The SDMX initiative sets standards to facilitate the exchange of statistical data and metadata using modern information technology. Several versions of the technical specifications have been released since 2004. SDMX has also been published as an ISO International Standard (IS 17369).

In addition to these different versions of the technical specifications, further material is made available to implementers:

  • Validation and Transformation Language (VTL): these technical specifications have been released to implement a specific section of the SDMX Information Model
  • SDMX-CSV format specifications: SDMX-CSV Data Message is an SDMX data exchange format based on the RFC 4180. CSV is a widely used standardised and simple format to exchange data supported by many tools.
  • SDMX-JSON standard: The SDMX-JSON standard is a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) based data exchange message format designed for and therefore responding to the main use case of data discovery and visualisation on the web. The proposed format conforms to the JSON standard specification.

SDMX 2.1 Technical Specifications – Consolidated version 2013

These are the current SDMX 2.1 Technical Specifications. Minor errors and inconsistencies were corrected in August 2011 and May 2012. The Technical Notes and the Web Services Guidelines were also amended in March and April 2013.

Section 1 – Framework. Introduces the documents and the content of the revised Version 2.1

Section 2 – Information Model. UML model and functional description, definition of classes, associations and attributes (UPDATE 8/2011)

Section 3A – SDMX-ML. Specifies and documents the XML formats for describing structure, data, reference metadata, and interfaces to the registry (UPDATE 8/2011)

Section 3B – SDMX-ML. XML schemas, samples, WADL and WSDL (UPDATE 2013)

Section 4 – SDMX-EDI. Specifies and documents the UN/EDIFACT format for describing structure and data

Section 5 – Registry Specification – Logical Interfaces. Provides the specification for the logical registry interfaces, including subscription/notification, registration of data and metadata, submission of structural metadata, and querying (UPDATE 8/2011)

Section 6 – Technical Notes. Provides some technical information which may be useful for the implementation (this was called the “Implementor’s Guide” in the 2.0 release)

Section 7 – Web Services Guidelines: Please note that the SDMX SOAP and REST specifications are now maintained on GitHub.

Other material

SDMX 2.0 Technical Specifications

SDMX Technical Standards Version 2.0 provide the technical specifications for the exchange of data and metadata based on a common information model. The scope of this work is to define formats for the exchange of aggregated statistical data and the metadata needed to understand how the data is structured. The major focus is on data presented as time series, although cross-sectional XML formats are also supported.

Version 2.0 Technical Standards are backward compatible with the earlier Version 1.0 work, which focused on XML- and EDIFACT-syntax data formats. The latest work broadens the technical framework to support wider coverage of metadata exchange as well as a more detailed architecture for data and metadata exchange.

These specifications have been developed, reviewed, and adopted by SDMX. Steps will be taken to bring this work forward within the context of the International Standards Organisation (ISO), with a view to updating ISO/Technical Specification 17369:2005 SDMX.