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NB! Under construction!
ADDML (Archival Data Description Markup Language) is a format for describing technical structures in a dataset. The format was developed by the National Archives of Norway in the late 1990s. Today normally used versions are ADDML 8.2 or ADDML 8.3. The format are today in use in Norway and Sweden. It is open for everyone interested to take part in the further developement of the format and it is free of use.
The format is describing datasets, hence the element "dataset" is the top level. It is open to describe many datasets within one description. Next level is consisting of three elements that forms a section each. The element "reference" is used to describe metadata about the dataset and the original system from where it is generated, both contextual and content types of metadata. The element "flatFiles" is used to describe in derail a flat file structure of the form - File / Record / Field. The element "dataObjects" is used to describe other structures. This element is not described in detail, but has a structure that is generic and gives the user the possibility to design a structure of need. The top structure would be as shown in figure 1.
Under the element "reference" there is two defined elements - the element "context" and the element "content". The element context is referring to the original system and metadata about this system. The element content is referring to the dataset and metadata about the dataset itself. Under both of them there is defined the element "additionalElements", with the element "additionalElement" as sublevel. There can be many additionalElement under additionalElements, and it is possible to define an additionalElements under additionalElement. This way it is possible to create a hierarchical structure for each ones need. The standard itself do not define any metadata elements. But using the generic posibillities with additionalElements and additionalElement, each user can define what kind of metadata elements they want.
Under the element "flatFiles" there is a structure shown in figure 2 where it is possible to describe files, records and fields in detail. It is possible to define types of files, records and fields and connect a definition to a type at the same level. In this structure there is many elements defined on each level for the descriptive use.
Under the element "dataObjects" it is possible to describe structures which are not flat files. This is again based on a generic structure where the user have to define himself the actual structure.
In addition it is possible on spesific elements to specify a process. This will not actually be a process, but a flag indicating to an application that a certain process should be performed while reading the datafiles.