Feedback is sought on the latest version of a very important database archiving specification: the SIARD file format version 2.0. SIARD stands for Software Independent Archival of Relational Databases, and is an extension of the standard eCH-0165 for the SIARD Format version 1.0. The format was developed by the Swiss Federal Archives, and is a normative description of a file format for the long-term preservation of relational databases. Version 2.0 has been developed jointly by the Swiss Federal Archives, the eCH (who promotes, develops and approves eGovernment standards in Switzerland) and the EU project E-ARK.
The SIARD format is based on standards including the ISO standards Unicode, XML, and SQL:2008, the URI Internet standard, and the industry standard ZIP. The aim of employing internationally recognised standards is to ensure the long-term preservation of, and access to, the widely used relational database model, as well as easy exchange of database content, independent of proprietary “dump” formats.
This document has been submitted to the Swiss Federal Archives, KOST and E-ARK. It has the force of a standard for its defined area of use in the specified scope of validity.
What’s New in Version 2.0?
Version 1.0 of the SIARD Format was developed in 2007 by Enter AG for the Swiss Federal Archives. It was homologized as standard eCH-0165 in 2013. This version 2.0 is based on version 1.0 and defines a format that is backward-compatible with version 1.0.
The main new features are:
- Upgrade of SQL:1999 support to SQL:2008 support.
- Support for all SQL:2008 types, in particular user-defined data types (UDTs),
- More explicit validation rules for data type definitions using regular expressions,
- Small modification of the definition, showing when to store large objects inline as part of the table XML,
- Support for storing large objects outside of the SIARD file using “file:” URIs ,
- Support for “deflate” as a compression mechanism.
Photo: DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009 (CC BY-SA 2.0)