SDMX Converter English (en)

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The SDMX converter is an open source application, which offers to the user the ability to convert between all the existing formats of the SDMX version 2.0 standard (generic, compact, utility and cross-sectional) as well as GESMES (SDMX-EDI 2.0), FLR and CSV formats. It also support conversions from DSPL (Google's Dataset Publishing Language) messages to SDMX-ML and backwards.

In order for a flat CSV or FLR file to be converted successfully some limitations exist. Because each line in such a file represents one record, no new line characters should be present inside the data in that record. However there exist some cases where new line characters can be present in data. For example attributes may represent free text data that contain new line characters.

Limitation exist also in a convertion process from DSPL, which is a representation language for data and metadata of datasets. When converting from data in DSPL format to SDMX-ML message no other parameter need to be defined. But when converting from SDMX-ML messages to DSPL dataset a DSD should be defined and a mapping as well as a transcoding file could be provided. The mapping will map the DSD components to DSPL concepts. The output file of a DSPL dataset is a zip file as it contains data and metadata (CSV files and an XML file). Datasets described in this format can be processed by Google and visualized in the Google Public Data Explorer.

Interaction with the Converter is possible using a Graphic User Interface (GUI), command line interface (CLI) and via its programming API.

Graphic User Interface of the Converter, as its name reveals, requires human user interaction in the mapping GUI dialog to go through a conversion process.

In the contrary to GUI, command line interface is not targeted to human user interaction. It offers an alternative way for integrating Converter functionality to other applications. This pertains to applications that are not implemented in Java. Therefore they call CLI commands from the system shell. CLI can be utilised to perform conversions in a batch-processing mode without user interaction. It can be coupled with shell scripting of the target platform for tailor-made batch processing. Comparing to GUI, CLI requires less system resources, such as processor time and memory, to run.

The Web Service interface offers the possibility to expose Converter functionalities on the Web. The clients can call the application server where the Converter service is deployed.

The advantage of calling the converter through the web service is the interoperability obtained. One client can interact with the converter regardless of the client application platform and the programming language used.

However it is slower than interacting with the other interfaces since datasets are sent over the network and the CPU time is shared with other conversion requests. Moreover the overhead of the SOAP and HTTP protocol is added.

The tool is licenced under the terms of the European Union Public Licence V.1.1

All versions of the tool can be downloaded from CircaBC repository.

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