Data Element Definition

Data Element Definition

Chief Information Officer

IC Technical Specifications

XML Data Encoding Specification for Data Element Definition


This XML Data Encoding Specification for Data Element Definition (DED.XML) defines detailed implementation guidance for using XML to encode Data Element Definitions (DED) data. This Data Encoding Specification (DES) defines the XML elements and attributes, associated structures and relationships, mandatory and cardinality requirements, and permissible values for representing DED data concepts using XML. The exchange of DED across the Enterprise is critical to creating a common understanding of data fields and structures.


This specification is maintained by the IC Chief Information Officer via the Data Standards Coordination Activity (DSCA) and Common Metadata Standards Tiger Team (CMSTT).


Technical Specification Downloads


Latest Approved Public Release:


Mission Requirements


Information sharing with the national intelligence enterprise is increasingly dependent on the exchange of information about an exchange format. Systems, users, and developers all need a more consistent machine processable format for exchanging information describing data. This specification is a reaction to that need. Both enterprise needs and requirements for this specification can be found in the following policies and implementation guidance:

  • 500 Series:
    • Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 500, Director Of National Intelligence Chief Information Officer
    • Intelligence Community Standard (ICS) 500-20, IC Enterprise Standards Compliance