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Catalog Data Format (CDF) Overview

This topic provides a dictionary of the elements available in the Catalog Data Format (CDF) schema, which is used to construct a catalog of your media content for upload to Amazon Fire TV.

The Catalog Data Format (CDF) schema defines the required elements to describe your media so that Amazon can integrate your catalog. The schema is defined in the catalog.xsd file. The schema contains more than 150 elements used for different types of media, such as movies, TV shows, broadcasts, and more.

You can view the schema documentation in two ways:

  • Element-filtered Web Pages. The web pages show diagrams and code samples that reflect the element hierarchy, parent-children requirements, and other content model details.
  • Auto-Generated Schema Documentation. This documentation is generated directly from the XSD file and provides a more technical representation of the content (but also includes expandable diagrams).

Element-filtered Web Pages

You can view the schema elements listed out on web pages here in the Developer Portal. Although you can view all elements in a flat list, it's more practical to select a common parent element (such as Movie) and look at the diagram and code sample for this element.

Web page with filtered elements
Web page with filtered elements

When you click an element in the diagram or code sample, a description of that element scrolls into focus below the diagram or code.

The elements with diagram and code pages are as follows:

Auto-Generated Schema Documentation

The catalog.xsd file contains documentation annotations that can be rendered out as auto-generated documentation (much like Javadocs from Java). You can view auto-generated XSD schema docs here. Expand the catalog node and then expand the other nodes as desired:

Auto-generated schema docs
Auto-generated schema docs

You can also view the catalog.xsd file directly in an XML editor such as OxygenXML Editor for more enhanced navigation controls.

You can also read the XSD file directly to learn the schema logic. If you're new to XSD files, see XML Schema Part 0: Primer Second Edition for an introduction. More formal reference documentation for the XSD schema is available at XML Schema Part 1: Structures Second Edition and XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes Second Edition.

Here are a few tips on reading XSD files:

XSD property What it means
xsd:element Identifies an element
minOccurs="0" The element is optional
maxOccurs="unbounded" The element can be repeated an unlimited number of times.
xsd:simpleType The element does not have any children or attributes. See simpleType` for more details.
xsd:complexType The element either has children or attributes. Complex Types have a content model description that specifies whether the child elements must be sequential, whether the children have either/or requirements, or other logic. See complexType for more details.
xsd:choice Indicates that you must choose, among the child elements, which one you want to include. The logic is either one element or the other, not all. For example, Credits allows either a CastMember or CrewMember child item, but not both.
xsd:sequence Indicates that the child elements must follow the specified sequence. For example, CustomerRating requires that the child elements Score, MaxValue, and Count appear in sequential order, with the Count as optional.
xsd:sequence and xsd:choice together Some elements use a combination of both sequence and choice together. When this happens, the description for the content model clarifies the usage.
xsd:annotation Indicates documentation for the element. Note that although the catalog XSD file has some annotation elements with each element, the descriptions are brief and not intended as the official documentation. The documentation on the web pages provides the official documentation for the elements. The value of the XSD file is in identifying the content model logic and required usage more than understanding the meaning of each of the elements.
xsd:enumeration An enum value is allowed for the simpleType's value. Enums limit the options to a predefined list of strings.
xsd:extension base= The logic for the element builds on another element. This element extends on another element as its base.
xsd:attribute The element allows attributes. See 2.2 Complex Type Definitions, Element & Attribute Declarations for a description of attributes in XML.

XML Data Types

Certain data types, such as Strings, Booleans, and Integers, are built directly into the XML schema. Common data types you'll see in the catalog file are defined in the following table. You can read more details either at the tutorial link or the official w3.org site. (The tutorial link provides a more friendly, readable description of the data type, while the w3.org link provides the official schema reference.)

XML Data Type Description Tutorial Link W3C Link
boolean A true or false value xsd:boolean w3.org
decimal A number with a decimal such as 5.2 xsd:decimal w3.org
date A date value in the form of 2019-02-19 xsd:boolean w3.org
dateTime This value takes the form YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss where YYYY-MM-DD is the year, month, and date and hh:mm:ss is the hour, minute, and second. Example: 2003-08-08T17:18:37. The T separates the two portions. The entire value is required, from the year down to the second. If the time value is unknown to you, simply use 00:00:00. You can also add an offset from UTC to the end of the value to account for a particular time zone. xsd:dateTime w3.org
duration A duration of time written as an expression starting with P and then years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds. For example, P2DT3H xsd:duration w3.org
int Integer (a whole number) such as 5 xsd:int w3.org
language A language identifier such as en xsd:language w3.org
NonEmptyToken Same as xsd:token but not allowed to be empty. xsd:token w3.org
string Alphanumeric letters and numbers xsd:string w3.org
string (localized) Same as string but with attributes such as locale and pronunciation that allow for localization. xsd:string w3.org
token Similar to string but ampersands and angle brackets must be escaped. Any white space is collapsed onto the same line. xsd:token w3.org
anyURI A URL such as https://amazon.com xsd:anyURI w3.org

Downloadable CDF Examples

Examples of the CDF format are shown in the Code tab of each element view. These same examples are also downloadable in the cdf-examples.zip file. These examples can be useful in understanding how a catalog file is put together. This zip file that contains examples of CDF XML for individual media types as well as a full catalog, and examples showing how to tie shows, seasons, specials, extras, and episodes together.

Building your Catalog File

For an overview of the structure of a CDF catalog file and how these elements interact, see Step 1: Create Your Catalog File.