Schema files

Schema files are used to assure that the data within an XML document conforms to expected values. For example, an element that contains a zip code may be restricted to a numeric integer. Schema files can also limit the length or number of occurrences of an element as well as guarantee that elements occur in the expected order.

A schema file may be applied to an XML document using any of the following methods:

  • In the Windows implementation, the Microsoft MSXML parser 6.0 ignores the document type definition (DTD) when validating an XML document against a schema file. Any entities declared in the DTD will not be defined and cannot be referenced. If any entities other than the predefined XML entities are referenced, the document is not well-formed and will fail to load, much less validate. Thus, when a DTD is generated to define entities in an exported document, the exported document should be transformed prior to being imported so as not to contain entity references. For information on generating a DTD to define entity references, see Document Type Definition Support.
  • On UNIX systems, the underlying XML parser, libxml, does not support schema validation.