XRX/Data Element Editor
The core of an ISO metadata data registry is a collection of data elements. These data elements represent the semantics or meaning of a data element within a standard or an organization. Data elements do not necessarily map to a representation of data in a specific data store such as an RDBMS, an Excel spreadsheet, an XML file or a CSV file. Data elements can store mappings to these representations via data maps.
There are two types of data elements in an ISO metadata registry:
Conceptual Data Elements - similar to RDBMS tables, concepts in a taxonomy tree, or object classes without the behavior. Conceptual data elements are really collections for grouping similar properties.
Properties - are similar to a column of a table, a leaf element in a taxonomy, or an simple instance variable in an object class.
As with objects, properties can exhibit inheritance properties. So if a superclass has a property, that property is valid for all subclasses.
Our ISO registry example will have an XForms application for storing both conceptual data elements and properties. Both of these will be called generic data elements and they both share many attributes such as who created them, their definitions, and their mappings. The only difference is that a conceptual data element has no property or data type assignment (representation term).
Each data elements will be stored in a separate XML file in a data element collection. This allows multiple users to independently edit data elements and lock each data elements to avoid lost updates.