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XML Schema Design Quality Test Requirements



Boonserm Kulvatunyou, KC Morris


Consistent design of XML schema within an organization or single integration project can reduce the number and the severity of interoperability problems. In addition, this consistency makes the XML schema easier to extend, understand, implement, and maintain; and, it paves the way for automated testing and mapping. Applying best practices is one way to achieve this design consistency. The literatures in the reference section advocate a number of recommended best practices for designing business message standards. In reviewing the recommendations from different references, we discovered that no single agreed upon set of best practices exists. Using a coherent subset of these recommendations, NIST researchers developed a collection of test requirements. These test requirements are maintained separately and organized according to the original reference documents on which they were based. This paper describes some of these requirements and provides rationale, explanations, examples, and comments for each. These requirements form part of a framework, which can be used to assess the overall quality of an XML schema. Other parts of the framework include computer executable test cases and test profiles. Briefly, test cases are used to verify the conformance to those requirements and test profiles are groups of test requirements. Test profiles are entry points for executing a set of test cases. More information about test cases and test profiles, which are not described in this paper, can be found in [12]. The audience of this document includes XML architect and systems integration managers who are looking for XML schema guidelines to XML message development. The reader is assumed to have working knowledge of XML and XML Schema.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7175
Report Number


Business Document Design, Business-to-Business Integration, Test Requirement, Testbed-Content Checker, Testbed-QOD, XML Schema Best Practices, XML Schema Design


Kulvatunyou, B. and Morris, K. (2004), XML Schema Design Quality Test Requirements, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created September 30, 2004, Updated October 12, 2021