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Version: 23.09

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Data Chain Kit

Vision & Mission


DataChainKit brings valuable data chain information to your use-cases and services through connected data that can help Business Owner and Catena-X participants to be up to date and prepared. It's easy to use the DataChainKit with an Open Source Software package, which can easily deployed via HELM or docker-compose. The DataChainKit enables to apply business logic along a distributed data chains, for example aggregation of certificates along the value chain. Also ad-hoc provisioning of continuous data chains across company boundaries for empowerment of use cases Circular Economy, Traceability, Quality and the European supply chain act.



The Data Chain KIT provides a reference implementation as functional federated component to handle ad-hoc data chains across n-tiers within the Catena-X network. To realize these data chains, the Data Chain Kit relies on data models of the Traceability use case and provides the federated data chains to customers or applications. Furthermore, the target picture of the IRS includes the enablement of new business areas by means of data chains along the value chain in the automotive industry.

All described specifications in the KIT are based on Catena-X standards and refer to other Catena-X KITs like the Connector KIT (EDC) and Digital Twin Registry to ensure interoperability and data sovereignty according to IDSA and Gaia-X principles.

Customer Journey

With the Data Chain KIT, we support the Catena-X customer journey for our adopters and solutions providers.

There are few steps for your Customer Journey:

  • Step 1: Inform yourself & take the decision to become part
  • Step 2: Connect your company & teams to Catena-X.
  • Step 3: Boost data readiness and governance
  • Step 4: Adopt a data driven business process and create instant value
  • Step 5: Utilize the full power of collaboration in your business team

Business Value

IRS Iterative

  • Application and Service provider can reduce integrate or migrate due to one API specification
  • The IRS Iterative API enables an easy interface for complex network tasks
  • Potential to scale and optimize network traffic
  • The IRS Iterative API is providing one Endpoint to access and collect widely distributed data
  • The Data Chain Kit enables interoperability for Data Chains along the value chain to extend

IRS Recursive

  • Application and Service provider can reduce integrate or migrate due to one API specification
  • The IRS Recursive API enables an easy interface for complex network tasks
  • The IRS Recursive API enables different use cases which collect insights over distributed data by not disclosing the supply chain
  • The solution enables interoperability with other solutions along the value chain to extend

Logic & Schema

Building Block Architecture Overview

Building Block View

IRS Components

IRSThe IRS builds a digital representation of a product (digital twin) and the relationships of items the product consists of in a hierarchical structure. The result is an item graph in which each node represents a digital item of the product - this graph is called "Item Graph".
IRS APIThe IRS API is the Interface over which the Data Consumer is communicating.
IrsControllerThe IrsController provides a REST Interface for retrieving IRS processed data and job details of the current item graph retrieval process.
IrsItemGraphQueryServiceThe IrsItemGraphQueryService implements the REST Interface of the IrsController.
JobOrchestratorThe JobOrchestrator is a component which manages (start, end, cancel, resume) the jobs which execute the item graph retrieval process.
RecursiveJobHandlerThe RecursiveJobHandler handles the job execution recursively until a given abort criteria is reached or the complete item graph is build.
TransferProcessManagerThe TransferProcessManager handles the outgoing requests to the various data services.
Policy StoreThe Policy Store provides an Interface for getting, adding and deleting accepted IRS EDC policies. These policies will be used to validate EDC contract offers.
BlobStoreThe BlobStore is the database where the relationships and tombstones are stored for a requested item.
JobStoreThe JobStore is the database where the jobs with the information about the requested item are stored.
Digital Twin Registry ClientThe Digital Twin Registry Client is the interface to the Digital Twin Registry. It provides an interface for the Asset Administration Shells.
Decentralized Digital Twin ClientIn a decentralized network, the Digital Twin Client connects to the EDC which then proxies the requests to the digital twin registry on provider side.
EDC ClientThe EDC Client is used to communicate with the EDC network, negotiate contracts and retrieve submodel data.

Catena-X Core Services

Digital Twin RegistryThe Digital Twin Registry acts as an address book for Digital Twins. Data Providers register their Digital Twins in the Digital Twin Registry. Data consumers query the Digital Twin Registry to find Digital Twins and interact with them further. A Digital Twin contains endpoint references to submodel endpoints. Calling a submodel endpoint returns data compliant to a semantic model. A semantic model describes the data that a Submodel endpoint returns. Repository of the Digital Twin Registry.
Eclipse Dataspace Connector (EDC)The Eclipse Dataspace Connector provides a framework for sovereign, inter-organizational data exchange. It will implement the International Data Spaces standard (IDS) as well as relevant protocols associated with GAIA-X. The connector is designed in an extensible way in order to support alternative protocols and integrate in various ecosystems. Repository of the Catena-X specific EDC.
Discovery ServiceThe Discovery Service interface is a CX network public available endpoint which can get used to retrieve EDC Discovery Service or BPN Discovery Services via a given type.
PortalThe Catena-X Portal and Marketplace is the heart of Catena-X and the entry point for all activities in the automotive network/value chain. Every user of the automotive value chain, no matter if it is a consumer, app provider, IT administrator or IT support will connect via the portal to the value bringing services. The whole eco-system on the automotive value chain is connected at one place.
EDC Discovery FinderThe EDC dataspace discovery interface is a CX network public available endpoint which can get used to retrieve edc endpoints and the related BPNs, as well as search for endpoints via the BPN

Business Process

The DataChainKit acts as a middleware between consumers and manufacturers. This section describes the Business Process of DataChainKit. Who are its users, and with which other systems does it interact with.


The DataChainKit by IRS API is the essential component of the business app Trace-X FOSS to be able to build data chains in upwards and downwards direction for BOM lifecycles asBuilt and asPlanned. The DataChainKit by IRS API is being consumed by the dismantler dashboard and other parties which are part of the Catena-X network. They need to provide valid credentials issued by the Catena-X Portal/IdP. Additionally, they must provide a base global asset identifier to retrieve information for as well as configuration details for the view on that information.

Catena-X network

The IRS retrieves data from the Catena-X network (using the necessary infrastructure, see Technical Context), aggregates it and provides it back to the consumers. This connection is mandatory. If the Catena-X services are unavailable, the IRS cannot perform any work.

As of now, the IRS uses technical user credentials provided by the portal to gather the required data. This might be changed to use the consumer credentials in the future.


Our relevant standards can be downloaded from the official Catena-X Standard Library

Why Data Chain Kit

What is in for you to use the Data Chain Kit. On what is it built on.

Why use Datachain Kit

IRS Iterative

The IRS iterative iterates through the different digital twin aspects, which are representing a relationship. For Release 3.2 this is the SingleLevelBOMasBuilt aspect, which connects serialized parts. This service can access the digital twins for which an EDC policy and a data contract exists. In this case the consumer needs a contract which each participant of the data chain.

IRS iterative diagram

The following general conditions apply:

  • Access control through policies and contracts is done by the EDC
  • Direct data exchange between supply-chain partners
  • Catena-X partners of the accessible value chain are known to the data-consumer

IRS Recursive

The IRS recursive works different as the IRS iterative. It does not consume the digital twins of the partners in the supply chain in a direct way, it triggers the IRS of a partner to start a IRS job to retrieve data of the sub-partners. This is done to keep the structure below intransparent to the value chain above, even though it is still possible to aggregate results; pass information along the value chain.

The following general conditions apply:

  • The IRS recursive is for use-cases, which want to apply business logic with data along the value chain. For example, to summarize, or check for existence of values or certificates.
  • Each participant has the possibility to check their values, before passing them to next in line
  • Access control through policies and contracts is done by the EDC
  • Direct data exchange between supply-chain partners
  • Business logic is being applied with an extension concept

The recursive approach is based on a decentralized network in which only the next level of a relationship between two companies (one level down approach) is known. (Relationship: Customer - Supplier)

  1. Company OEM initiate request using a consumer application.
  2. Company (supplier) is identified on the next lower level - then a message is sent to the IRS instance of this supplier.
  3. After receiving the message on supplier level, the IRS determines the suppliers on the next lower level and also sends a message to the IRS instances of the suppliers.
  4. This is repeated until a leaf node (a company has no more suppliers or the company is not part of the C-X network) is reached.
  5. In this case the leaf node is responding with a message to the customer company.
  6. The IRS on customer company level receives and aggregates the messages from all requested suppliers and responds again to the customer until OEM level is reached.
  7. OEM shows result of recursive investigation according to the given use case in consumer application.