History & Workflow

Schematron is a schema language for the context-related validation of XML instances. The first version of Schematron was introduced as a private software project by Rick Jelliffe at the end of the year 1999. XPath expressions form the core of the language. They are used in order to formulate rules to check the coherence of XML data.

Among experts the idea has been very well received which led to many improvements of the language and to first implementations on various operating systems. As a result of the many contributions from the growing Internet community, the Schematron version 1.5 was published in 2002. The key aspect in the development of the language design was a simple implementation by a two-stage XSLT transformation. This led to a wider acceptance and a further diffusion of the language.

Although Schematron 1.5 was not an ISO Standard at the time, there have been a whole range of implementations. Rick Jellife himself provides a reference implementation of Schematron on the basis of a multi-stage XSLT transformation – the so-called Skeleton script. Meanwhile, there are different variants of the implementation on the market; including a version for XSLT 2.0 processors.

Since May 2006 Schematron is finally part of the Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL). The basic structure of version 1.5 served as the basis. Apart from minor changes, the possibilities for the formulation of business rules should be improved by the optional use of further query languages in addition to XPath. Furthermore, the language core was extended by additional structures which shall lead to a more freely modelling of the schemata. In the following chapters and examples the ISO version of Schematron is used.

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