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XSD - The <schema> Element


The <schema> element is the root element of every XML Schema.


The <schema> Element

The <schema> element is the root element of every XML Schema:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<xs:schema>
...
...
</xs:schema>

The <schema> element may contain some attributes. A schema declaration often looks something like this:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<xs:schema xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"
targetNamespace="http://www.w3schools.com"
xmlns="http://www.w3schools.com"
elementFormDefault="qualified">
...
...
</xs:schema>

The following fragment:

xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"

indicates that the elements and data types used in the schema come from the "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" namespace. It also specifies that the elements and data types that come from the "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" namespace should be prefixed with xs:

This fragment:

targetNamespace="http://www.w3schools.com"

indicates that the elements defined by this schema (note, to, from, heading, body.) come from the "http://www.w3schools.com" namespace.

This fragment:

xmlns="http://www.w3schools.com"

indicates that the default namespace is "http://www.w3schools.com".

This fragment:

elementFormDefault="qualified"

indicates that any elements used by the XML instance document which were declared in this schema must be namespace qualified.


Referencing a Schema in an XML Document

This XML document has a reference to an XML Schema:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

<note xmlns="http://www.w3schools.com"
xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.w3schools.com note.xsd">

<to>Tove</to>
<from>Jani</from>
<heading>Reminder</heading>
<body>Don't forget me this weekend!</body>
</note>

The following fragment:

xmlns="http://www.w3schools.com"

specifies the default namespace declaration. This declaration tells the schema-validator that all the elements used in this XML document are declared in the "http://www.w3schools.com" namespace.

Once you have the XML Schema Instance namespace available:

xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"

you can use the schemaLocation attribute. This attribute has two values, separated by a space. The first value is the namespace to use. The second value is the location of the XML schema to use for that namespace:

xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.w3schools.com note.xsd"