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 language that is defined for
the Transfer Format also has applicability as a general language for Import/Export from repositories. The CDIF
Semantic Metamodel defined for modelling tools also has applicability as the basis of standard definitions for use in
The standards, which form the complete family of CDIF Standards, are documented in ISO/IEC 15474-1:2002,
Information technology — CDIF framework — Part 1: Overview. These standards cover the overall framework,
the transfer format and the CDIF Semantic Metamodel.
The diagram in Figure 1 depicts the various standards that comprise the CDIF family of standard. The shaded box
depicts this Standard and its position in the CDIF family of standard.
This document describes the way that CDIF metamodels are concretely represented during a transfer and the way
that CDIF supports multiple exchange syntaxes and encodings. No specific exchange syntaxes or encodings are
described in this document. ISO/IEC 15475-2:2002, Information technology — CDIF transfer format — Part 2:
Syntax SYNTAX.1 and ISO/IEC 15475-3:2002, Information technology — CDIF transfer format —Part 3: Encoding
ENCODING.1. define one specific CDIF syntax and one specific CDIF encoding.
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 standard. 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.
The documents ISO/IEC 15474-1:2002, Information technology — CDIF framework — Part 1: Overview and
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
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;
— Formal grammars;
— Transfer formats.