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Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) becomes an ISO standard

Have you accessed or modified the data embedded in a file today? Even if you have not, there is a good chance you did recently. This is because the XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform) for tagging information electronically has become part of the digital document landscape of today and a new ISO standard will allow users to have a thorough understanding of the XMP data model.


ISO 16684-1:2012, Graphic technology – Extensible metadata platform (XMP) specification – Part 1: Data model, serialization and core properties, offers content creators an easy way to embed meaningful information about their projects. It is useful for anyone who wishes to use XMP metadata, including both developers and end-users of applications that handle metadata for resources of any kind.


Adobe’s Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) is a labeling technology that allows users to embed data about a file, known as metadata, into the file itself. With XMP, desktop applications and back-end publishing systems gain a common method for capturing, sharing, and leveraging this valuable metadata – opening the door for more efficient job processing, workflow automation, and rights management, among other possibilities. This is where ISO 16684-1 comes in.


Adobe Systems Director Engineering, Frank Biederich, commented: “I am excited to see ISO advance open and extensible metadata by releasing the first part of the Adobe XMP specification as an International Standard. Going forward, this allows industry experts to influence the direction of XMP and drive innovation leveraging an established metadata ecosystem.


“With its continuous commitment to openness Adobe will expand its engagement to other ISO groups in the future to help develop and standardize metadata workflows based on XMP.”


Metadata can greatly increase the utility of resources in collaborative production workflows. For example, an image file might contain metadata such as its working title, description, and intellectual property rights. Accessing the metadata makes it easier to perform such tasks as searching for images, locating image captions, or determining the copyright clearance to use an image.


The new standard, ISO 16684-1:2012, Graphic technology – Extensible metadata platform (XMP) specification – Part 1: Data model, serialization and core properties, is based on the XMP specification part 1 version developed by Adobe Systems. Establishing this International Standard ensures the stability and longevity of its definitions and encourages broader integration and interoperability of XMP with existing standards.

Mr. Biederich further noted: “Effective metadata management has become increasingly important with the explosion of digital media. The Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) offers a powerful metadata infrastructure to the industry and is a widely adopted technology, specifically in the area of image and document management.

“The XMP platform not only helps operating system vendors and software companies to seamlessly exchange media related information it also has been adopted by camera manufactures applying metadata to content early in the creation process.

ISO 16684-1:2012 supplies two esse

ntial components of XMP metadata:  data model and serialization. In addition, this part defines a collection of core properties, which are XMP metadata items that can be applied across a broad range of file formats and domains of usage.

Future parts will address formal validation of XMP and XML syntax for describing XMP UI elements. In addition, ISO 16684-1:2012 will serve as the foundation for domain specific ISO activities, for example, ISO/TC 42, Photography, working group WG 18, Electronic still picture imaging, or ISO/TC 171, Document management applications, SC 2, Application issues, WG 5, Document management applications – Application issues – PDF/A.


ISO 16684-1:2012, Graphic technology – Extensible metadata platform (XMP) specification – Part 1: Data model, serialization and core properties, was prepared by Adobe and was adopted by ISO/TC 130, Graphic technology, under a fast-track procedure. It is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 146 Swiss francs respectively through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department