OASIS Code List Representation Technical Committee

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/codelist/200608/msg00007.html

The charter for this TC is as follows.

Name of the TC:

OASIS Code List Representation TC


Many communities of users exchange information in which commonly-accepted concepts can be expressed using concise mnemonics or abbreviations called "codes". Choosing a collection of these codes can constrain the expression of information to an agreed-upon set, requiring the exchange to reference one or more members from only a limited list of such codes, variously called "code lists", "enumerations", or "controlled vocabularies". Examples of standardized code lists include country abbreviations, currency abbreviations, shipping container descriptors, and airport codes. Examples of non-standardized code lists used between trading partners include financial account types, workflow status indicators, and any set of values representing the semantics of related concepts known between the parties involved in information interchange. An advantage of using a controlled set of semantic concepts is in localization where the associated documentation for the coded values can include descriptions in different languages, thus not requiring the coded values themselves to be translated, or where translation is desired, the semantic equivalence of values can be described.

Statement of Purpose:

While code lists have been used for many years, and their representations for the purposes of being validated are features of a number of constraint languages, there does not exist any standardized representation whose purposes address their interchange, documentation and management for use in any processing context. The purpose of the TC is to produce an XML interchange format for code lists. The format will support actual codes (including alternative codes and composite multi-part codes) and arbitrary related information for each code suitable for documentation and management. The format will also support the automated generation of derived code lists by providing an unambiguous specification of how a set of input code lists can be transformed into an output code list.

Scope of Work:

The scope of the TC is to produce a set of requirements, a W3C XML Schema, a UML model, documentation, and test examples (particularly to support the code list derivation functionality) initially based on an initial contribution to the committee, and then subsequently on evolving requirements. The creation of software to implement the work of the TC is out of scope.


  • First version of Code list requirements refined from initial submissions [Q3 2006]
  • First version of W3C XML Schema, UML model, & documentation based on initial requirements [Q4 2006]
  • Test examples [Q2 2007]
  • Ongoing development of additional requirements and versions based on deployment experience [beginning Q1 2007]

IPR Mode:

RF on limited terms

Anticipated Audience:

Anyone who works with code lists and has a requirement to transmit the code list values and/or metadata between systems. Also anyone who creates code lists based on pre-existing or 3rd party code lists. Users and consumers of code lists, who may also find a standardized deployment format for such lists easier to employ. Those who are responsible for defining XML vocabularies may be interested in describing a constrained set of values to represent agreed-upon semantic concepts in order to control information items.