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Data Center Software Series: Saving and Exporting Captures
Jessica Hopkins

The Data Center Software is Total Phase’s free bus monitoring software that allows developers to capture, display, and filter USB, USB PD, I2C, SPI, eSPI, and CAN serial bus data in real time. This data is displayed in the Transaction Window within the software where users can view high-level information, including data transactions, bus events, and meta information such as when a capture began or ended. Users can also view protocol-specific information pertaining to each supported protocol.

This captured data can not only be viewed in real time as it occurs on the bus, users have options to save captures to review and analyze the data at a later time. Additionally, users can also export captures into other file types that can be used for other applications or within external programs for further analysis. In this article, we’ll provide insight into saving and exporting captures

Data Center Software

within the Data Center Software, as well as their settings and how they can be useful for analyzing data in various circumstances.

Saving a Capture

The data captured in the Data Center Software can be saved to a binary Total Phase Data Center file (*.tdc). By default, all data captured will be retained within the file, unless specified otherwise by the user in the Save Settings.

To save a file, users can click File | Save or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+S. From there, users can specify the name and location of the saved file. Next, the Save Settings dialog will appear, which offers several options for excluding data from the capture in order to reduce the size of the binary file. Leaving these settings unchecked will preserve all the captured as is.

Save Settings

Export Settings in Data Center Software


Do Not Save Timing Information

By checking “Do Not Save Timing Information”, this will exclude the timing between bits in a single transaction in I2C and SPI capture modes from the saved file. Oftentimes the bit level timing information is useful when analyzing data, however, it considerably increases the size of the file. Therefore, users can select their preference using this dialog.

Save Only Filtered View

By checking “Save Only Filtered View”, only the filtered transactions of the current protocol will be saved. When re-opening the file in Data Center Software, the file will be marked as a Filtered File and appending additional captures will be disallowed.

Sharing Data Center Software Files

 Saving a capture to a file can be useful for various reasons, such as being able to review the data at a later time or to share files with other colleagues for review. The Data Center Software is free to download, so anyone with this software is able to import a .tdc file and review the captured data. This is helpful for teams looking to synchronize debugging efforts from remote locations. Additionally, this can be useful if hardware is offsite and users would like to analyze it in another location, such as a local office.

Exporting a Capture

It is possible to export an entire capture or a subset of a capture to utilize in other applications. To export a capture, users can click File | Export or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+E. From here, a dialog will appear where users can determine the name and location of the export file.

A capture can be exported into one of the following UTF-8 encoded text formats:

  • .CSV – a comma delimited file. This is a general way to export any capture. These files can be used with spreadsheet applications.
  • .BIN – binary format. The "Data" column (normally the column that is not truncated in CSV export) is exported as binary for every record. All data from all records are concatenated into a single sequence for the file.
  • .XML– the Control Center Serial Software format. This is an available filetype when exporting I2C and SPI captures. These files can be replayed in Control Center Serial Software to simulate the transmissions in the original capture.
  • .KBA – the Komodo GUI Batch format. This is an available filetype when exporting CAN captures. These files can be replayed in Komodo GUI to simulate the transmissions in the original capture.

After users select their file format and location of the file, the Export Settings dialog will appear. Note: There are currently no export settings for .XML and .KBA formats.

Export Settings

Export Settings in Data Center Software

 The export settings must be configured each time a capture is exported, unless the Re-Export option is being used.

Export Only Full Matches

By checking “Export Only Fully Matches”, only the records that are full matches will be exported. Any record that is a soft match (denoted by the faded color) will not be exported when this option is enabled.

Export Only Visible Records

By checking “Export Only Visible Records”, only the records that are visible will be exported. Any record that is hidden, such as a record whose parent is collapsed, will not be exported when this option is enabled.

Mirror Column Layout

By checking “Mirror Column Layout”, only columns visible in the Transaction window at the time of export will be written to the CSV. In addition, the order of these columns in the CSV will match their order in the transaction window. This option does not apply to and is disabled for binary export.

After an export has been performed, the File | Re-Export option can be used to re-export the capture to the same file with the same export settings. The user is not prompted for any additional information.

Exporting Captures to Other File Types

Exporting captures to other file types can be useful when needing to further analyze data in an external application or program.

.CSV File

Exporting captures to a CSV file can be beneficial for reviewing files in spreadsheet applications such as Excel. Additionally, users have successfully used the exported CSV file to convert the Data Center capture to a Wireshark supported file, as explained here.

.XML File

Captures in Data Center Software can be saved as XML files that can then be loaded in Control Center Serial Software to simulate the transmissions in the original capture. Control Center Serial Software includes Batch Mode where users can import XML files to perform batch scripting to automate tasks.

.BIN File

Users can save data captures as BIN files, or binary files. This can potentially be used for converting the capture to other media files to use in other external applications, and so on. An example of extracting audio data from a Data Center Software USB trace by exporting as a BIN file can be found here.

.KBA File

Users can export CAN captures as a KBA file format that will allow users to import this data into the Komodo GUI Software using its Batch Mode feature. This allows users to playback the commands previously captured in the Data Center Software. This can be helpful with the debugging process and making corrections to the data as needed. Watch a video of this in action here.


The Data Center Software offers different ways to save and export data that can be useful for a variety of different purposes. Users can easily share data across teams and also perform further analysis in other Total Phase software or external applications as needed.

If you have any questions on how these features can be useful for your own debugging requirements, please contact us at sales@totalphase.com.