XML Schema complexType Element

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Definition and Usage

The complexType element defines a complex type. A complex type element is an XML element that contains other elements and/or attributes.

Element Information

  • Parent elements: element, redefine, schema


block=(#all|list of (extension|restriction))
final=(#all|list of (extension|restriction))
any attributes



(The ? sign declares that the element can occur zero or one time, and the * sign declares that the element can occur zero or more times inside the complexType element)

Attribute Description
id Optional. Specifies a unique ID for the element
name Optional. Specifies a name for the element
abstract Optional. Specifies whether the complex type can be used in an instance document. True indicates that an element cannot use this complex type directly but must use a complex type derived from this complex type. Default is false
mixed Optional. Specifies whether character data is allowed to appear between the child elements of this complexType element. Default is false. If a simpleContent element is a child element, the mixed attribute is not allowed!
block Optional. Prevents a complex type that has a specified type of derivation from being used in place of this complex type. This value can contain #all or a list that is a subset of extension or restriction:
  • extension - prevents complex types derived by extension
  • restriction - prevents complex types derived by restriction
  • #all - prevents all derived complex types
final Optional. Prevents a specified type of derivation of this complex type element. Can contain #all or a list that is a subset of extension or restriction.
  • extension - prevents derivation by extension
  • restriction - prevents derivation by restriction
  • #all - prevents all derivation
any attributes Optional. Specifies any other attributes with non-schema namespace

Example 1

The following example has an element named "note" that is of a complex type:

<xs:element name="note">
  <xs:element name="to" type="xs:string"/>
  <xs:element name="from" type="xs:string"/>
  <xs:element name="heading" type="xs:string"/>
  <xs:element name="body" type="xs:string"/>

Example 2

The following example has a complex type, "fullpersoninfo", that derives from another complex type, "personinfo", by extending the inherited type with three additional elements (address, city and country):

<xs:element name="employee" type="fullpersoninfo"/>

<xs:complexType name="personinfo">
    <xs:element name="firstname" type="xs:string"/>
    <xs:element name="lastname" type="xs:string"/>

<xs:complexType name="fullpersoninfo">
    <xs:extension base="personinfo">
        <xs:element name="address" type="xs:string"/>
        <xs:element name="city" type="xs:string"/>
        <xs:element name="country" type="xs:string"/>

In the example above the "employee" element must contain, in sequence, the following elements: "firstname", "lastname", "address", "city", and "country".

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