Create an XDM schema

Learn how to create an XDM schema for mobile app events.

Standardization and interoperability are key concepts behind Adobe Experience Platform. Experience Data Model (XDM), driven by Adobe, is an effort to standardize customer experience data and define schemas for customer experience management.

What are XDM schemas?

XDM is a publicly documented specification designed to improve the power of digital experiences. It provides common structures and definitions that allow any application to communicate with Platform services. By adhering to XDM standards, all customer experience data can be incorporated into a common representation that can deliver insights in a faster, more integrated way. You can gain valuable insights from customer actions, define customer audiences through segments, and express customer attributes for personalization purposes.

Experience Platform uses schemas to describe the structure of data in a consistent and reusable way. By defining data consistently across systems, it becomes easier to retain meaning and therefore gain value from data.

Before data can be ingested into Platform, a schema must be composed to describe the data’s structure and provide constraints to the type of data that can be contained within each field. Schemas consist of a base class and zero or more schema field groups.

For more information on the schema composition model, including design principles and best practices, see the basics of schema composition or the course Model Your Customer Experience Data with XDM.

TIP

If you’re familiar with Analytics Solution Design Reference (SDRs), you can think of a schema as a more robust SDR.

Prerequisites

To complete the lesson, you must have permission to create an Experience Platform schema.

Learning objectives

In this lesson, you will:

  • Create a schema in the Data Collection interface
  • Add a standard field group to the schema
  • Create and add a custom field group to the schema
  1. Log into the Adobe Experience Cloud.

  2. Open the app switcher, then select Data Collection

    3x3 drop down

  3. Make sure you are in the Experience Platform sandbox you are using for this tutorial.

    NOTE

    Customers of Platform-based applications like Real-time CDP should use a development sandbox for this tutorial. Other customers will use the default production sandbox.

  4. Select Schemas under Data Management.

    tags home screen

You are now on the main schemas page and are presented with a list of any existing schemas. You can also see tabs corresponding to the core building blocks of a schema:

  • Field groups are reusable components that define one or more fields to capture specific data, such as personal details, hotel preferences, or address.
  • Classes define the behavioral aspects of the data that the schema contains. For example: XDM ExperienceEvent captures time-series, event data and XDM Individual Profile captures attribute data about an individual.
  • Data types are used as reference field types in classes or field groups in the same way as basic literal fields.

The above descriptions are a high-level overview. For more details, see the Schema building blocks video or read Basics of schema composition in the product documentation.

In this tutorial, you use the Consumer Experience Event field group and create a custom one to demonstrate the process.

NOTE

Adobe continues to add more standard field groups and they should be used whenever possible since these fields are implicitly understood by Experience Platform services and provide greater consistency when used across Platform components. Using standard field groups provides tangible benefits such automatic mapping in Analytics and AI features in Platform.

Luma app schema architecture

In a real-world scenario, the schema design process might look like this:

  • Gather business requirements.
  • Find prebuilt field groups to cover as many requirements as possible.
  • Create custom field groups for any gaps.

For learning purposes, you will use prebuilt and custom field groups.

  • Consumer Experience Event: Prebuilt field group that has many common fields.
  • App Information: Custom field group designed to mimic TrackState/TrackAction Analytics concepts.

Create a schema

  1. Select Create Schema to bring the options dropdown menu, then select XDM ExperienceEvent.

    Selecting ExperienceEvent from drop down

  2. Search for Consumer Experience Event.

  3. You can preview the fields and/or read the description for more details before selecting.

  4. Select the checkbox and then Add field groups.

    Selecting field group

    You are brought back to the main schema composition screen where you can see all the available fields.

  5. Give your schema a name by selecting Untitled schema from the top left and then providing a Display name & Description, for example Luma Tutorial Mobile and "Luma App" schema for Adobe Tutorial

  6. Select Save.

    Selecting apply

NOTE

Keep in mind that you do not have to use all the fields in a group. If it’s helpful, you can think of a schema as an empty data layer. In your app, you populate the relevant values at the appropriate time.

The Consumer Experience Event has a data type called Web information, which describes events like page view and link clicks. At the time of writing, there isn’t a mobile app parity to this feature, so you are going to create your own.

Create a custom data type

You begin by creating a custom data type describing the two events:

  • Screen view
  • App interaction
  1. Select the Data types tab, then select Create data type.

    Selecting data type menu

  2. Give it a Display name and Description, for example App Information and Custom data type describing "Screen Views" & "App Actions"

    Providing name & description

    TIP

    Always use readable, descriptive display names for your custom fields, as this practice makes them more accessible to marketers when the fields surface in downstream services like the segment builder.

  3. To add a field, select the (+) button.

    This field is a container object for app interaction. Give it a camel-case Field name appInteraction, display name App Interaction, and type Object.

  4. Select Apply.

    Adding new app action event

  5. To measure how often an action has occurred, add a field by selecting the (+) button next to the appInteraction object you created.

  6. Give it a camel-case Field name appAction, display name of App Action and type Measure.

    This step would be the equivalent of a success event in Adobe Analytics.

  7. Select Apply.

    Adding action name field

  8. Add a field describing the type of interaction by selecting the (+) button next to the appInteraction object.

  9. Give it a Field name name, display name of Name and type String.

    This step is the equivalent of a dimension in Adobe Analytics.

    Selecting apply

  10. Scroll to the bottom of the right rail and select Apply.

  11. Follow the same pattern to create an appStateDetails object containing a Measure field called screenView and two Strings called screenName and screenType.

  12. Select Save.

    Final state of data type

Add a custom field group

Now add a custom field group using your custom data type:

  1. Open the schema that you created earlier in this lesson.

  2. Select Add next to Field groups.

    Adding new field group

  3. This time you create a custom field group by selecting the Create new field group radio button near the top, then provide a name and description, for example, App Interactions and Fields for app interactions.

    Providing name & description

  4. From the main composition screen, add a field to the root of the schema.

  5. Select the (+) next to the name of the schema.

  6. In the right rail, provide a Field name of appInformation, a display name of App Information.

  7. Select App Information from the Type drop down, the data type you created in the previous exercise.

  8. Select Apply.

    Selecting apply

NOTE

Custom field groups are always placed under your Experience Cloud Org identifier.

_techmarketingdemos is replaced with your Org’s unique value.

You now have a schema to use for the rest of the tutorial.

Next: Create a datastream

NOTE

Thank you for investing your time in learning about Adobe Experience Platform Mobile SDK. If you have questions, want to share general feedback, or have suggestions on future content, please share them on this Experience League Community discussion post

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