Information technology — Metamodel framework for interoperability (MFI) — Part 12: Metamodel for information model registration

The ISO/IEC 19763 multipart International Standard specifies a metamodel framework for interoperability. ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015 specifies a metamodel for registering information models. This metamodel was developed taking into account two distinct types of information models such as ? those that are used to document the information requirements of a particular area of interest, and ? those that represent the structure of a database which are often expressed using a Database Definition Language (DDL).

Technologies de l'information — Cadre du métamodèle pour l'interopérabilité (MFI) — Partie 12: Métamodèle pour l'enregistrement du modèle d'information

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Publication Date
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INTERNATIONAL ISO/IEC
STANDARD 19763-12
First edition
2015-03-15
Information technology — Metamodel
framework for interoperability (MFI) —
Part 12:
Metamodel for information model
registration
Technologies de l’information — Cadre du métamodèle pour
l’interopérabilité (MFI) —
Partie 12: Métamodèle pour l’enregistrement du modèle
d’information
Reference number
ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
ISO/IEC 2015
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO/IEC 2015

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form

or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on the internet or an intranet, without prior

written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s member body in the country of

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Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO/IEC 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Conformance ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 2

2.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

2.2 Degree of conformance .................................................................................................................................................................... 2

2.2.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

2.2.2 Strictly conforming implementation .............................................................................................................. 2

2.2.3 Conforming implementation ................................................................................................................................. 2

2.3 Implementation Conformance Statement (ICS) ......................................................................................................... 2

3 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

4 Terms, definitions, and abbreviated terms ............................................................................................................................... 3

4.1 Terms and definitions ....................................................................................................................................................................... 3

4.2 Terms for concepts used in this part of 19763 ............................................................................................................ 3

4.3 Abbreviated terms ............................................................................................................................................................................... 8

5 Structure of MFI Information model registration .............................................................................................................. 9

5.1 Overview of MFI Information model registration .................................................................................................... 9

5.2 Association between MFI Information model registration and MFI Core and mapping ......10

5.3 Metaclasses in MFI Information Model Registration ..........................................................................................12

5.3.1 Attribute ...............................................................................................................................................................................12

5.3.2 Attribute_Unique_Identifier_Element .........................................................................................................13

5.3.3 Described_Domain ......................................................................................................................................................13

5.3.4 Diagram.................................................................................................................................................................................14

5.3.5 Domain ..................................................................................................................................................................................14

5.3.6 Entity_Specialisation_Hierarchy ......................................................................................................................15

5.3.7 Entity_Specialisation_Hierarchy_Foreign_Key_Attribute ...........................................................16

5.3.8 Entity_Type ........................................................................................................................................................................16

5.3.9 Enumerated_Domain .................................................................................................................................................18

5.3.10 Foreign_Key_Attribute ..............................................................................................................................................18

5.3.11 General_Constraint ........................................................................................................................................... ...........18

5.3.12 Information_Model .....................................................................................................................................................19

5.3.13 Information_Modelling_Language .................................................................................................................19

5.3.14 Key_Attribute ...................................................................................................................................................................19

5.3.15 Native_Key_Attribute .................................................................................................................................................20

5.3.16 Non_Key_Attribute.......................................................................................................................................................20

5.3.17 Relationship ......................................................................................................................................................................20

5.3.18 Relationship_End ..........................................................................................................................................................21

5.3.19 Relationship_End_Foreign_Key_Attribute ...............................................................................................22

5.3.20 Relationship_End_Group ........................................................................................................................................23

5.3.21 Relationship_End_Unique_Identifier_Element ....................................................................................23

5.3.22 Unique_Identifier ..........................................................................................................................................................24

5.3.23 Unique_Identifier_Element ..................................................................................................................................24

5.3.24 Valid_Value .........................................................................................................................................................................25

Annex A (informative) Description of the metamodel ....................................................................................................................26

Annex B (informative) Relationship of metaclasses to the MDR Metamodel ..........................................................33

Annex C (informative) Applicability of information modelling concepts to techniques .............................34

Annex D (informative) Examples of information model registration .............................................................................36

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................61

© ISO/IEC 2015 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical

Commission) form the specialized system for worldwide standardization. National bodies that are

members of ISO or IEC participate in the development of International Standards through technical

committees established by the respective organization to deal with particular fields of technical

activity. ISO and IEC technical committees collaborate in fields of mutual interest. Other international

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO and IEC, also take part in the

work. In the field of information technology, ISO and IEC have established a joint technical committee,

ISO/IEC JTC 1.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for

the different types of document should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www.iso.org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject

of patent rights. ISO and IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

Details of any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction

and/or on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity

assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the WTO principles in the Technical Barriers

to Trade (TBT) see the following URL: Foreword - Supplementary information

The committee responsible for this document is ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, SC 32, Data

management and interchange.

ISO/IEC 19763 consists of the following parts, under the general title Information technology — Metamodel

framework for interoperability (MFI):
— Part 1: Framework
— Part 3: Metamodel for ontology registration
— Part 5: Metamodel for process model registration
— Part 6: Registry Summary
— Part 10: MFI Core model and basic mapping
— Part 12: Metamodel for information model registration
The following parts are under preparation:
— Part 7: Metamodel for service registration
— Part 8: Metamodel for role and goal registration
— Part 9: On demand model selection
— Part 13: Metamodel for forms registration
iv © ISO/IEC 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
Introduction

There is an increasing demand for systems to interoperate by exchanging data. For these data exchanges

to be meaningful, it is essential that the business information requirements that are met by the data

stored in these systems are understood so that suitable data exchange mechanisms can be developed.

Business information requirements, including the semantic meaning of the information, are often

represented by information models before the databases that are an integral part of the systems are

designed. These models are often called logical models. The subsequent design of the database structure

can also be considered to be another form of information model.

Where there is an overlap of the universe of discourse of two systems, the information models for these

two systems can be registered using the facilities specified by this part of ISO/IEC 19763. The mappings

between these two models can then be registered using the facilities specified by ISO/IEC 19763-10. An

interface between the two systems can then be designed, enabling the two systems to interoperate by

exchanging information.
© ISO/IEC 2015 – All rights reserved v
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
Information technology — Metamodel framework for
interoperability (MFI) —
Part 12:
Metamodel for information model registration
1 Scope

The primary purpose of the multipart standard ISO/IEC 19763 is to specify a metamodel framework for

interoperability. This part of ISO/IEC 19763 specifies a metamodel for registering information models.

This metamodel was developed taking into account two distinct types of information models such as

— those that are used to document the information requirements of a particular area of interest, and

— those that represent the structure of a database which are often expressed using a Database

Definition Language (DDL).

Information models that represent information requirements can be developed using a number of

different common diagramming techniques and notations. The metamodel specified in this part

of ISO/IEC 19763 was developed to cover the registration of models expressed using the following

techniques and notations:

— Express-G, an ISO standard entity-relationship modelling notation, as described in Reference [8];

— IDEF1X, a US Federal standard entity-relationship modelling notation, as described in References

[6] and [12];

— the entity-relationship modelling notation first developed by Harry Ellis and Richard Barker and

later adopted by Oracle for its CASE*Method and by the UK’s CCTA for SSADM (Structured Systems

Analysis and Design Method), as described in Reference [2];
— the UML Class Diagram notation, as described in References [13] and [14];

— the original entity-relationship modelling notation proposed by Peter Chen, as described in

Reference [4];

— the Information Engineering entity-relationship modelling notation, as described in Reference [11].

It is understood that these selected techniques represent all of the essential features of all information

modelling techniques used to represent information requirements.

The registration of information models that represent the structure of a database is limited in the

metamodel specified in this part of ISO/IEC 19763 to those database structures that conform to the Core

SQL specification. Core SQL is the set of features defined in the conformance requirements specified in

ISO/IEC 9075-2 and ISO/IEC 9075-11.

The registration of information models that are expressed using notations such as Object Role Modeling

(ORM) and “Natural language Information Analysis Method” (NIAM), collectively known as fact-based

models, is out of scope for this part of ISO/IEC 19763.
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
2 Conformance
2.1 General

An implementation claiming conformance with this part of ISO/IEC 19763 shall support the metamodel

specified in Clause 5 depending on the degree of conformance as described below.
2.2 Degree of conformance
2.2.1 General

The distinction between “strictly conforming” and “conforming” implementations is necessary to

address the simultaneous needs for interoperability and extensions. This part of ISO/IEC 19763

describes specifications that promote interoperability. Extensions are motivated by the needs of the

users, vendors, institutions, and industries, but are not specified by this part of ISO/IEC 19763.

A strictly conforming implementation could be limited in usefulness, but is maximally interoperable

with respect to this part of ISO/IEC 19763. A conforming implementation can be more useful, but could

be less interoperable with respect to this part of ISO/IEC 19763.
2.2.2 Strictly conforming implementation
A strictly conforming implementation
a) shall support the metamodel specified in Clause 5, and

b) shall not use, test, access, or probe for any extension features nor extensions to the metamodel

specified in Clause 5.
2.2.3 Conforming implementation
A conforming implementation
a) shall support the metamodel specified in Clause 5, and

b) as permitted by the implementation, can use, test, access, or probe for any extension features or

extensions to the metamodel specified in Clause 5.

NOTE 1 All strictly conforming implementations are also conforming implementations.

NOTE 2 The use of extensions to the metamodel could cause undefined behaviour.
2.3 Implementation Conformance Statement (ICS)

An implementation claiming conformance with this part of ISO/IEC 19763 shall include an Implementation

Conformance Statement stating

a) whether it is a strictly conforming implementation (2.2.2) or a conforming implementation (2.2.3), and

b) what extensions, if any, are supported or used if it is a conforming implementation.

3 Normative references

The following documents, in whole or in part, are normatively referenced in this document and are

indispensable for its application. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For undated

references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

NOTE One or more terms and definitions of the referenced International Standards listed below are used in

Clause 4 Terms and definitions.
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)

ISO/IEC 9075-1:2011, Information technology — Database languages — SQL — Part 1: Framework

(SQL/Framework)

ISO/IEC 9075-2:2011, Information technology — Database languages — SQL — Part 2: Foundation

(SQL/Foundation)

ISO/IEC 11179-3, Information technology — Metadata registries (MDR) — Part 3: Registry metamodel and

basic attributes

ISO/IEC 19763-10, Information technology — Metamodel framework for interoperability (MFI) — Part 10:

MFI Core model and basic mapping
4 Terms, definitions, and abbreviated terms
4.1 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
4.2 Terms for concepts used in this part of 19763
4.2.1
aggregation

special form of relationship (4.2.37) that specifies a whole-part relationship between the aggregate

(whole) and a component part
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO/TS 19103:2005, 4.2.2.
4.2.2
association
semantic relationship (4.2.37) between two object classes (4.2.35)
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 11179-3:2013.
4.2.3
associative entity type

information model element (4.2.25) that has both relationship (4.2.37) and entity type (4.2.21) properties

Note 1 to entry: May also be known as an association class.

Note 2 to entry: An associative entity type can be seen as a relationship that also has entity type properties or as

an entity type that also has relationship properties.
Note 3 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 19501:2005, 5.46.1.
4.2.4
attribute

named characteristic of an entity type (4.2.21) whose values serve to qualify, identify, classify, quantify

or express the state of an instance of an entity type
4.2.5
attribute unique identifier element

unique identifier element (4.2.45) that is a statement that a particular attribute (4.2.4) is part of a

particular unique identifier (4.2.44)
4.2.6
cardinality
number of elements in a collection (4.2.8)
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 9075-2:2011.
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
4.2.7
catalog
named collection (4.2.8) of schemas (4.2.42) in a database environment

Note 1 to entry: Within this part, this definition applies only to the registration of database structures that

conform to the SQL Core specification as described in ISO/IEC 9075-2:2011.
Note 2 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 9075-1:2011.
4.2.8
collection
aggregation of similar objects (4.2.34)
EXAMPLE set, bag (or multiset), list, array
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO/HL7 21731:2006.
4.2.9
column

component of a table (4.2.43) that is a collection (4.2.8) of values all of the same defined data type (4.2.11)

Note 1 to entry: Within this part, this definition applies only to the registration of database structures that

conform to the SQL Core specification as described in ISO/IEC 9075-2:2011.
4.2.10
composition

form of aggregation (4.2.1) which requires that a part instance be included in, at most, one composite

at a time and that the composite object is responsible for the creation and destruction of the parts;

composition may be recursive
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 19501:2005, 5.48.1.
4.2.11
data type
set of representable values
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 9075-1:2011, 3.1.1.4]
4.2.12
described domain

domain (4.2.15) that is specified by a description (4.2.13) or specification such as a rule, a procedure, or

a range (i.e. interval)

Note 1 to entry: May also be known as a non-enumerated domain or a continuous domain.

Note 2 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 11179-3:2013.
4.2.13
description

property of an information model element (4.2.25) that is a statement explaining the significance of this

information model element to the business and/or organisation that is the subject of this information

model (4.2.24)
Note 1 to entry: May also be known as a significance statement.
4.2.14
diagram

technical document showing part of an information model (4.2.24) using graphical symbols

Note 1 to entry: A model can consist of one or more diagrams.
Note 2 to entry: Adapted from ISO 29845:2011.
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
4.2.15
domain

collection (4.2.8) of values from which the instance of an attribute (4.2.4) must take its value

Note 1 to entry: A domain provides a set of business validation rules, format constraints, and other properties for

one or more attributes.

Note 2 to entry: The term domain is used in this part of ISO/IEC 19763 purely in the sense that the term is

used in modelling information requirements using techniques such as entity-relationship modelling and object

oriented modelling. The term should not be confused with its use in contexts such as “business domain” and

“domain of discourse”.
4.2.16
entity

concrete or abstract thing that exists, did exist, or might exist about which information may need to be

held in support of business operations

Note 1 to entry: Some information modelling methods (4.2.27) use entity for their main information modelling

construct, whilst others use entity type (4.2.21); in this part of ISO/IEC 19763 the term entity type is used in

preference to entity.

Note 2 to entry: Can also be known as an entity instance (in those information modelling methods that use entity

for their main information modelling construct) or an object (4.2.34) (in those information modelling methods

that use object class (4.2.35) for their main information modelling construct).
Note 3 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 11179-3:2013.
4.2.17
entity relationship model

information model (4.2.24) based on entity types (4.2.21) and their attributes (4.2.4) and relationships (4.2.37)

4.2.18
entity role
role that an entity type (4.2.21) is playing in a relationship (4.2.37)
4.2.19
entity specialisation hierarchy

means by which instances of an entity type (4.2.21) can be classified or specialised

Note 1 to entry: Can also be known as an entity generalisation hierarchy, an entity subtype hierarchy, an entity

type classification or an entity classification.
4.2.20
entity subtype

subset of the instances of an entity type (4.2.21), known as the supertype, that share common attributes

(4.2.4) and/or relationships (4.2.37) distinct from other subsets

Note 1 to entry: Can also be known as a subtype, an object subclass, or a subclass.

4.2.21
entity type

set of characteristics common to a collection (4.2.8) of entities (4.2.16) that are instances of the type

Note 1 to entry: Some information modelling methods (4.2.27) use entity type for their main information modelling

construct, whilst others use entity. In this part of ISO/IEC 19763, the term entity type is used in preference to entity.

Note 2 to entry: Can also be known as an entity (in those information modelling methods that use entity for their

main information modelling construct) or an object class (4.2.35) (in those information modelling methods that

use object class for their main information modelling construct).
© ISO/IEC 2015 – All rights reserved 5
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
4.2.22
enumerated domain
domain (4.2.15) that is specified by a list of all its valid values (4.2.46)
Note 1 to entry: Can also be known as a discrete domain.
Note 2 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 11179-3:2013.
4.2.23
foreign key attribute

key attribute (4.2.28) whose value contributes in some way to the identification of the one related

instance of that entity type (4.2.21) involved in the associated relationship end (4.2.37)

Note 1 to entry: A foreign key attribute provides or contributes to an alternative representation of the relationship

(4.2.37) concerned. Its value must be drawn from the domain (4.2.15) of the corresponding key attribute of the

related entity type.
4.2.24
information model

graphical and textual representation of entities (4.2.16) and the relationships (4.2.37) between them

Note 1 to entry: Can also be known as a data model, a conceptual data model, a logical data model, an entity

relationship model (4.2.17), an object class diagram, or a database definition.
4.2.25
information model element

element of an information model (4.2.24) that can be represented graphically and/or textually

Note 1 to entry: Typical information model elements are entity types (4.2.21), relationship ends (4.2.37), and unique

identifiers (4.2.44).
4.2.26
information modelling language

language or notation that is used to model information requirements in an information model (4.2.24)

4.2.27
information modelling method

approach to developing an information model (4.2.24) using a particular information modelling

language (4.2.26)
4.2.28
key attribute

attribute (4.2.4) whose value contributes in some way to the identification of individual instances of the

host entity type (4.2.21) or of some related entity type
4.2.29
link phrase

statement that explains the nature, expressed in business terms, of a relationship (4.2.37) from the

perspective of one of the associated entity types (4.2.21)
4.2.30
maximum cardinality

statement of the maximum number of elements that can exist in a collection (4.2.8)

4.2.31
minimum cardinality

statement of the minimum number of elements that can exist in a collection (4.2.8)

4.2.32
native key attribute

key attribute (4.2.28) whose value contributes in some way to the identification of individual instances

of the host entity type (4.2.21)
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ISO/IEC 19763-12:2015(E)
4.2.33
non-key attribute

attribute (4.2.4) that is not the unique identifier or an element of a composite unique identifier (4.2.44) of an

entity type (4.2.21), or whose value is fully independent of all relationships (4.2.37) or other attributes (4.2.4)

4.2.34
object
anything perceivable or conceivable
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO 1087-1:2000, 3.1.1.
4.2.35
object class

description (4.2.13) of a set of objects (4.2.34) that share the same attributes (4.2.4), operations, methods,

associations (4.2.2), and semantics
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO/IEC 11179-3:2013, 3.1.5.
4.2.36
object class model

information model (4.2.24) based on object classes (4.2.35) and their attributes (4.2.4) and associations (4.2.2)

4.2.37
relationship

set of characteristics common to a collection (4.2.8) of connections between instances of two or more

entity types (4.2.21), or between instances of one entity type and other instances of the same entity type

Note 1 to entry: Can also be known as an association (4.2.2) when the information model (4.2.24) is based upon

object classes (4.2.35).
4.2.38
relationship end

part of the definition of a relationship (4.2.37) as seen from a given entity type (4.2.21) which is

known as the host

Note 1 to entry: Can also be known as an association end when the information model (4.2.24) is based upon object

classes (4.2.35
...

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