Data or Metadataflow

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A Dataflow represents a Data Set.

While a Data or Metadata Structure Definition defines Dimensions, Attributes, Measures and associated representation that comprise the valid structure of data and related metadata of Data Sets of a particular class, a Dataflow is a specific Data Set instance.

This decoupling of Data Structure Definitions from Dataflows makes them reusable. A Data Structure Definition for health data may be used by many different organisations and countries to create Dataflows for their own local health Data Sets. The European Central Bank (ECB) have a Balance Sheet Items DSD which is referenced by three Dataflows: Balance Sheet Items; Balance Sheet Items Statistics (tables 2 to 5 of the Blue Book), Key euro area indicators (BSI).

Data is disseminated against a Dataflow and must conform to the template defined by the DSD that the Dataflow references.

Data is also reported (indirectly) against a Dataflow, so it is possible to impose different restrictions on difference Dataflows using Constraints.

Structure Properties

Structure Type Standard SDMX Structural Metadata Artefact
Maintainable Yes
Identifiable Yes
Item Scheme No
SDMX Information Model Versions 2.0, 2.1, 3.0
URN - datastructure.Dataflow namespace urn:sdmx:org.sdmx.infomodel.datastructure.Dataflow.

Context within the SDMX 3.0 Information Model

Data or Metadataflow


In conjunction with a Provision Agreement, data can be loaded and validated against the concepts and rules and restrictions as defined in its Data Structure. A Dataflow may also have additional restrictions applied by virtue of any Content Constraints.


Dataflow IDs IDs are conventionally uppercase using underscores '_' as separators if required. Examples:

Agency Concept Scheme ID Description SDMX-ML
ESTAT NAREG_T1200_A NA Regional Statistics SDMX-ML
IAEG-SDGs DF_SDG_GLC SDG Country Global Dataflow SDMX-ML