The Schema Composer

The Schema Composer is a simple and versatile tool for quickly and easily defining messages to exchange specific types of information between organizations, and ensuring that such messages comply with the common standards for information exchange.

More and more often, organizations need to exchange information with multiple partners in different businesses, in different parts of the world and in different languages, both system and spoken. Various standards bodies have developed common data languages to which governments, businesses and individuals can map or translate their own communication systems, and create messages to request and provide the information that they require from each other. The main mechanism for defining the common message format is the XML Schema Definition (XSD) standard.

XSD is a powerful mechanism for ensuring that XML messages conform to a common, standard format. However:

·You usually have to create a relatively complex XSD model composed of specific XSD elements, in addition to your 'normal' business and data models, to define the required data, it's associations and references, and any restrictions or conditions
·You need to understand how to use the XSD elements and apply the XSD naming rules and conventions to correctly construct such models


Enterprise Architect provides the modeling tools and guidance to help you construct XSD models that define schema with detail and precision. It also provides the Schema Composer, which greatly simplifies the process of creating schema that are standards-compliant.

Access     Tools | Schema Composer


The Schema Composer:

·Operates on a Class model rather than an XML schema profile, which relieves you of the XSD-specific design and schema generation decisions that you would otherwise have to make, whilst still ensuring consistency across the profile
·Can operate on a basic, generic Class model to provide a simple message definition for a simple communication requirement
·Is, however, most useful when operating on an industry standard Class model so that there are known meanings behind the names; standards that the Composer supports include:
·The Common Interface Model (CIM)
·National Information Exchange Modeling (NIEM)
·United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Modeling Methodology (UMM), specifically the Naming and Design Rules (NDR) 2.1 and 3.0
·Universal Business Language (UBL), specifically the Naming and Design Rules (NDR) 3.0


·In most circumstances operates on a full model from which a subset of properties from selected Classes are drawn to build specific messages, to communicate only what is necessary for the information to send or request
·For standards such as NIEM will generate a new sub-model just of the message to be communicated
·Helps you to build a definition of the same message using different formats such as:
·Any additional format that might be defined by an Add-In that you are using with Enterprise Architect, using the same user interface as for the built-in formats


·Has built-in support for various serialization formats (even within XML) used by different industry models; these have a specific way of defining a schema, and make very clear the semantics of the data that will match that message, not just the syntax


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