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Full Description

The CDIF family of standards is primarily designed to be used as a description of a mechanism for transferring information between modelling tools. It facilitates a successful transfer when the authors of the importing and exporting tools have nothing in common except an agreement to conform to CDIF.

The CDIF family of standards includes a semantic metamodel and a transfer format definition. It also includes the specification of a meta-metamodel and associated rules that define a framework for the semantic metamodel and the transfer format. The language that is defined for the transfer format also has applicability as a general language for Import/Export for repositories. The CDIF semantic metamodel also has applicability as the basis of standard definitions for use in repositories.

The diagram in Figure 1 depicts the various standards that comprise the CDIF family of standards. The shaded box depicts this Standard and its position in the CDIF family of standards.

This document introduces the CDIF family of standards and defines the terms common to the CDIF family of standards.

This document is intended to be used by anyone wishing to understand and/or use CDIF. This document provides an introduction to the entire CDIF family of standards. It is suitable for:

  • Those evaluating CDIF,
  • Those who wish to understand the principles and concepts of a CDIF transfer, and
  • Those developing importers and exporters.

This document, ISO/IEC 15474-1:2002, Information technology - CDIF framework - Part 1: Overview, and the Framework document ISO/IEC 15474-2:2002, Information technology - CDIF framework - Part 2: Modelling and extensibility, should be read first when initially exploring CDIF and before attempting to read other documents in the CDIF family of standards.

While there are no specific prerequisites for reading this document, it will be helpful for the reader to have familiarity with the following:

  • Entity-Relationship-Attribute modelling;
  • Modelling (CASE) tools;
  • Information repositories;
  • Data dictionaries;
  • Multiple meta-layer modelling.