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Toward the integration of
agricultural production process management data.

[ Japanese ]

A standard of data expression and exchange for infomation management systems in agricultural production process : FarmXML

     Although many software and system for agricultural production support had so far been proposed, there was no standard for data exchange among those software and system.
We are developing a planning and management support software 'PMS' which can manage most production process management data and store them into a database. As the database structure is completely developed uniquely, in order to exchange those data with other software, the PMS supports two exchange ways: one is the way via CSV (comma separated value) formed file, the other is the way via Microsoft(R) Excel document file.

     However, even if a file format is CSV or XLS(X), the meaning and expression of each data item and the order of each data item in the document file are defined uniquely by each software and system. If we wish to carry out a data exchange, we must know the "data format information" among the software and system. Based on "data format infomation" of each software to carry out data exchange, we must implement some data conversion methods. In general, it is difficult to get the data format information of software and system, because it is not always opened to public. Further more, the data format information itself is not always written in a specific format, rule or standard.

     Therefore, if the data related to agricultural production process and farm management can be unified by a specific data representation and exchange standard, data exchange will become possible among software and system which support the standard.

     We are now trying to develope a standard of data expression (format) for agricultural production process management in Japan.

     The title of 'FarmXML' is advocated by Prof. Nanseki of Kyushu University in Japan as a general term of data expression standard of farm management system in a farm.

     Following contents introduce some data expressions in proposal and standards in reference to express and exchange the measured data on farm work, plant growth and field environment that are corrected automatically by sensors and corrected manually in dairy farm work, the planning and management data on fields, croppings/cultivations, series of  farm works, preparations and shipments of products.



* Currently discussing colored categories of farm management data

Target range of standardization in progress for farm management data in Japan


Preceding standards of data expression and exchange in agriculture

     Not only in ICT industries, there are a lot of trials of the data standardization in all fields and kinds of industries. Also in the agriculture, there are preceding standards of  "BIX-pp" as Bio-Information eXchange for Plant Production, "agroXML" as a farm and stake-holders information exchange in EU, etc. These preceding standards define their format information of target data using the standard of "XML Schema."

     This "XML Schema" is usually used in order to define such data structure and format for data expression and exchage. Many tool softwares in the world which can treat XML Schema (a schema)  and  process it into a program data structure are available now and they make easy to develope applications which work with XML schema.


A data format in proposal expressing continuously measured data of farm work, plant growth and field environment : GPXX 1.1

     BIX-pp advocated in Tokai University in Japan can record one representative point now about the place (spatial position data for an institution and a cultivated field, etc),  because it is proposed as the data representation and the exchange standard for the continuous measurement data in institutional production environment, such as a greenhouse and a plant factory. It is not suitable for record of data which changes a position with time like agricultural machine or mobile measurement device.

     Then, the "GPXX" standard is proposed as the data expression and an exchange standard in the case of performing data measurement and collection with changing the measuring place every moment.

     GPXX is extended from GPX (GPS eXchange format), that is a global standard to exchange GPS logger's data. GPXX is extended so that the measurement data can be recorded with the measured position information which changes every moment. GPXX format is defined by XML schema, of course the GPX standard format is also defined by XML schema. An element for extension (<extensions>element) defined in the GPX schema is used to be extended to GPXX. Each point data and its profile (meta-information) can be recorded in the extended <extensions> element. Please refer to the following links for details and schema source.



A data format in proposal expressing production process management data in a farm : FIX-pms 1.1.0

     While developping the data expression by GPXX that is suitable to express the continuously measured data with specific mobile sensor, we are also developping and proposing a data expression "FIX-pms" that is designed for recording production process management data in a farm : various data gathered in a series of cultivating, managing, preparing and shipping activities. It includes the GPXX and the BIX-pp for management of continuously measured data.

     FIX-pms is also defined by XML schema and is still under developement. Its current version 1.1.0.

     The FIX-pms schema is introduced here in more detail...


Nightly build version ( under construction, but rarely updated! ) is in the GitHub now.

 --> XML schema source filesOutside of this site

--> Schema specification documentOutside of this site


Latest version (January 1st, 2016 version)

--> XML schema source files ( in a zip archive )

--> Schema specification document ( under construction... )  refer to GitHub.

   * includes GPXX1.1 , BIX3.0 and bfd:MIndices schema

changes as follows :

  1. Elements tree 'ProductInfos' representing shipping data from farm to first handlers in supply chain are added,
  2. Elements and sub trees of elements representing interface data structure to FSDB system are added,
  3. Elements tree 'bfd:MIndices' representing business management indices of farm body, proposed by NARO agric. management research group is added.
  4. and other fixes and modifications...


Previous version (June 11th, 2015 version)

--> XML schema source files ( in a zip archive )

 --> Schema specification 1.0.4 document ( in a PDF format )PDFfile

  * includes GPXX1.1 and BIX3.0 schema

changes as follows :

  1. Elements representing IDs and Codes in a certain system are extended to have some attributes referring meta information on corresponding IDs and Codes,
  2. Chield elements of IDs and Codes in elements representing master data and transactional data are added for consideration of generic usage,
  3. and other fixes and modifications...


Previous version (August 30th, 2014 version)

--> XML schema source files ( in a zip archive )

   * includes GPXX1.1 and BIX3.0 schema

changes as follows :

  1. Light-weight version by removing redundant definitions for several types using <complexType> and defining them inline in <element> definitions,
  2. Change the definition of 'Products Lot Source' from <choice> element to <sequence> element allowing multiple lot source,
  3. Addition of 'Cropping Type' element : <CroppingType>, while <CroppingTypes> is a container of <CroppingType>,
  4. Addition of ingredient elements of 'Fertilizer', such as 'Ca', 'S', 'Mg', 'Mn', 'Fe', 'Cl', and so on,
  5. and other fixes and modifications...


Previous version (March 21st, 2013 version)

--> XML schema source files (in a zip archive file)

   * includes GPXX1.1 and BIX3.0 schema

changes as follows :

  1. "acl" attribute for designating access control level of its element is added.
  2. User data type 'M' for movie, 'A' for audio and 'B' for barcode are added while corresponding data instance are described under <UserData> element.
  3. and other some fixes and modifications...


Previous version (July 4, 2012)

--> XML schema source files (in a zip archive file)

   * includes GPXX1.1 and BIX3.0 schema


Old version (June 1st, 2012)

--> XML schema source file (in a zip archive file)

    * includes GPXX1.1 and BIX 3.0 schema


Old version (October 6, 2011)

--> XML schema source file (in zip archive file) includes GPXX1.1 schema

--> Schema diagram PDF (in a PDF file, 1.09MB, jpn)


FIX-pms root contents

* Any elements except <Author> and <Create> element are optional, those have
   'minOccurs="0"' attribute. This makes flexible usage of schema. You can use only
   elements you need.

* This view shows that the root node is <FIX-pms> and each element in view is a
   child node of <FIX-pms>.

[ Top elements of FIX-pms 1.1.0 schema (Jan-2016 version) ]


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