This white paper rethinks the role of the XML Schema Definition (XSD) language in the development of enterprise information systems. It argues that current trends in system development reflect a paradigm shift toward XML-centric data processing with XSD playing an increasingly critical role in the specification of the data model.

The purpose of the paper is to state the potential role of XSD as a data modeling language, and to show some of the benefits that a formal XSD specification can bring. It demonstrates, by way of example, how XSD provides just the right level of abstraction, and just the right degree of precision, to generate a highly constrained and formal data model that can be used to propagate business rules end-to-end in the enterprise system.