The main purpose of ISO/IEC 19503:2005 (XMI) is to enable easy interchange of metadata between application development lifecycle tools (such as modeling tools based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML), ISO/IEC 19501, and metadata repositories/frameworks based on the Meta Object Facility (MOF), ISO/IEC 19502) in distributed heterogeneous environments. ISO/IEC 19503:2005 integrates three key industry standards:
- XML, eXtensible Markup Language, a W3C standard;
- UML, Unified Modeling Language, an OMG modeling specification which is now ISO/IEC 19501;
- MOF, Meta Object Facility (ISO/IEC 19502).
ISO/IEC 19503:2005 provides specifications for
- a set of XML Schema Definitions (XSD) production rules for transforming MOF-based metamodels into XML Schemas;
- a set of XML Document production rules for encoding and decoding MOF-based metadata;
- design principles for XMI-based Schemas and XML documents;
- a set of production rules for importing XML DTDs to a MOF-based metamodel.
ISO/IEC 19503:2005 enhances metadata management and metadata interoperability in distributed object environments in general and in distributed development environments in particular. While it addresses stream-based metadata interoperability in the object analysis and design domain, ISO/IEC 19503:2005 (in part because it is MOF based) is equally applicable to metadata in many other domains.