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Validating properties

PageSeeder properties often have specific constraints associated with them including:

  • A minimum or maximum number of characters.
  • A list of allowable values.
  • A datatype.
  • A regular expression.


Property rule

Most rules applying to images match the <property> element based on its name:

<!-- Matches a specific property in PSML based on name -->
<sch:rule context="property[@name = 'acme']">

   <!-- Assertions and reports here ... -->


Alternatively, the datatype can be used.

<!-- Matches a specific property in PSML based on datatype -->
<sch:rule context="property[@datatype = 'date']">

   <!-- Assertions and reports here ... -->



Messages generated by Schematron rules should allow the user to quickly identify the problem.

One technique is for the message to include the @name or @title attributes from the <property> element. It can also help to include a value using the @value attribute for single-valued properties or the  <value> element for multi-valued properties.

Another locator is the @id attribute of the <properties-fragment> or <section> element.

Keep validation in mind when specifying the ID for a  <properties-fragment> when creating the document template

For example:

Property '<sch:value-of select="@name"/>'
in fragment '<sch:value-of select="parent::properties-fragment/@id"/>'

Can be used to display:

Property 'isbn' in properties fragment 'book-metadata'.

Single value vs. multiple values

Some properties only have a single value using a @value attribute while other properties contain zero or multiple values specified in the <value> element. Whether a property is single-valued or multi-valued is determined by the @count attribute.

Validation should expect having to deal with either option but not both.

Value test

One significant difference between single-valued and multi-valued properties:

  • The @value attribute is always present for a single-valued property, so tests should expect that @value will match 1 value.
  • <value> elements are only present for multi-valued properties if a value has been specified, so tests should expect that value will match 0 or more values.

Property count

Properly designed document templates should ensure that a property is consistent across a collection of documents. However, when data is uploaded from external sources, it can happen that one document has the property expressed for a single value and another document has it expressed as multi-value. 

In cases where some documents are inconsistent with the document template or other documents, the following tests can determine the @value  and @count attributes:

Using the <value> element is not reliable because it isn’t necessarily specified.


<sch:rule context="property[@name='abc']">

  <!-- Expecting a single-valued property -->
  <sch:assert test="@value and (@count=1 or not(@count))">
    Property '<sch:value-of select="@name"/>' should be single-valued.



<sch:rule context="property[@name='xyz']">

  <!-- Expecting a multi-valued property -->
  <sch:assert test="not(@value) and count and @count != '1'">
    Property '<sch:value-of select="@name"/>' should be multi-valued.


Validating XML schema datatypes

A common constraint is to check that a property matches a specific XML Schema datatype .

To use the XML schema datatypes, make sure the XML Schema namespace is both declared (using xmlns) and mapped (using <sch:ns />)

<sch:ns prefix="xs" uri=""/>


PageSeeder doesn’t use a schema-aware Schematron validator; therefore, the following techniques are limited to the built-in XML Schema datatypes.


To validate that a property value matches a date, it’s sufficient to check that it can be casted as an xs:date XML Schema value.

<sch:rule context="property[@datatype='date']">

  <!-- Expecting a date -->
  <sch:assert test="@value castable as xs:date">The value of property
    '<sch:value-of select="@name"/>' should be a date as 'yyyy-mm-dd'
    but was '<sch:value-of select="@value"/>'.</sch:assert>



To validate that a property has an integer value, it’s sufficient to check that it can be casted as an xs:integer XML Schema value.

<sch:rule context="property[@datatype='integer']">

  <!-- Expecting an integer -->
  <sch:assert test="@value castable as xs:integer">The value of property
   '<sch:value-of select="@name"/>' should be an integer
    but was '<sch:value-of select="@value"/>'.</sch:assert>



Regular expressions are a common way to check whether a value is valid against the constraints of a pattern. To do this, use the XPath 2.0 matches()  function.

<sch:rule context="property[@name='abc']">

  <sch:assert test="matches(@value, 'REGEX')">The value of
     property '<sch:value-of select="@name"/>' should match
     pattern but was '<sch:value-of select="@value"/>'.

Created on , last edited on