Common Data Model

The Common Data Model (CDM) is the domain model for the core EDIT components. The CDM is primarily based on the  TDWG Ontology. But other models and standards (see TaxonomicDataStandards, BibliographicalDataStandards, SpecimenOrObservationStandards) have influenced the modelling too.


Basically the CDM covers all the data exchanged in the platform. As most applications require additional data, options to extend the model need to be provided. The  CDM covers the following object types (classes), grouped by packages:

Model Documentation

CDM Version 1.0

The  first version of the CDM has been completed and milestone:"CDM UML 1.0" reached. The modelling was done with Enterprise Architect and resulted in annotated UML class diagrams. The model is also available for download: edit_cdm.eap Download.

CDM Version 1.4

 Version 1.4 of the CDM has been completed together with the deliverable D11. The modelling was done in Java and import into Enterprise Architect. The model is also available for download: edit_cdm_14.eap Download.

Since the first version of the CDM was purely modelled in UML with implementation in mind, but no real world use yet, implementing the model in Java code has required changes all over. Since the freeze of version 1.0 we are primarily maintaining the model in the Java source code and derive the UML documentation in Enterprise Architect from the source code. To generate the UML model automatically from the Java code EA's import source-code feature was used that synchronizes classes by namespace (in EA7 project browser "Common Data Model"-"Java Model" -> right click ->Code Engineering->Import Source Directory).

CDM Version 2.0

 Version 2.0 of the CDM.

CDM Version 2.2

 Version 2.2 of the CDM.

CDM Version 3.0

 Version 3.0 of the CDM.

CDM Version 3.1

 Version 3.1 of the CDM.

CDM Version 3.3

 Version 3.3 of the CDM is the most current version.

The latest documentation of the model can be found in  JavaDocs:cdmlib-model. We also keep track of the major CdmChanges.


Additionally to the UML and Java documentation we maintain a CdmFaq.


This wiki describes the latest stage of the modelling efforts. Discussions are being held on a mailing list dedicated only to the CDM. We invite everyone to join the mailinglist to follow discussions, raise questions or even suggest changes to the model.


The list has a public online archive that stores the discussions so decisions can be tracked back in time. We invite anyone to participate in the discussion, you can subscribe to the mailing list through the webinterface of the archive:

As we sometimes cannot apply changes immediately to the model, we also keep track of issues to be done. All notes regarding changes or additions to the CDM are managed with tickets in TRAC.


We try to collaborate with other projects outside of EDIT to base its development on a stable long-term perspective. Apart from shared software development it is essential that we test the CDM with different, diverse datasets. Our main collaborators so far are:


The CDM is released as part of the CdmLibrary

Background Information

Modelling Guidelines