OME-XSD is it likely to change any time soon?

I’m at the Allen Institute for Cell Science and we are digging into translating our ZISRAW/CZI metadata into more complete OME.xsd format. Thus the question:

Is the OME.xsd standard is likely to change in the near future?

  • for technical reasons we can’t use the bioformats solution
  • our intended solution is to use XSLT so that the translation is programming language independent.

The current version of OME.xsd (2016-06) will not change in any breaking way. Full stop. If such a change is needed, a new major version of the XSD, e.g. 2019-10, would be released and there would also be an XSL transform provided for upgrading from 2016-06 to 2019-10, cf. 2015-01-to-2016-06.xsl, as well a transform to downgrade, cf. 2016-06-to-2015-01.xsl.

This means that the strategy you outline should produce OME-XML which OME intends to always be interpretable. That being said, there is a good deal of metadata that isn’t going to have a natural home in OME-XML, which is a large part of the discussion in Data archiving: what format to use, which files to keep?

This problem is one of the drivers for the work discussed in Metadata in RDF and Proposal for 4D Nucleome Microscopy Metadata Guidelines based on the OME data model. In other words, yes, the OME Model is likely to evolve in the near future in order to allow more reliably capturing vendor-specific metadata as well as allowing community members to define their models. And I very much assume that your use case would be a great match.

All the best,


I agree with Josh that your use case sounds very similar to the 4D Nucleome use case, which led us to propose the Proposal for 4D Nucleome Microscopy Metadata Guidelines based on the OME data model Josh mentioned.
I would definitely be interested in having a chat with you about your needs and how it might overlap with our proposal.
Let me know if you might find this useful.

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Thanks Josh! Thanks Caterina!
I’ll definitely look into the 4D Nucleome proposal. I’m just starting on the easy pieces, once I get to the trickier bits I’m happy to attempt to follow the proposal for the awkward pieces. Thanks again for the advice.

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