UAFX defines a mechanism for standardising the exchange of information used for establishing Connections between AutomationComponents (see 6.2) in an OfflineEngineering environment (see 6.4). From initial AutomationComponent development to on-site commissioning, engineers exchange offline data using the Descriptor (see 6.4). See OPC 10000-83 for more details regarding OfflineEngineering and Descriptors.

Assets and FunctionalEntities being used in applications, their available input, output, configuration data, and communication capabilities are shared between engineers using Descriptors. The Descriptor allows product and system configuration data to be added by different engineers using their engineering tools at each phase of the workflow until the configuration ultimately can be deployed in the field.