Format Indicator

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Several applications are communicating via Messages that follow an agreed upon data format, perhaps an enterprise-wide Canonical Data Model. However, that format may need to change over time.

How can a message’s data format be designed to allow for possible future changes?

Design a data format that includes a Format Indicator, so that the message specifies what format it is using.

The format indicator enables the sender to tell the receiver the format of the message. This way, a receiver expecting several possible formats knows which one a message is using and therefore how to interpret the message’s contents.

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Related patterns: Canonical Data Model, Message


Enterprise Integration Patterns Find the full description of this pattern in:
Enterprise Integration Patterns
Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf
ISBN 0321200683
650 pages
Addison-Wesley
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