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XML Schema Introduction
Why Use XML Schemas?
XSD How To?
XSD - The <schema> Element
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XSD Complex Type - Elements Only
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XSD The <any> Element
XSD The <anyAttribute> Element
XSD Element Substitution
An XSD Example
XSD String Data Types
XSD Date Data Types
XSD Numeric Data Types
XSD Miscellaneous Data Types
You Have Learned XML Schema, Now What?

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XSD Restrictions/Facets

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Restrictions are used to define acceptable value for XML elements or attributes. Restrictions on XML elements are called facets.


A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Restrictions on Values

The following example define an element called "age" with a restriction. The value of age cannot be greater than 120 or lower than 0:

<xs:element name="age">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:integer">
<xs:minInclusive value="0"/>
<xs:maxInclusive value="120"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>




Restrictions on a Set of Values

To limit the content of XML elements to a set of acceptable values, we would use the enumeration constraint.

The example below define an element called "car" with a restriction. The only acceptable values are: Audi, Golf, BMW:

<xs:element name="car">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:enumeration value="Audi"/>
<xs:enumeration value="Golf"/>
<xs:enumeration value="BMW"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

The example above could also have been written in like this:

<xs:element name="car" type="carType"/>
<xs:simpleType name="carType">
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:enumeration value="Audi"/>
<xs:enumeration value="Golf"/>
<xs:enumeration value="BMW"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>

Note: In example above the type "carType" can be used by other elements because it is not a part of the "car" element.

Restrictions on a Series of Values

To limit the content of an XML element to define a series of letters or numbers that can be used, we would use the pattern constraint.

The example below define an element called "letter" with a restriction. The only acceptable value is ONE of the LOWERCASE letter from a to z:

<xs:element name="letter">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:pattern value="[a-z]"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

The next example define an element called "initials" with a restriction. The only acceptable value is THREE of the UPPERCASE letter from a to z:

<xs:element name="initials">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:pattern value="[A-Z][A-Z][A-Z]"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

The next example also define an element called "initials" with a restriction. The only acceptable value is THREE of the LOWERCASE OR UPPERCASE letter from a to z:

<xs:element name="initials">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:pattern value="[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z]"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

The next example define an element called "choice" with a restriction. The only acceptable value is ONE of the following letter: x, y, OR z:

<xs:element name="choice">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:pattern value="[xyz]"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

The next example define an element called "prodid" with a restriction. The only acceptable value is FIVE digits in a sequence, and each digit must be in range from 0 to 9:

<xs:element name="prodid">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:integer">
<xs:pattern value="[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

Restrictions on Whitespace Characters

To specify how whitespace characters should be handled, we would use the whiteSpace constraints.

This example define an element called "address" with a restriction. The whiteSpace constraint is set to "preserve", which means that the XML processor WILL NOT remove any white space character

<xs:element name="address">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:whiteSpace value="preserve"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

This example also define an element called "address" with a restriction. The whiteSpace constraint is set to "replace", which mean that the XML processor WILL REPLACE all white space characters (line feeds, tabs, spaces, and carriage returns) with spaces:

<xs:element name="address">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:whiteSpace value="replace"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

This example also define an element called "address" with a restriction. The whiteSpace constraint is set to "collapse", which means that the XML processor WILL REMOVE all white space character (line feeds, tabs, spaces, carriage returns are replaced with spaces, leading and trailing spaces are removed, and multiple spaces are reduced to the single space):

<xs:element name="address">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:whiteSpace value="collapse"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

Restrictions on Length

To limit the length of a value in to an element, we would use the length, maxLength, and minLength constraints.

This example define an element called "password" with a restriction. The value must be exactly eight characters:

<xs:element name="password">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:length value="8"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

This example define another element called "password" with a restriction. The value must be maximum eight characters and minimum five characters :

<xs:element name="password">
<xs:simpleType>
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">
<xs:minLength value="5"/>
<xs:maxLength value="8"/>
</xs:restriction>
</xs:simpleType>
</xs:element>

Restrictions for Datatypes

Constraint Description
enumeration Defines a list of acceptable values
fractionDigits Specifies the maximum number of decimal places allowed. Must be equal to or greater than zero
length Specifies the exact number of characters or list items allowed. Must be equal to or greater than zero
maxExclusive Specifies the upper bounds for numeric values (the value must be less than this value)
maxInclusive Specifies the upper bounds for numeric values (the value must be less than or equal to this value)
maxLength Specifies the maximum number of characters or list items allowed. Must be equal to or greater than zero
minExclusive Specifies the lower bounds for numeric values (the value must be greater than this value)
minInclusive Specifies the lower bounds for numeric values (the value must be greater than or equal to this value)
minLength Specifies the minimum number of characters or list items allowed. Must be equal to or greater than zero
pattern Defines the exact sequence of characters that are acceptable
totalDigits Specifies the exact number of digits allowed. Must be greater than zero
whiteSpace Specifies how white space (line feeds, tabs, spaces, and carriage returns) is handled


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