DFDL (Data Format Definition Language) is a file format for describing file formats. It is an XML-based schema that allows arbitrary binary or text-based data formats to be described in a manner which allows the automated parsing of the data file into a corresponding XML file with the same data elements in the same order, capable of round-trip transformations to and from the original data format without loss. A DFDL document consists of an XML schema describing the data fields of a format, supplemented with annotations which describe how the data is stored (defining delimiters, endianness, etc.).
A partial (and not quite fully standards-compliant) implementation of a DFDL parser has been released as the open-source project Defuddle. Implementation is in progress of a new, improved DFDL parser called Daffodil.
DFDL schema files generally have the .xsd extension, denoting XML Schema Definitions.
- Daffodil (in progress)
- IBM Integration Bus (formerly WebSphere Message Broker) is commercial software that includes a DFDL parser/mapper