Information on the XML Data Format

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XML files are created from a text format following the W3C Recommendation ( It is a recognized standard from a majority of suppliers; tools and utilities (some free) which are widely available.

Supporting Files for XML Data Upload Submissions

The documents listed below provide detailed supporting instructions for the submission in XML format. A periodic review of these documents is warranted as the instructions are regularly updated.

Files for XML Data Upload
File Name Usage
Spectrum_Licences_XML_Technical Data_Schema_Description Detailed description of technical data required for data uploads including schema, format, units and allowable values.
SMS_Schema_Definition.xsd (13KB) XML schema that could be used to validate and format XML files before being uploaded.
Upload_XML_Sample_Data.xml (9KB) Example files in XML format for a simple system.

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XML File Format


XML files are text files where the data is enclosed in text mark-up.

The resulting XML files must conform to our schema before they are uploaded.

If you require technical assistance in working with XML or validating your submissions, limited support is available, please contact the Department.

Preparing Submissions

XML files must be in a specific format and follow our schema. There are a number of methods to use XML with your data:

  • Some software will have a built-in XML export function. Typically, the resulting file will have to be manipulated to be adapted into our format. XML provides data manipulation through the use of special stylesheets forms, but they require some expertise and additional software;
  • You may obtain XML editing software to either maintain or simply review your data. Together with our schema, this will ensure that you provide all required data in the correct format.

The file format must follow a specific syntax. It is possible to create and edit these files manually using any basic text editor.

If you retain in-house development expertise, XML files can easily be created from your data using a spreadsheet macro or a simple database procedure

Special Characters

Some characters used within XML mark-up must be entered using the character sequences (entities) shown below required by the XML syntax.

Special characters equivalents
Character Entity
& &
> >
< &lt;

Example: "Jones, Kelsey & Leduc" must appear as <company>Jones, Kelsey &amp; Leduc</company>

Date Data Formats

All dates are in the ISO standard numeric year-month-day format with a four digit year (YYYY-MM-DD).

Example: "November 6, 2015" is represented as 2015-11-06

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XML Resources and References

The resources listed below provide additional information on XML and Government of Canada data exchange initiatives.

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