Networking is a need for interlinking todays and future electronic modules into systems. Networked systems offer reduced wiring harness, more open system expandability and an additional degree of freedom for system optimization. On the other hand networked systems represent highly complex problems for the system designers and therefore require correspondingly powerful tools.
Subsequently the characteristics of networking are described based on the example of the CAN-network-protocol. A set of requirements for needed tool support is derived from the inherent networked system characteristics. A set of CAN network development tools is described - Simulator, Emulator, Analyzer, handy NetTest, PcNet-interface - supporting the various needs in the different design phases. Finally some future activities are described depicting tools enhancement and integration. In addition research activities are mentioned focusing on definition and evaluation of higher protocol layers.