Vertical XML Schemas

Copyright 2004-1016 by Ronald Bourret

In 2004, for reasons I no longer remember, I became curious about how many publicly available vertical XML Schemas were actually being used. To that end, I spent two evenings poking around the Web with a non-DSL modem (remember those?) looking for schemas that appeared to be active. In that time, I found ~100 schemas that fit my criteria: (a) a date of 2003 or 2004 associated with the schema and (b) apparent backing from a semi-reputable organization.

I conducted my research on five main platforms:

Based on this survey, I guessed that 100 vertical schemas actually being used was a low-end figure.

Based on this minimal research, I guesstimated I had found 1/4-1/2 of all active, publicly available, vertical schemas. I was optimistic because (a) many of the Cover Pages schemas were clearly failures or pet projects and (b) most industry searches didn't turn up more than a few schemas. (I did not include product-specific or privately-used schemas, of which there were certainly thousands.)

As of this writing (2016), it's safe to say that many of these schemas are no longer being used. However, a quick peek at the Web showed a surprising number were still active. And this didn't include just mainline schemas like HL7, DITA, METS, and SVG. It included schemas likely to be known only to people whose light reading consists of trade journals -- schemas like OTA (Open Travel Alliance), PIDX (Petroleum Industry Data Exchange), SportsML, and MISMO (Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization). Maybe the XML revolution happened after all.

The Schemas

NOTE: The links have not been checked since 2004, so many are likely to be out of date, even if the schemas are still being used.

advertisingSPACE/ XMLSpecifications for Publisher & Agency Communications Exchange XMLN
automotiveSTARStandards for Technology in Automotive RetailY?
biologyAGAVEArchitecture for Genomic Annotation, Visualization and ExchangeN
biologyBINDBiomolecular Interaction Network DatabaseN
biologyBioMLBIOpolymer Markup LanguageN
biologyBSMLBioinformatic Sequence Markup LanguageN
biologyDDBJ-XMLDNA Data Bank of Japan XMLN?
biologyMAGE-MLMicroarray Gene Expression Markup LanguageN
biologyMaXMLMouse Annotation XMLN
biologyRNAMLRNA Markup LanguageN
biologySBMLSystems Biology Markup LanguageN
biologyvariousDTDs for NCBI markup languagesY
biologyXCBFXML Common Biometric Format N
businessBPEL4WSBusiness Process Execution Language for Web ServicesN
businessCAMContent Assembly MechanismN
businessebXMLElectronic Business using XMLY
businessxCBLXML Common Business LanguageN
chemistryChem eStandardsChem eStandardsN
chemistryCMLChemistry Markup LanguageN
documentationATA iSpec 2200Information Standards for Aviation MaintenanceN
documentationDITADarwin Information Typing ArchitectureN
documentationIEEE DTDIEEE Standards DTDN
documentationXHTMLeXtensible Hypertext Markup LanguageN
educationSCORMSharable Content Object Reference ModelN
educationSIF XMLSchools Interoperability Framework XMLN
financialFixMLFinancial Information eXchange Markup LanguageN
financialFpMLFinancial products Markup LangaugeY?
financialIFXInteractive Financial eXchangeN?
financialMDDLMarket Data Definition LanguageN
financialOFXOpen Financial ExchangeN
financialRIXMLResearch Information eXchange Markup LanguageN
financialswiftMLSociety for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications Markup LanguageY?
financialXBRLeXtensible Business Reporting LanguageN
geneologygdmxmlGenealogical Data Model XMLN
geneologyGEDXMLGEnealogical Data COMmunications XMLN
geneologyGenXMLGeneology XMLN
governmentCAPCommon Alerting ProtocolN
governmentDenmarkDanish GovernmentY,
governmentEMLElection Markup LanguageN
governmentGermanyGerman GovernmentY
governmentHong KongHong Kong GovernmentY
governmentUK GovTalkUK GovernmentY
healthAERSAdverse Events Reporting SystemN?
healthCDISCClinical Data Interchange Standards ConsortiumY
healthHL7Health Level 7Y
human resourcesHR-XMLHuman Resources XMLY
insuranceACORD XML for LifeACORD XML for LifeN
insuranceACORD XML for P & CACORD XML for Property & CasualtyN
legalGlobal JXDMGlobal Justice XML Data ModelY
manufacturing papiNetPaper Industry NetworkY
manufacturingPSLXPlanning and Scheduling Language on XMLN
mathematicsCellMLCell Markup LanguageN
mathematicsMathMLMathematics Markup LanguageN
metadatabibteXMLBibTeX as XMLN
metadataDAML+OILDARPA Agent Markup Language, Ontology Inference LayerN
metadataDublin CoreDublin CoreN
metadataMARCXMLMAchine Readable CatalogingN
metadataMETSMetadata Encoding and Transmission StandardN
metadataMODSXMLMetadata Object Description SchemaN
metadataOWLWeb Ontology LanguageN
metadataRDF/XMLResource Description Framework XMLN
metadataTEIText Encoding InitiativeN
metadataXMIXML Metadata InterchangeN
multimediaSMILSychronized Multimedia Integration LanguageN
multimediaSVGScalable Vector GraphicsN
natural resourceseFIDSForestry Industry Data StandardsN?
natural resourcesPIDX RP3901Petroleum Institute Data eXchangeY
natural resourcesXMMLeXploration and Mining Markup LanguageY
newsNewsMLNews Markup LanguageN
newsNITFNews Industry Text FormatN
newsPRISM AggregatorPublishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata, Aggregator DTDN
pharmaceuticalscTOCInvestigational New Drug Application Cumulative Table of ContentsN?
pharmaceuticalseCTDElectronic Common Technical DocumentN
pharmaceuticalsPIMProduct Information ManagementN ?
publishingICEInformation and Content ExchangeN
publishingJDFJob Definition SpecificationN
publishingRSSReally Simple SyndicationN
query languagesXSLTXSL TransformationsN
real estateMISMOMortgage Industry Standards Maintenance OrganizationY
real estateRETSReal Estate Transaction StandardY
recreationCaxton XMLCaxton XML (chess)N
recreationCPXeCommon Picture eXchange environmentN
recreationRecipeMLRecipe Markup LanguageN
recreationSportsMLSports Markup LanguageN
schemasXML SchemasXML SchemasN
scienceCDF MLCommon Data Format XMLN
securityANMLAdvisory and Notification Markup LanguageN
securityAVDLApplication Vulnerability Description LanguageN
securitySAMLSecurity Assertion Markup LanguageN
securityXACMLExtensible Access Control Markup LanguageN
softwareDSMLDirectory Services Markup LanguageN
softwareMicrosoft Office 2003WordprocessingML, SpreadsheetML, FormTemplate XML, DataDiagramingML Y
softwareOpen Office XMLOpen Office XMLN?
softwareP3PPlatform for Privacy PreferencesN
softwareSPMLService Provisioning Markup LanaguageN
softwareSyncMLSynchronization Markup LanguageN
softwareWSDLWeb Services Description LanguageN
speechSSMLSpeech Synthesis Markup LanguageN
speechVoiceXMLVoice eXtensible Markup LanguageN
taxesInland RevenueUK Inland RevenueY
taxesIRSUS Internal Revenue ServiceY,,id=101145,00.html
taxesTax XMLFederation of Tax AdministratorsY
travelOTAOpen Travel AllianceY