SDMX Implementation for Metadata Exchange English (en)

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This page aims at explaining how SDMX is implemented for reference metadata exchange in statistical domains.

It also gives an overview of the on-going implementation projects running within Eurostat and the European Statistical System (ESS).

For more information on on-going implementation project in the ESS, please see the detail page

Implementation phases

As for the implementation of SDMX for data exchange, the process for implementing SDMX for metadata exchange can be broken down into four main distinct phases: preparation, compliance, implementation and production.


The main difference is that other international organisations are usually less concerned by the projects and that National Statistical Institutes are generally concretely involved only in the fourth phase, after they have agreed with Eurostat on the type of metadata to be exchanged and on the process.


This phase corresponds to the first contacts with the domain experts. The Production Units explain their possible existing collections of national metadata while they are also introduced to the existing standard structures for metadata exchange (ESMS, ESQRS, etc.).

The respective metadata sets are analysed and a project plan is set up.


In the second phase, the metadata sets are aligned to the SDMX structures standardised for the European Statistical System, i.e. ESMS and ESQRS.

The duration of this phase can be relatively short if the existing structures are close to the standards. If much custom mapping is needed, the phase could also take more time.


In this phase the applications used for the metadata exchange are configured.

The resulting Metatdata Structure Definitions (MSDs) are published in the Euro SDMX Registry and linked to the respective metadata flows.

Existing metadata available from legacy files or databases are imported into the National Reference Metadata Editor (NRME) by Eurostat

Those flows are then subsequently opened for transmission in NRME and activated in EDAMIS for delivery to Eurostat production units.


The SDMX objects (metadata files) are produced on a regular basis by users in National Statistical Institutes, usually with the NRME graphical user interface.

Those files are then sent via EDAMIS to the respective domain managers in Eurostat who validate them. Finally, - and if agreed between NSIs and Eurostat - the output files can be disseminated on the Eurostat website.


In Eurostat, the implementation projects of SDMX for both data and metadata projects are dealt within the same unit but in two different sections For any question regarding the implementation projects for metadata exchange, the contact point is the following:

In National Statistical Institutes, the main contacts are the national administrators. They are in particular responsible for granting access to the NRME to national users and to affect them to their respective statistical domains and metadata flows.

These persons are familiar with the NRME and the module used for granting the access.

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