A framework for the implementation of Application Profiles in XML Schemas
The concept of an application profile (AP) has been developed to allow implementers to draw on metadata terms from existing vocabularies and customise them for a local application. APs play an important role in enhancing interoperability between diverse applications. From our experience of encoding an AP targeted to the digital heritage domain, we have devised a generalized XML Schemas Definition (XSD) framework capable of satisfying the functional and modelling characteristics of APs with either flat or nested structures. This paper presents the framework and its technical implementation, its potential impact on the development of dynamic machine- processible APs, and its current limitations. The framework presented has a layered structure to explicitly separate the authoritative, the non-authoritative, and the application profile schemas. We believe this framework to be an important step in encoding APs that can be dynamically updated with information relating to the terms they reuse, directly from schemas on remote locations (e.g. the web), enabling the automatic creation and validation of AP instance records.