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This contribution presents the basic architecture of the neutral data format AutomationML developed by the companies Daimler, ABB, Siemens, Rockwell, Kuka, Zuhlke, netAllied and the universities of Magdeburg and Karlsruhe. AutomationML serves for the data exchange between manufacturing engineering tools and therefore supports the interoperability between them. It covers information about the plant structure (topology and geometry) and the plant behaviour (logic and kinematics). The first version of AutomationML has been presented at the Hannover fair in 2008.