A DataSetMessage is created from a DataSet. It consists of a header and the encoded fields of the DataSet.

Depending on the configured DataSetMessageContentMask, a DataSetMessage may exist in different forms and with varying detail. DataSetMessages do not contain any information about the data acquisition or information source in the Publisher.

Additional header information includes:

DataSetWriterId Identifies the DataSetWriter and indirectly the PublishedDataSet.

Sequence number A number that is incremented for each DataSetMessage. Can be used to verify the ordering and to detect missing messages.

Timestamp A timestamp describing when the data in this DataSetMessage was obtained.

Version Version information about the configuration of the DataSetMetaData.

Status Status information about the data in this DataSetMessage.

Keep alive When no DataSetMessages are sent for a configured time period, a keep alive DataSetMessage is sent to signal the Subscribers that the Publisher is still alive.

DataSetMessages are either sent cyclicly or acyclicly in a publishing interval. Acyclic DataSets are sent as event DataSetMessages. Cyclic DataSets can create at most one DataSetMessages per interval. Acyclic DataSets can create multiple event DataSetMessages per interval.

For cyclic DataSets, some encodings differentiate between key frame DataSetMessages and delta frame DataSetMessages. A key frame DataSetMessage includes values for all fields of the DataSet. A delta frame DataSetMessage only contains the subset that changed since the previous DataSetMessage.

A key frame DataSetMessage is sent after a configured number of DataSetMessages.

The DataSetMetaData as data contract defines the fields contained in the DataSetMessage. The header settings for DataSetMessage and NetworkMessage define the communication contract between Publisher and Subscriber.

A heartbeat DataSetMessage is a key frame that only contains header information. It is used to indicate that the Publisher is still alive without sending payload. A heartbeat DataSetMessage is not created from a DataSet.