Schema components

After the building a schema object contains a set of components that represent the definitions/declarations defined in loaded schema files. These components, sometimes referred as Post Schema Validation Infoset or PSVI, constitute an augmentation of the original information contained into schema files.

Accessing schema components

Taking the collection.xsd as sample schema to illustrate the access to components, we can iterate the entire set of components, globals an locals, using the iter_components() generator function:

>>> import xmlschema
>>> schema = xmlschema.XMLSchema('tests/test_cases/examples/collection/collection.xsd')
>>> for xsd_component in schema.iter_components():
...     xsd_component
XMLSchema10(name='collection.xsd', namespace='')
XsdGroup(model='sequence', occurs=[1, 1])
XsdElement(name='name', occurs=[1, 1])
XsdElement(name='object', occurs=[1, None])
XsdElement(name='person', occurs=[1, 1])

For taking only global components use iter_globals() instead:

>>> for xsd_component in schema.iter_globals():
...     xsd_component
XsdElement(name='collection', occurs=[1, 1])
XsdElement(name='person', occurs=[1, 1])

Access with XPath API

Another method for retrieving XSD elements and attributes of a schema is to use XPath expressions with find or findall methods:

>>> from pprint import pprint
>>> namespaces = {'': ''}
>>> schema.find('collection/object', namespaces)
XsdElement(name='object', occurs=[1, None])
>>> pprint(schema.findall('collection/object/*', namespaces))
[XsdElement(name='position', occurs=[1, 1]),
 XsdElement(name='title', occurs=[1, 1]),
 XsdElement(name='year', occurs=[1, 1]),
 XsdElement(name='author', occurs=[1, 1]),
 XsdElement(name='estimation', occurs=[0, 1]),
 XsdElement(name='characters', occurs=[0, 1])]

Access to global components

Accessing a specific type of global component a dictionary access may be preferred:

>>> schema.elements['person']
XsdElement(name='person', occurs=[1, 1])
>>> schema.types['personType']

The schema object has a dictionary attribute for each type of XSD declarations (elements, attributes and notations) and for each type of XSD definitions (types, model groups, attribute groups, identity constraints and substitution groups).

These dictionaries are only views of common dictionaries, shared by all the loaded schemas in a structure called maps:

>>> schema.maps
XsdGlobals(validator=XMLSchema10(name='collection.xsd', ...)
>>> person = schema.elements['person']
>>> person
XsdElement(name='person', occurs=[1, 1])
>>> schema.maps.elements[person.qualified_name]
XsdElement(name='person', occurs=[1, 1])

Component structure

Only the main component classes are available at package level:


The base class of every XSD component.


The base class of every XSD type, both complex and simple types.


The XSD 1.0 element class, base also of XSD 1.1 element class.


The XSD 1.0 attribute class, base also of XSD 1.1 attribute class.

The full schema components are provided only by accessing the xmlschema.validators subpackage, for example:

>>> import xmlschema
>>> xmlschema.validators.Xsd11Element
<class 'xmlschema.validators.elements.Xsd11Element'>

Connection with the schema

Every component is linked to its container schema and a reference node of its XSD schema document:

>>> person = schema.elements['person']
>>> person.schema
XMLSchema10(name='collection.xsd', namespace='')
>>> person.elem
<Element '{}element' at ...>
>>> person.tostring()
'<xs:element xmlns:xs="" name="person" type="personType" />'

Naming options

A component that has a name (eg. elements or global types) can be referenced with a different name format, so there are some properties for getting these formats:

>>> vh_schema = xmlschema.XMLSchema('tests/test_cases/examples/vehicles/vehicles.xsd')
>>> car = vh_schema.find('vh:vehicles/vh:cars/vh:car')
>>> car.local_name
>>> car.prefixed_name
>>> car.qualified_name
>>> car.attributes['model'].name
>>> car.attributes['model'].qualified_name

Decoding and encoding

Every schema component includes methods for data conversion:

>>> schema = xmlschema.XMLSchema('tests/test_cases/examples/vehicles/vehicles.xsd')
>>> schema.types['vehicleType'].decode
<bound method XsdComplexType.decode of XsdComplexType(name='vehicleType')>
>>> schema.elements['cars'].encode
<bound method ValidationMixin.encode of XsdElement(name='vh:cars', occurs=[1, 1])>

Those methods can be used to decode the correspondents parts of the XML document:

>>> import xmlschema
>>> from pprint import pprint
>>> from xml.etree import ElementTree
>>> xs = xmlschema.XMLSchema('tests/test_cases/examples/vehicles/vehicles.xsd')
>>> xt = ElementTree.parse('tests/test_cases/examples/vehicles/vehicles.xml')
>>> root = xt.getroot()
>>> pprint(xs.elements['cars'].decode(root[0]))
{'{}car': [{'@make': 'Porsche', '@model': '911'},
                                      {'@make': 'Porsche', '@model': '911'}]}
>>> pprint(xs.elements['cars'].decode(xt.getroot()[1], validation='skip'))
>>> pprint(xs.elements['bikes'].decode(root[1], namespaces={'vh': ''}))
{'@xmlns:vh': '',
 'vh:bike': [{'@make': 'Harley-Davidson', '@model': 'WL'},
             {'@make': 'Yamaha', '@model': 'XS650'}]}

XSD types

Every element or attribute declaration has a type attribute for accessing its XSD type:

>>> person = schema.elements['person']
>>> person.type

Simple types

Simple types are used on attributes and elements that contains a text value:

>>> schema = xmlschema.XMLSchema('tests/test_cases/examples/vehicles/vehicles.xsd')
>>> schema.attributes['step']
>>> schema.attributes['step'].type

A simple type doesn’t have attributes but can have facets-related validators or properties:

>>> schema.attributes['step'].type.attributes
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
AttributeError: 'XsdAtomicBuiltin' object has no attribute 'attributes'
>>> schema.attributes['step'].type.validators
[<function positive_int_validator at ...>]
>>> schema.attributes['step'].type.white_space

To check if a type is a simpleType use is_simple():

>>> schema.attributes['step'].type.is_simple()

Complex types

Complex types are used only for elements with attributes or with child elements.

For accessing the attributes there is always defined and attribute group, also when the complex type has no attributes:

>>> schema.types['objType']
>>> schema.types['objType'].attributes
XsdAttributeGroup(['id', 'available'])
>>> schema.types['objType'].attributes['available']

For accessing the content model there use the attribute content. In most cases the element’s type is a complexType with a complex content and in these cases content is a not-empty XsdGroup:

>>> person = schema.elements['person']
>>> person.type.has_complex_content()
>>> person.type.content
XsdGroup(model='sequence', occurs=[1, 1])
>>> for item in person.type.content:
...     item
XsdElement(name='name', occurs=[1, 1])
XsdElement(name='born', occurs=[1, 1])
XsdElement(name='dead', occurs=[0, 1])
XsdElement(name='qualification', occurs=[0, 1])


The attribute content_type has been renamed to content in v1.2.1 in order to avoid confusions between the complex type and its content. A property with the old name will be maintained until v2.0.

Model groups can be nested with very complex structures, so there is an generator function iter_elements() to traverse a model group:

>>> for e in person.type.content.iter_elements():
...     e
XsdElement(name='name', occurs=[1, 1])
XsdElement(name='born', occurs=[1, 1])
XsdElement(name='dead', occurs=[0, 1])
XsdElement(name='qualification', occurs=[0, 1])

Sometimes a complex type can have a simple content, in these cases content is a simple type.

Content types

An element can have four different content types:

  • empty: deny child elements, deny text content

  • simple: deny child elements, allow text content

  • element-only: allow child elements, deny intermingled text content

  • mixed: allow child elements and intermingled text content

For attributes only empty or simple content types are possible, because they can have only a simpleType value.

The reference methods for checking the content type are respectively is_empty(), has_simple_content(), is_element_only() and has_mixed_content().

Access to content validator

The content type checking can be complicated if you want to know which is the content validator without use a type checking. To making this simpler there are two properties defined for XSD types:


a simple type in case of simple content or when an empty content is based on an empty simple type, None otherwise.


a model group in case of mixed or element-only content or when an empty content is based on an empty model group, None otherwise.