The Hierarchical Data Format (version 5, not compatible with earlier versions) is a general data set format with the ability to store data in multidimensional arrays, grouped into collections and / or hierarchies. Relationships between data in the arrays can be saved, but the format does not offer the possibility of storing structured (descriptive) metadata. The format is open and can be read into various applications, but it is difficult or impossible to process without using HDF5 software.

Hierarchical Data Format is a non-preferred format for file type Databases.