PCAN-Developer 4

Professional CAN and CAN FD Development Package for Windows

PCAN-Developer 4

PCAN-Developer 4



The professional programming interface PCAN-API of the PCAN-Developer package makes it possible to create complex Windows applications with CAN and CAN FD support. The API (Application Programming Interface) provides an extensive function library using interface DLLs for 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

Unlike PCAN-Basic, the CAN communication is handled by Clients and offers significant advantages. Thus, not only a single but multiple applications can access a physical CAN channel. Furthermore, it works even without hardware: Via virtual connections, Clients establish a simulated CAN communication among Windows applications.

Function Library

Beginning with PCAN-Developer version 4, the PCAN-API and the included tools support the new CAN FD standard (CAN with Flexible Data rate) which is primarily characterized by a higher bandwidth for data transfer.

The API can be used with different programming languages. Header files are provided for the languages C/ C++, Delphi, and Python. For C#, VB.NET and C++/CLR an assembly is available. Example code is included for all supported languages.

CAN Connection via Clients

Applications that are based on the PCAN-API use so-called Clients in order to access Nets. A Net includes the connection to an external CAN bus via suitable hardware and the interconnection of several applications.

The following possibilities apply to CAN connections via Clients:

  • One or multiple Clients can be connected with a Net
  • A Client can be connected with multiple Nets
  • A Net is connected to no or exactly one active hardware
  • Multiple connections to different Nets can be defined for a hardware
  • A maximum of one defined connection to a Net can be activated for a hardware
  • When a Client transmits, the message is passed to all other Clients connected to the Net and via the hardware to the external CAN bus
  • If a message is received by the hardware, it is received by all Clients connected to the Net
CAN Connection via Clients


  • Professional API for developing applications with CAN and CAN FD connections
  • Complies with CAN specifications 2.0 A/B and FD
  • CAN FD support for ISO and Non-ISO standards switchable
  • Supports the operating systems Windows 11, 10, 8.1 (32/64-bit)
  • Up to 64 applications can be operated per physical CAN channel at the same time
  • Use of a Windows DLL for 32-bit or 64-bit as programming interface (API) for all supported hardware types
  • Use of up to 64 channels for each hardware type
  • Simple switching between channels of a PCAN PC hardware using Nets
  • Access to the CAN channels of a PCAN-Gateway via the new PCAN-LAN hardware type
  • Driver-internal buffering of up to 32,768 CAN messages per Client
  • Buffer size can be configured via the API
  • Precision of time stamps on received messages up to 1 ┬Ás (depending on the PEAK CAN interface used)
  • Access to all available hardware parameters such as listen-only mode
  • Notification of the application through Windows events when a message is received
  • Notification of the application through driver events, e.g. altered hardware parameters, plug-in/plug-out of PCAN PC hardware, or bus load information
  • Interrupt-triggered reception of CAN messages by the driver. Storage in a FIFO buffer with the time stamp
  • Control of the transmission timing by specifying time stamps when transmitting messages
  • Configuration of single-shot and self-receive-request transmissions
  • Support of CAN error frames
  • Simulated CAN communication between applications via Clients
  • Free definition of a message filter per Client
  • Hardware reset during an active connection
  • Hardware configuration using the control panel or application
  • Detailed documentation in PDF format as well as executable sample source code
  • Collection of tools for CAN system configuration, parameterization, and visualization
  • Thread-safe API

System requirements

  • Windows 11, 10, 8.1 (32/64-bit)
  • At least 2 GB RAM and 1.5 GHz CPU
  • USB port for installation stick
  • For the CAN bus connection: PC CAN interface from PEAK-System

Note: Parallel port CAN interfaces are only supported on 32-bit systems.

Scope of Supply

  • PCAN-API 4 Interface DLLs (32/64-bit)
  • PCAN-Developer 4 license package
  • Software: PCAN-View, PCAN-Nets Configuration, and PCAN-Status Display
  • Header files for C/C++, Delphi, and Python
  • Assembly for C#, VB.NET, and C++/CLR
  • Examples for all supported languages
  • Documentation in PDF format

Note: Software delivery on USB stick. Alternative installation media or download on request.

PCAN-Developer 4 Licenses:

PCAN-Developer 4 includes a single user license for the development package and a distribution license for the PCAN-Developer redistributable. This package includes the API DLLs as well as the software products PCAN-View, PCAN-Nets Configuration, and PCAN-Status Display.

For the API and the software you will receive all updates and free support for the duration of two years.