The e-magazine for KNX home & building control

ETS6: new features improve the user experience

Michael Critchfield takes a look at how ETS6 has revolutionised the way KNX is commissioned and how the new features help improve the user experience.

ETS (Engineering Tool Software) is the one tool you need to commission KNX installations as a KNX Partner. The software is developed by the KNX Association with free updates being made available every few months. It offers backwards compatibility to over 30 years of KNX installations and over 8000 certified KNX devices, but is also always on the move with additions such as KNX Secure, and has just been extended to support the latest addition to the standard, KNX IoT.


ETS6 was released in 2021 and revolutionised the way KNX is commissioned in many ways. The KNX Project plays a vital role in the management of a KNX installation and with ETS6 several helpful features were introduced to quickly get an overview of active projects and ensure they remain safe and secure with the Archive Collaboration Mode and Linked Folders.

With the improvements made to the KNX Secure workflows in ETS6, it has become significantly faster to secure and encrypt bus communication and protect an installation against Cyber Attacks.

ETS6 makes it easy to compare KNX Projects.
ETS6 Archive in Collaboration Mode showing Sync Status.

The latest additions to the KNX Standard, such as KNX RF Multi and KNX IoT, have of course also been added to ETS6 and provide the KNX Partner with an ever-growing choice to fulfil the requirements for any project. Both these additions represent wireless communication standards and may be chosen depending on a Project’s criteria. ETS manages these standards as different medium types and they are all fully compatible with the well-known KNX Twisted Pair. The product range for all is continuously growing thanks to our +500 KNX Members.

In the past our KNX Partners were used to selecting specific (USB or IP) interfaces to connect to the KNX Installation, in some cases they had to manually edit filter tables for topology couplers and when all was installed, they had to activate Programming Mode on every single KNX Device to assign their Individual Addresses. Now all that is streamlined: ETS6 offers an automatic interface selection and chooses the ideal Bus Interface depending on the situation. Instead of manually editing filter tables, ETS now offers so called Associations on Interface Tunnels.

With the use of these Associations, ETS can maintain the filter tables automatically, even for Visualizations. And since more and more KNX Products are shipped with a unique Serial Number, especially with KNX Secure on the rise, ETS6 can now assign Individual Addresses after automatically identifying the right KNX Device. Depending on the Project, this can be an immense timesaver.

KNX and therefore also ETS are always on the move. Since the early days of ETS, the linking of Devices has been achieved through the linking of individual Group Addresses to Objects. KNX Association is working on a new model to abstract from Group Address View. The existing options will still remain to allow the sophisticated customisation possible today, but in future, there will be a faster way to link multiple Objects at once, for a broad selection of Building Functions, called Smart Linking.

Smart Linking will provide a faster way to link multiple Objects in a future release of ETS.

We are seeing the beginnings of KNX IoT today. For KNX Partners the message is clear: KNX IoT Devices behave like any other KNX Device in ETS. By design, KNX IoT is secure using well-known methods and it is based on native IPv6. This is a new realm for KNX and it will be exciting to see what kind of KNX Devices will come to the market soon.

ETS6 Project view including KNX IoT.


ETS6 improves the user experience and introduces many automated features. This allows the user to focus on what is really relevant: commissioning a sophisticated building automation setup from the greatest choice of products on the planet: +8000 products from +500 manufacturers, all certified by KNX to be interoperable.

The September Release of ETS6 will introduce many improvements and updates relevant for all users.

As always, KNX Association is interested to hear users’ suggestions. If you have a good idea you would like to share, post it using the following link and have other users vote on it:

Michael Critchfield is the ETS Product Manager at the KNX Association.

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