HDF products include two file formats (HDF4 and HDF5) and libraries, a data browser/editor, and associated tools
HDF5HDF5 is a general purpose library and file format for storing scientific data. HDF5 addresses some of the deficiencies of HDF 4.
HDF4HDF4 (originally known as HDF) is a file format for storing scientific data and a software library that provides high-level APIs and a low-level data interface.
HDFView and HDF-Java ProductsThe HDF-Java Products include Java wrappers for the HDF4 and HDF5 libraries, as well as the HDFView Java tool for browsing and editing HDF4 and HDF5 files.
HDF5 ToolsThese utilities come with the pre-compiled binary distribution of HDF5 and can also be downloaded separately.
HDF4 ToolsThese tools come with the pre-compiled binary distribution for the platforms we support and can also be downloaded individually.
HDF technologies at present include two data management formats (HDF4 and HDF5) and libraries, a modular data browser/editor, associated tools and utilities, and a conversion library. Both HDF4 and HDF5 were designed to be a general scientific format, adaptable to virtually any scientific or engineering application, and also have been used successfully in non-technical areas. The Open Source format is a key technological foundation for HDF core technologies. It allows users to collaborate with The HDF Group regarding functionality requirements and permits users' experience and knowledge to be incorporated into the HDF product when appropriate. It also permits users and organizations without adequate technology resources to use a sophisticated and robust data management tool for no charge.
HDF5 is particularly good at dealing with data where complexity and scalability are important. Data of virtually any type or size can be stored in HDF5, including complex data structures and data types. HDF5 is portable, running on most operating systems and machines. HDF5 is scalable - it works well in high end computing environments, and can accommodate data objects of almost any size or multiplicity. It is also efficient, providing fast access to data, including parallel I/O. It also can store large amounts of data efficiently - it has built-in compression, or applications can also provide their own special-purpose compression. HDF4 and HDF5 are both widely used in government, academia, and industry. There are more than 200 distinct applications of the formats, and an estimated 1.6 million users of NASA data alone. It is also the base format for a number of community standards, such as HDF-EOS, the standard for NASA's enormous Earth Observing System http://eospso.gsfc.nasa.gov/, and NeXus, the standard for Neutron, Xray and Muon Science (http://www.nexus.anl.gov/index.html).
- - Last modified:May 16th 2011