Properties, procedures and parameters that describe a machine vision task for the vision system are stored in a recipe. Usually there are multiple usable recipes on a vision system. This specification provides methods for activating, loading, and saving recipes. Recipes are handled as binary objects.

Recipes are potentially complex entities. A recipe may contain (possibly nested) references to sub-recipes and it may be used for several products. The internal composition and interpretation of recipes – including the referencing of sub-recipes – is outside the scope of this specification.

Recipes are typically created and managed centrally, then rolled out to production, usually together with the information, what product(s) the recipe is to be used for, as it would not be practical to add this locally on every system.

Recipes may also be created and/or edited locally. So a local system may have additional recipes not known externally and different versions of recipes than those existing externally. This may or may not be known to the recipe management and thus to the client.

A recipe may be used for several products. Also, there may be several recipes for the same product, be it different versions of the recipe or different sub-sections of the complete recipe or different complete recipes that may be used under different circumstances.

This specification assumes that the vision system receives recipes from the environment identified by an ExternalId. Neither the vision system nor the server alter the ExternalId.

The environment uses only the ExternalId for managing recipes, and only the ExternalId or the ProductId for managing the operation of the vision system.

From the point of view of the vision system, the ExternalId identifies a recipe pushed to the system unambiguously. The vision system does not concern itself with a failure of the environment to keep the ExternalId unambiguous.

The ExternalId can achieve identifying a recipe unambiguously by using a recipe name, optionally in combination with a version number and/or a hash.