About the KISS standard

The KISS standard is an effort to provide a workable solution today to one segment of the larger problem caused by incompatible data formats. You can use KISS files to transfer bills of materials and other fabrication-related data between CAD and fabrication management software applications.

The origins of KISS

The KISS standard was developed under the auspices of FabTrol Systems, in conjunction with several other software vendors. FabTrol Systems continues to devote substantial resources to the project for the mutual benefit of everyone involved. Nevertheless, the KISS standard has been put into the public domain and is offered freely to the industry.

Why do we need electronic data exchange standards?

What's good for the industry is good for its vendors. Compatibility between different software products benefits the customer. A fabricator should be able to pick and choose the mix of products that best meets his or her individual needs, knowing that the products are compatible with each other.

Proprietary, mutually exclusive systems force our clients to choose between one complete system and another. This ultimately weakens both the vendor and the industry as a whole.

A common communications interface benefits all vendors. Instead of writing multiple drivers to communicate with a myriad of products, a vendor can write a single function that links to many different products. The vendor is responsible only for the interactions between his or her own products and the neutral file. Changes within other products will not affect the communication as long as the other products accept responsibility for maintaining their KISS links.

Several short-term benefits accrue to our customers:

  • Elimination of entry time currently spent transcribing data
  • Elimination of data entry errors
  • Better, quicker, more flexible sequencing
  • Easily obtained, detailed labor data for scheduling and production planning

Short-term benefits also accrue to vendors who support the KISS standard. CAD systems are immediately compatible with FabTrol MRP software. MIS/MRP products can immediately exchange information with FabTrol MRP and many CAD programs.

Establishing an industry-standard means of communicating between products also offers several long-term benefits:

  • Estimating will be faster and more accurate
  • The time required to get a job into production will be reduced
  • Joint ventures between fabricators will be easier to manage
  • Communication between fabricators and general contractors will improve
  • An electronic plan center based on the Internet becomes feasible
  • Steel will become more competitive versus other materials

Testing KISS files

The development team at FabTrol Systems is available to test and troubleshoot KISS files from other vendors free of charge. Simply send a trial KISS file, preferably with supporting documentation showing another view of the job for comparison, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We will e-mail or fax you the results, including an error log, for double-checking.

Other topics: KISS-compliant software | KISS & AutoCAD