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This section of the DDEX Knowledge Base contains the Public Draft version 1.0 of the "ERN Condformance Standard"

1 Introduction

DDEX has, over the last few years, developed standard message formats for the exchange of business-critical information along the digital media delivery chain. In addition to standardising the format of the messages, DDEX has standardised protocols for the exchange of messages and has defined the expected behaviour of companies exchanging such messages using such protocols.

This set of standards (message format, message exchange protocol and choreography) significantly simplifies the exchange of metadata — as long as both partners are using the DDEX standards in exactly same way. It is this conformance standard that enables companies to verify that their business partners are using the DDEX standards in “the correct way”, thus making the process of implementing a new message and metadata feed significantly easier and cheaper.

Conformance standards are being developed by the member organisations of the Digital Data Exchange, LLC (DDEX) to provide means to verify if an organisation’s message exchange technologies are “conforming” to the standards and rules laid down, in various standards and documents, by DDEX.

This standard provides conformance criteria for senders of Release deliveries. At a later stage, DDEX may consider adding conformance criteria for receivers of Release deliveries as well as for other profiles and business cases (e.g. sales reporting or works licensing).

Any organisation wishing to implement this (or any other DDEX standard) is required to apply for an implementation licence. The terms of the licence and an application form can be found at http://ddex.net/implementing-ddex-standards.


 

Essential Reading

Download/Print standard (PDF)

Download/Print policies for issuing Conformance Certificates (PDF)

Download/Print Conformance Test Report Form (PDF, DOC)

 DDEX Data Dictionary...

2 Scope

 2.1 Introduction
This standard defines a set of criteria by which an organisation can assert that it uses the DDEX standards the way they were intended by DDEX when written. For that, this standard defines a series of Conformance Points, Conformance Sets and Conformance Procedures to test code and processes with.

These Conformance Points and Procedures can then be used by companies who want to exchange information with a business partner using DDEX standards, to check whether that business partner conforms to the relevant DDEX standard or standards. Similarly an organisation can test its own DDEX implementation before commencing discussions with potential business partners. This will make the process of implementing DDEX with a further business partner significantly easier and cheaper for all parties involved.

The process described above is referred to as “Peer Conformance” in this standard. It also enables “Private Conformance Agencies” to be established who would be able to test other companies’ DDEX Conformance without being officially recognised by DDEX. DDEX does retain the right to appoint official “Conformance Agencies” at a later stage.

 

 2.2 Organisation of the Document
This standard comprises five clauses and one Annex. Clauses 1-4 provide an introduction and scope for this standard as well as a definition of core terms and a list of abbreviations. Clause 5 then define the process by which Conformance is tested for specific Conformance Points.

 

3 Normative References

 Click here to expand...

The following normative documents contain provisions, which through reference in this text constitute provisions of this Standard. For dated references, subsequent amendments to, or revisions of, any of these publications do not apply. For undated references, the latest version applies.

  • DDEX Data Dictionary Standard; Latest Version
  • DDEX Party Identifier (DPID) Standard; Latest Version
  • DDEX Electronic Release Notification Message Suite Standard; Latest Version
  • DDEX Business Profile for Common Deal Types; Latest Version
  • DDEX Release Profile for Common Release Types; Latest Version
  • ISO/IEC 19757-3:2006 Information technology – Document Schema Definition Language (DSDL) – Part 3: Rule-based validation – Schematron

4 Terms and Abbreviations

 4.1 Terms and Definitions

Appointed Conformance Agency (ACA)

A Conformance Agency that is appointed by Digital Data Exchange, LLC (DDEX) to certify that a party Conforms to a Conformance Set.

Note that, at this stage, neither are there any Appointed Conformance Agencies in existence nor are there any specific plans for DDEX to appoint such Appointed Conformance Agencies.

Business Profile

A subset of a DDEX message suite standard that limits the use of data fields for use in a specific business scenario. Business Profiles do typically not limit the descriptions of Releases and their constituent parts but focus on Products based on such Releases.

Business Profiles are defined by DDEX and are themselves DDEX standards.

Compliance, Compliant

The terms compliance or compliant are used synonymous to Conformance and Conformant.

Conformance Set

A combination of Conformance Points. Conformance Sets are the smallest criteria for which Conformance can be asserted.

For Message Suite Standards, a Conformance Set is equivalent to a Business Profile or Release Profile.

Conformance Agency

A Party that offers Conformance certification services to test conformance of other parties. A CA can either be a Private Conformance Agency (PCA) or an Appointed Conformance Agency (ACA).

Conformance Agencies are entitled to issue Conformance Certificates.

Conformance Certificate

A document awarded to companies that have proven that their supply chain is Conformant to a DDEX Standard in accordance with this Standard. It may be possible to issue multiple Conformance Certificates to a single company with respect to a single Conformance Set, if the company has several, largely independent supply chains.

The issuance of Conformance Certificate shall be done in accordance with a well-documented and published set of policies.

Conformance Certificate Register

A register of all Conformance Certificates, maintained and published by DDEX or by an authorised third party on behalf of DDEX.

For Partial Conformant Parties, the Conformance Certificate Register shall include information about which Conformance Points have not passed the Conformance Test and how.

Contractually Mandatory

An entity in a DDEX Message that has the technical cardinality of 0-1 or 0-n but that is mandatory when a DDEX message is sent in a specific commercial context.

Contractually Mandatory fields may, however, be mandatory when a DDEX message is sent in a specific commercial context. In such circumstances, a message is deemed conformant only if and when it contains all the “contractually mandatory” fields as agreed by Message Sender and Message Recipient.

Conformance Weighting

A parameter given to each Conformance Point that can be used to determine if a Party’s supply chain is Partially Conformant or Fully Conformant.

Conformance Weightings are documented in the Relevant Profile Standard in pointy brackets as follows: <Conformance Weighting: 1>

Full Conformance

A company’s supply chain is Fully Conformant to a specific Conformance Set when it fulfils all criteria laid down in the respective clause of this standard. Companies that are found to be Fully Conformant by a Conformance Agency are entitled to displaying a Conformance Certificate.

Partial Conformance

A company’s supply chain is Fully Conformant to a specific Conformance Set when it fulfils  well-defined subset  of all criteria laid down in the respective clause of this standard. Companies that are found to be Partiallly Conformant by a Conformance Agency are entitled to displaying a Conformance Certificate.

Private Conformance Agency (PCA)

A Conformance Agencies that is not appointed by Digital Data Exchange, LLC (DDEX) to certify that a party Conforms to one or more Conformance Point.

Peer Conformance

Process by which an organisation that wishes to use DDEX standards with a business partner tests the Conformance of that business partner using this Standard.

Release Profile

A subset of a DDEX message suite standard that limits the use of data fields for use in a specific business scenario. Release Profiles do typically limit the descriptions of Releases and their constituent parts and do not address Products based on such Releases.

Release Profiles are defined by DDEX and are themselves DDEX standards.

 4.2 Abbreviations
AMEPAutomated Message Exchange Protocol
ACAAppointed Certification Agency
AVSAllowed Value Set
BPBusiness Profile
CISAC

Confédération internationale des sociétés d'auteurs et compositeurs, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (see cisac.org)

CACertification Agency
CTConformance Tester
DAWDigital Audio Workstation
DDEX

Digital Data Exchange

DSIGDigital Signature
DSPDigital Service Provider (incudes Mobile Service Providers)
DSRDigital Sales Reporting
ERNElectronic Release Notification
FTPFile Transfer Protocol (FTP specifically includes SFTP)
GRidGlobal Release Identifier
HTTPHypertext Transport Protocol  (HTTP specifically includes HTTPS)
HTTPSSecure Hypertext Transport Protocol
IECInternational Electrotechnical Commission (see iec.ch)
ISOInternational Organisation for Standardisation (see iso.org)
MIMEMultipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
MLCMusic Licensing Company
MWLMusical Works Licensing
MWNMusical Works Notification
MRBV

Multi-Record-Block Variant

PCAPrivate Certification Agency
PDFPortable Document Format
RESTREpresentational State Transfer
RINRecording Information Notification
SFTPSecure FTP
SRBV

Single-Record-Block Variant

TISTerritory Information System (a CISAC Standard)
TLSTransport Layer Security
UGCUser-generated content
URLUniform Resource Locator
XMLeXtensible Markup Language
XSDXML Schema Definition
W3CWorld Wide Web Consortium (see w3c.org)
WSWeb Service

5 Conformance Points

 5.1 Introduction
Conformance with respect to a Release Profile can be attested with respect to a named Profile defined in the DDEX Standard “Release Profiles for Common Release Types”.

Conformance with respect to a Business Profile can be attested with respect to a named Profile defined in the DDEX Standard “Business Profiles for Common Deal Types”.

Each numbered rule in each relevant sub-clause in the aforementioned standard carries a “conformance weighting”. This can be used to determine whether a Party’s supply chain is Partially Conformant.

 5.2 Conformance for Release and Business Profilesere to expand...

 5.2.1 Introduction
Conformance with respect to a Release Profile can be attested with respect to a named Profile defined in the DDEX Standard “Release Profiles for Common Release Types”.

Conformance with respect to a Business Profile can be attested with respect to a named Profile defined in the DDEX Standard “Business Profiles for Common Deal Types”.

Each numbered rule in each relevant sub-clause in the aforementioned standard carries a “conformance weighting”. This can be used to determine whether a Party’s supply chain is Partially Conformant.

 5.2.2 Full Conformance
Full Conformance can be attested if all test files created are exchanged in accordance with Clause 5.3:
  1. Are valid XML.
  2. Meet all external rules defined by the relevant message suite standard and/or profile standard that are ascribed a Conformance Weighting of 1 or 2.

 5.2.3 Partial Conformance
Partial Conformance can be attested if all test files created and exchanged in accordance with Clause 5.3:
  1. Are valid XML.
  2. Meet all external rules defined by the relevant message suite standard and/or profile standard that are ascribed a Conformance Weighting of 1.
  3. Meet 50% of the external rules defined by the relevant message suite standard and/or profile standard that are ascribed a Conformance Weighting of 2.

 5.2.4 Multi-Set Conformance
It is possible that a company or implementation is Conformant with more than one Conformance Set. To test such “multi-set” Conformance, the test procedure for each relevant Conformance Set shall be followed individually.

 5.2.5 Conformance for Aggregators
Any party sending NewReleaseMessages is responsible for these messages. Should such messages be found to not be Conformant (in accordance with this standard), the sender may put its own Conformance Certificate(s) at jeopardy.

It should be noted that this is includes aggregators who may receive data insufficient to create a Conformant NewReleaseMessage. In such cases, it is recommended that the aggregator does not forward, in the form of a NewReleaseMessage, the incomplete data, but to request, first, that the data be augmented to allow a Conformant NewReleaseMessage to be created.

 5.3 Validity of Conformance Certificates
Notwithstanding Sub-clause 5.2, Conformance Certificates shall be valid only until the end of the calendar month one year after receipt of the last Conformance Test Report that triggered the issuance of the Conformance Certificate.

6 Conformance Test

 6.1 Conformance Test Process
Conformance Testing can be done as part of normal operations following, for instance the due-diligence process to set up a data feed.

The steps of this process are:

  1. A Party that wants to be tested for Conformance may request that one of its business partners conducts the necessary Conformance Test.
    This partner can be invited by, for instance, providing it with a statement of what the Party wishes it to be tested against. An appropriately filled in Conformance Test Report, a template for which is provided in Annex A, would be one way of initiating the Conformance Test.
    It is also possible for the partner to initiate a Conformance Test on its own accord.

  2. The Party and its partner (hereafter referred to Conformance Tester, if it agrees to conduct the Conformance Test) shall agree the time frame and test material to be used.

  3. The Party shall then, for each of the Conformance Points for a specific Conformance Set (i.e. a Profile):
    1. Send a set of NewRelaseMessages containing Releases that are designed to test each Conformance Point (to test for Release Profile Conformance); and/or
    2. Send a set of NewRelaseMessages containing Deals that are designed to test each Conformance Point (to test for Business Profile Conformance, including Life Cycle Changes).

  4. The Conformance Tester shall evaluate the material sent and complete a Conformance Test Report (cf. Annex A).
    This test shall use the latest ISO Schematron rule file published by DDEX for each Profile for which conformance is to be tested (see also Clause 6.3); the severity of a failed rule shall be judged in accordance with Clause 6.4.

  5. The Conformance Tester shall then send this Conformance Test Report to the relevant Conformance Agency.

 6.2 Conformance Test Reports
A Conformance Tester conducing the Conformance Test shall issue a Conformance Test Report to the relevant Conformance Agency. The Conformance Tester should also inform the Party whether it has successfully passed the Conformance Test(s) for a specific Conformance Point (as defined above) in accordance with the published policies[1] for Conformance Certificates laid down by DDEX.

Conformance Test Reports shall always make reference to:

  1. The name and DDEX Party ID of the Party and the Conformance Tester;
  2. The Version of the Profile Standard used for Conformance Testing;
  3. The Conformance Sets (i.e. Profiles) tested;
  4. The relevant Conformance Point(s) for which the Party was successfully tested;
  5. The relevant Conformance Point(s) for which the Party was unsuccessfully tested (including information in expected and observed behaviour);
  6. The relevant Conformance Point(s) for which the Party was not tested;
  7. Whether the test was successful or not successful; and
  8. The date of issuing the Conformance Test Report.

Annex A contains a template for a Conformance Test Report.



[1] Please note, that these policies may be updated on a regular basis, which may impact upon Conformance Certificates already issued.

 6.3 Conformance Test Tools
The primary tool for each Conformance Test is an ISO Schematron file containing a set of computer-executable rules.

DDEX shall publish an Schematron file for each of the Business and Release Profiles it has defined for the Release Notification Message Suite Standard. Once a Schematron file has been published for a specific Profile, Conformance Tests can be conducted for that Profile.[1]

The URL for the latest version of the Schematron files corresponds to the version number of the Release Notification Message Suite Standard as follows:

http://ddex.net/xml/ern/vv/xxxx.sch

with

  • vv being the version of the baseline Release Notification Message Suite Standard and
  • xxx being the name of the Profile for the Schematron rule file for a Release Profile and “BuisnessProfiles” for the Schematron rule file for the Business Profiles.

DDEX may, over time, update the Schematron files, either because of a bug fix or because a new Profile standard has been agreed. One consequence of such an update is that at least one of the Schematron files available from the above URLs may change. Retired Schematron files shall remain available, albeit under a different URL.



[1] There may be a delay between defining a Profile and the creation and publication of the accompanying Schematron file. Thus there is a period of time when conformance cannot be attested for a Profile already defined.

 6.4 Classification of Schematron Rules
Each of the Schematron rules contained in any of the Schematron rule files contains a “role” attribute corresponding to a specific Conformance Weighing. Failing a rule, thus, has a different consequences depending on the value of the “role” attribute:

Value of “role” Attribute

Corresp. Conform. Weighting

Consequence for Conformance Testing

Information

None

None.

Fatal Error

1

Failing such a rule means that the Conformance Tester must recommend to not award a Conformance Certificate or to retract a Conformance Certificate if one has already been issued.

Conditional Fatal Error

1

This is the same as a Fatal Error, however, the rule may be ignored if the Conformance Tester has no means of asserting whether the condition[1] expressed in the rule has been met.

Error

2

Failing such a rule means that the Conformance Tester must recommend to award a Partial Conformance Certificate or to downgrade a Conformance Certificate that has already been issued.

However, if more than 50%[2] of all rules with a role of “Error” or “Conditional Error”) have been failed at least once, the Conformance Tester must recommend to not award a Conformance Certificate or to retract a Conformance Certificate if one has already been issued.

Conditional Error

2

This is the same as an Error, however, the rule may be ignored if the Conformance Tester has no means of asserting whether the condition expressed in the rule has been met.



[1] A common condition in a rule of this type contains a caveat such as “… if the sender has reasonable access to the data…”.

[2] The number of rules that can be failed while Conformance can still be attested is contained in the relevant Schematron file.

Annex A (informative) Template Conformance Test Report

 Annex A (informative) Template Conformance Test Report
This annex contains a template for a Conformance Test Report. This template can be used (i) by a Party requesting to be tested for Conformance as well as (ii) by a Conformance Tester to provide information about a Conformance Test to the relevant Conformance Agency.

The template is provided in a separate document. See the blue box here.


Evaluation Licence for DDEX Standards

 

 

Subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement, DDEX™ grants you a limited, nonexclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicenseable, royalty-free licence solely to reproduce, distribute within your organisation, and use the DDEX standard specifications (“DDEX Standards”) solely for the purpose of your internal evaluation. You may not make any commercial use of the DDEX Standards under this agreement. No other licences are granted under this agreement.

No representations or warranties (either express or implied) are made or offered by DDEX with regard to the DDEX Standards. In particular, but without limitation, no representations or warranties are made in relation to:

  1. The suitability or fitness of the standards for any particular purpose;
  2. The merchantability of the standards;
  3. The accuracy, completeness, relevance or validity of the standards; or
  4. The non-infringement of any third party intellectual property rights related to the DDEX Standards.

Accordingly, DDEX and/or its members shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, special, consequential or punitive loss or damages howsoever arising out of or in connection with the use of the standards. IN THE EVENT THAT ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION RENDERS JUDGEMENT AGAINST DDEX AND/OR ITS MEMBERS NOTWITHSTANDING THE ABOVE LIMITATION, THE AGGREGATE LIABILITY TO YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THIS AGREEMENT SHALL IN NO EVENT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF ONE HUNDRED U.S. DOLLARS (US$ 100.00).

Users of the DDEX Standards are cautioned that it is subject to revision. Users are recommended to use the latest versions, which are available at http://www.ddex.net. The use of outdated versions of the standards is not recommended but may be required by agreement between implementers in particular cases.

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