Data Representations

SDMX 2.1 defines two types of XML data representations. The first one is referred to as "generic schema". This data format is described by a separate set of XSD documents. The second type is called "structure specific".

The generic schema is always using XML elements instead of attributes to represent information regardless of whether it is a dimension or a measure. Conversely, the structure-specific schema is replacing XML elements with attributes where attribute's names are derived from the dimensions's codes (identifiers). In this way, the structure-specific schema allows producing more compact and legible documents.

Let's have a look at the example above. For instance the dimension TIME_PERIOD in the "structure-specific" schema is represented as TIME_PERIOD="2013" XML attribute, whereas the corresponding information in the "generic" schema would be ObsDimension="2013".

In the result, the size of files produced according to these schemas may differ significantly. Software vendors should take that factor into account when designing their web-service solutions for SDMX.

Note: SDMX 2.0 refers to "compact" data representation instead of "structure-specific" data representation

To obtain data in the SOAP SDMX 2.1 generic data format, the GetGenericData method should be used whereas GetStructureSpecificData method obtains information in the structure-specific format. In the example below we show an example of a SOAP SDMX 2.1 query to obtain information in the structure-specific format.

Target Values

Some tables include a target value for the indicator, presented as attributes TARGET and TARGET_FLAG (i.e. additional qualitative information).

Example for a generic request:


Example for a compact response: