Schema system


Complete overview of schemas in Enonic XP


To facilitate creation of various forms and data types throughout Content Studio, Enonic XP ships with a high-level schema concept that requires no coding.


The main use of schemas is to define forms that can be edited through the admin interface. In addition to user interface, schemas also have a back-end equivalent that can be used programmatically, for instance through the content API.

All forms are essentially compositions of Input types and optionally Sets when more complex structures are required.

Once a form is populated and submitted, the end-result will be a property structure that matches 1-1 with the schema definition. The property structure can then be persisted directly into the XP repository.

Forms can be created either with XML or with Java, where the former is the most common.

    <input name="firstname" type="TextLine">
      <label>First Name</label>
    <input name="lastname" type="TextLine">
      <label>Last Name</label>

There are many types of forms, each with their specific purpose and options. The form implementation will control where and how end result is actually persisted:

Below are the currently available forms implementations used by XP:

XML Schema Definition (XSD)

An XSD is available to simplify editing of XML-based form files.

Input types

Input types represent the most important part of any form. Their purpose is to enable editing and persistence of data. Input types have both front-end and back-end components. The front-end represents the visual editing interface used in the XP admin console, where the back-end is solely used for validation purposes. An input type will handle a single property, with zero, 1 or many values. I.e. the TextLine input type will return Strings. Normally, an input type will use a fixed propertyType, but this is optional.

An input box with help-text below it

The following configuration is common for all input types:

<input type="InputTypeName" name="myname" >  (1)
  <label i18n="myname.label">My label</label>  (2)
  <default/>  (3)
  <help-text i18n="">Help text here</help-text>   (4)
  <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="1"/>   (5)
  <config/>  (6)
1 input contains two mandatory attributes:
@name is used when storing the data in a property, and must be unique on each level.
@type refers to one of the many input types which are listed below.
2 label is another mandatory field that holds the human readable value that will be displayed when listing the input type control in the administrative interface
@i18n is an optional attribute holding the key to localization phrase of the form (see localization).
3 default is an optional field that lets you specify default values to be used by the input type.
4 help-text is an optional field that lets you specify a text label shown below the input field. Used for explanation of the field’s purpose.
@i18n is an optional attribute holding the key to localization phrase of the form (see localization).
5 occurrences is an optional field used to control the number of values stored by a single input.
@minimum set to to zero means the input is not mandatory
@maximum to zero means there is no upper limit to the number of values.
This element is optional, if omitted the default will be minimum="0" and maximum="1".
6 config is an optional element designed to hold custom configuration for each input-type.

Field Set

A field set may be used to group items visually. The example below will create a form in the admin console with the inputs grouped under the label of the field set.

<field-set>  (1)
  <label i18n="metadata.label">Metadata</label>
  <items>  (2)
    <input name="tags" type="Tag">
      <label>Tags for tag cloud</label>
      <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="5"/>
1 field-set does not need a name since it is only visual, and does not affect the data model
2 items allow placement of form items to be contained within it

Item Set

Item sets provide a special capability that allows you to nest form items hierarchically.

Input types in item sets are grouped into logical units, allowing them to repeat as a complex input types, as item sets support occurrences too. Item sets are both visually and semantically grouped as the name of the item set is used in the persisted property structure. An item set actually produces a property set.

Here is an example of an item set with two inputs. The resulting form will allow multiple entries of phone numbers with labels:

<item-set name="contact_info">  (1)
  <label i18n="contact_info.label">Contact Info</label>  (2)
  <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="0"/>  (3)
    <input name="label" type="TextLine">
      <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="1"/>
    <input name="phone_number" type="TextLine">
      <label>Phone Number</label>
      <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="1"/>
1 name defines the mapping to the property name
2 label - The displayed identfier of the input.
3 occurences control the minimum and maximum instances of the ItemSet that may be created
It is also possible to nest item sets inside each other

Option Set

Option sets enable editors to select the content of a set instance between pre-defined options.

There are essentially two distinct variants of option sets.

  • Single select - Visually represented by dropdowns

  • Multi select - Visually represented by a multi select form

An option may define zero or more items. Hence, a single option may be represented by the option itself, or contain more form items - just like an item set.

By default, the option’s form will only be displayed after the option is selected. However, a multi-select option set can also be configured to have the forms expanded by default.

For multi-select options sets, it is also possible to pre-select options by default.

Sample 1: single-select option set for creating blocks of content
<option-set name="blockOptionSet">
  <label>Content blocks</label>
  <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="0"/>  (1)
  <help-text>Create content with optional blocks</help-text>
  <options minimum="1" maximum="1">   (2)
    <option name="hr">  (3)
      <label>Horisontal line</label>
      <help-text>Adds a separator between blocks</help-text>
    <option name="text">
        <input name="text" type="TextArea">
          <occurrences minimum="1" maximum="1"/>
    <option name="gallery">
      <label>Image gallery</label>
        <input name="images" type="ImageSelector">
          <occurrences minimum="1" maximum="0"/>
    <option name="quote">
        <input name="quote" type="TextLine">
          <occurrences minimum="1" maximum="1"/>
        <input name="quotee" type="TextLine">
          <occurrences minimum="1" maximum="1"/>
1 occurences Set value to maximum=0 for unlimited block instances
2 options/@maximum Refers to selectable options per instance. A value of 1 ⇒ single-select mode.
3 option (required) Container of options. Each option may be empty or contain items, just like an item set.
Sample 2: multi-select option set with options expanded by default, empty first option and pre-selected second option:
<option-set name="checkOptionSet">
  <label i18n="checkOptionSet.label">Multi-selection OptionSet</label>
  <expanded>true</expanded>  (1)
  <occurrences minimum="1" maximum="1"/>  (2)
  <help-text>You can select up to 2 options</help-text>
  <options minimum="1" maximum="2"> (3) (4) (5)
    <option name="option_1"> (6) (7)
      <label i18n="checkOptionSet.option_1.label">Option 1</label> (8) (9)
      <help-text i18n="">Help text for Option 1</help-text> (10) (11)
    <option name="option_2">
      <label i18n="checkOptionSet.option_2.label">Option 2</label>
      <default>true</default> (12)
      <items> (13)
        <input name="contentSelector" type="ContentSelector">
          <label>Content selector</label>
          <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="0"/>
    <option name="option_3">
      <label>Option 3</label>
      <help-text>Help text for Option 3</help-text>
        <input name="textarea" type="TextArea">
          <label>Text Area</label>
          <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="1"/>
        <input name="long" type="Long">
          <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="1"/>
1 expanded Set to true to expand all of the options by default
2 occurrences For multi-select option sets, one normally only wants a single instance
3 options (required) Container of options.
4 options/@minimum (required) Minimum number of options that must be selected in this option set.
5 options/@maximum (required) Maximum number of options to create. > 1 provides multi-select mode. 1 provides single-select mode.
6 option (required) Container of the option form.
7 option/@name (required) Must be unique within the option set.
8 label (required) Label of the option’s checkbox or radio button.
9 label/@i18n localization bundles.
10 help-text Help text for the option.
11 help-text/@i18n localization bundle key.
12 default Set to true to pre-select one of the options.
13 items Container of the option form’s inputs.
Use <options minimum="1" maximum="1"> for a single-select option set, or any other number greater than "1" in options.maximum for a multi-select option set.

Schema Localization

Schema localization is based on standard framework functionality. Please consult the framework localization docs for more details.

Labels and texts in schemas be displayed in the preferred language according to the user’s browser settings.

The schema fields that support localization may have an optional i18n="key" attribute in the XML schema descriptor. This i18n attribute will contain a key string that refers to the translated texts in the i18n/ bundle files.

The i18n attributes are always optional. If the i18n attribute is not specified, the value of the XML element will be used.

Example of localized Content Type
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
  <display-name i18n="person.display-name">Person</display-name>
    <input type="TextLine" name="name">
      <label i18n="">Name</label>
      <occurrences minimum="1" maximum="1"/>
    <input type="TextLine" name="age">
      <label i18n="person.age.label">Age</label>
      <occurrences minimum="1" maximum="1"/>
    <input type="imageSelector" name="photo">
      <label i18n="">Photo</label>
      <help-text i18n="">Passport photo</help-text>
      <occurrences minimum="0" maximum="1"/>
The localization of schemas applies to the admin tool apps included in XP: Home, Content Studio, Applications and Users.

Supported Fields

The following schemas and fields support the i18n attribute for localization:

  • Input type: label, help-text

  • Item set: label, help-text

  • Field set: label

  • Option set: label, help-text

  • Radio button: config.option

  • Content Type: displayName, description

  • Mixin: displayName, description, input types

  • Page descriptor: displayName, input types in config

  • Part descriptor: displayName, input types in config

  • Layout descriptor: displayName, input types in config

  • Admin Tool descriptor: displayName, description

  • Macro: displayName, description, input types in config


The translated texts for each of the i18n keys should be placed in the corresponding file, in the same application where the schema is defined.

Steps to add the translations for a schema:

1. Add or edit one file per language supported:


Example files to support English and Norwegian

2. Add the i18n keys from the schema in each of the files.

Each line should have the key, an equals = sign, and the text in the specific language.
person.age.label=Age photo

3. fallback file file

It is recommended to have default phrases file. This will be used if the translation for the browser language cannot be found.

4. Build and deploy the application.

The texts in the schema will appear depending on the language configured in the browser.

For more details, check out the runtime localization docs