You may have heard the buzz about an XML-based information interchange format called Market Data Definition Language (MDDL), which was primarily developed by the Financial Information Services Division (FISD) of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). MDDL is a new and publicly available industry classification that standardizes schemas for financial market data exchange. MDDL provides a generic XML-based interchange format on the elements that describe various dynamic (streaming/current) and snapshot (historical) values of financial instruments and corporate events that affect an instrument's status, tradability and valuation at a specific moment in its lifetime. Market-related particulars (including various economic and industrial indicators) are also included in the MDDL specification.

The vocabulary of MDDL is comprised of a standardized set of semantics, enabled by a common data dictionary that clearly defines and describes market data elements - financial (debt and equity) instruments, market and enterprise events, and industrial indicators framed by contextual time series events (i.e., changing in opening and close price) - and their dynamic relationship to one another. MDDL is open and easily extendable so that it can accommodate additions and expansions of corporate or vendor-specific models of information exchange. Tightly coupled and based on proven XML exemplars, the full MDDL paradigm includes the MDDL XML schema, MDDL XML DTD, MDDL glossary/data dictionary and a sample style sheet for the glossary. An MDDL document can be customized to encapsulate a broad range and classification of market data content, helping enable interested parties to better account for, analyze and trade financial instruments in the world markets.

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