int32"/>
    <member name="fourth" type="int64"/>
</struct> Union

The <union> type is defined by a name attribute, a <discriminator> child element and a set of <case> child elements. Each <case> element has one or more <caseDiscriminator> and a <member> child elements. Please, refer to Union for more information on the <union> type.

<union name="MyUnion">
    <discriminator type="byte"/>
        <caseDiscriminator value="0"/>
        <caseDiscriminator value="1"/>
        <member name="first" type="int32"/>
        <caseDiscriminator value="2"/>
        <member name="second" type="nonBasic" nonBasicTypeName="MyStruct"/>
        <caseDiscriminator value="default"/>
        <member name="third" type="nonBasic" nonBasicTypeName="int64"/>
</union> Bitset

The <bitset> element defines the Bitset type. It is comprised by a name attribute and a set of <bitfield> child elements. In turn, the <bitfield> element has the mandatory bit_bound attribute, which can not be higher than 64, and two optional attributes: name and type. A <bitfield> with a blank name attribute is an inaccessible set of bits. Its management type can ease the <bitfield> modification and access. Please, refer to Bitset for more information about the <bitset> type.

<bitset name="MyBitSet">
    <bitfield name="a" bit_bound="3"/>
    <bitfield name="b" bit_bound="1"/>
    <bitfield bit_bound="4"/>
    <bitfield name="c" bit_bound="10"/>
    <bitfield name="d" bit_bound="12" type="int16"/>

Moreover, bitsets can inherit from another bitsets:

<bitset name="ParentBitSet">
    <bitfield name="a" bit_bound="10"/>
    <bitfield name="b" bit_bound="15"/>

<bitset name="ChildBitSet" baseType="ParentBitSet">
    <bitfield bit_bound="1"/>
    <bitfield bit_bound="5" type="uint16"/>
</bitset> Bitmask

The <bitmask> element, which corresponds to the Bitmask type, is defined by a mandatory name attribute, an optional bit_bound attribute, and several <bit_value> child elements. The bit_bound attribute specifies the number of bits that the type will manage. The maximum value allowed for the bit_bound is 64. The <bit_value> element can define its position in the bitmask setting the positition attribute. Please, refer to Bitmask for more information on the <bitmask> type.

<bitmask name="MyBitMask" bit_bound="8">
    <bit_value name="flag0" position="0"/>
    <bit_value name="flag1"/>
    <bit_value name="flag2" position="2"/>
    <bit_value name="flag5" position="5"/>
</bitmask> Member types

Member types are defined as any type that can belong to a <struct> or a <union>, or be aliased by a <typedef>. These can be defined by the <member> XML tag. Primitive types

The identifiers of the available basic types are listed in the table below. Please, refer to Primitive Types for more information on the primitive types.
















All of them are defined as follows:

<struct name="primitive_types_example">
    <!-- Primitive type definitions inside a struct -->
    <member name="my_long" type="int64"/>
    <member name="my_bool" type="boolean"/>
    <member name="my_string" type="string"/>
</struct> Arrays

Arrays are defined in the same way as any other member type but they add the attribute arrayDimensions. The format of the arrayDimensions attribute value is the size of each dimension separated by commas. Please, refer to Array explanation for more information on array type.

<struct name="arrays_example">
    <member name="long_array" type="int32" arrayDimensions="2,3,4"/>
</struct> Sequences

The sequence type is implemented by setting three attributes: name, the type, and the sequenceMaxLength. The type of its content should be defined by the type attribute. The following example shows the implementation of a sequence of maximum length equal to 3. In turn, this is a sequence of sequences of maximum length of 2 and contents of type int32. Please, refer to Sequence section for more information on sequence type.

<typedef name="my_sequence_inner" type="int32" sequenceMaxLength="2"/>
<struct name="SeqSeqStruct">
    <member name="my_sequence_sequence" type="nonBasic" nonBasicTypeName="my_sequence_inner" sequenceMaxLength="3"/>
</struct> Maps

Maps are similar to sequences, but they need to define two content types. The key_type defines the type of the map key, while the type defines the map value type. Again, both types can be defined as attributes of a <typedef> element, or as a <member> child element of a <struct> or <union> elements. See section Map for more information on map type.

<typedef name="my_map_inner" type="int32" key_type="int32" mapMaxLength="2"/>
<struct name="MapMapStruct">
    <member name="my_map_map" type="nonBasic" nonBasicTypeName="my_map_inner" key_type="int32" mapMaxLength="2"/>
</struct> Complex types

The complex types are a combination of the aforementioned types. Complex types can be defined using the <member> element in the same way a basic or an array type would be. Please, refer to Complex Types section for more information on complex types.

<struct name="OtherStruct">
    <member name="my_enum" type="nonBasic" nonBasicTypeName="MyEnum"/>
    <member name="my_struct" type="nonBasic" nonBasicTypeName="MyStruct" arrayDimensions="5"/>
</struct> Complex types attributes

The attributes of a complex type element can be highly varied depending on the type being defined. Since the attributes that can be defined for each of the types have already been listed, these attributes are then defined in the following table.




Data type. This can be a Primitive types or a nonBasic type.
The latter is used to denote that a complex type is defined.


Name of the complex type. Only applies if the type attribute is set to nonBasic.


Dimensions of an array.


Maximum length of a Sequences.


Maximum length of a Maps.


Data type of a map key.

10.7.3. Loading dynamic types in a Fast DDS application

In the Fast DDS application that will make use of the XML Types, the XML files that define the types must be loaded before trying to instantiate DynamicPubSubType objects of these types.

// Create a DomainParticipant
DomainParticipant* participant =
        DomainParticipantFactory::get_instance()->create_participant(0, PARTICIPANT_QOS_DEFAULT);
if (nullptr == participant)
    // Error

// Load the XML File
if (ReturnCode_t::RETCODE_OK ==
    // Retrieve the an instance of MyStruct type
    eprosima::fastrtps::types::DynamicType_ptr my_struct_type =
    // Register MyStruct type
    TypeSupport my_struct_type_support(new eprosima::fastrtps::types::DynamicPubSubType(my_struct_type));
    my_struct_type_support.register_type(participant, nullptr);
    std::cout << "Cannot open XML file \"types.xml\". "
            << "Please, set the correct path to the XML file"
            << std::endl;