The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) announced Apache Daffodil is now a top-level project, which means that the project’s community and products have been well-governed under the Apache Software Foundation’s meritocratic process and principles. Daffodil is an open source implementation of the Data Format Description Language (DFDL) 1.0, and aims to provide universal data interchange.

According to the project’s website, DFDL is a specification that was developed by the Open Grid Forum and “capable of describing many data formats, including both textual and binary, scientific and numeric, legacy and modern, commercial record-oriented, and many industry and military standards. It defines a language that is a subset of W3C XML schema to describe the logical format of the data, and annotations within the schema to describe the physical representation.”

“Graduation to a TLP recognizes that the Apache Daffodil project follows the rigorous software development practices that have made so many of ASF projects trusted and successful,” said Michael Beckerle, the vice president of Apache Daffodil. “With the increasing interest in Big Data, interoperability, and protection from malicious data, we welcome new contributors to help us further grow the Apache Daffodil community.”

Daffodil is an open standard framework that describes the attributes of any data format and enables universal data interchange. 

The framework is particularly useful for large-scale organizations where there are massive amounts of complex and legacy data exchanged and made accessible every day, according to the foundation.

It is also very effective in cybersecurity use cases, where data must be inspected for correctness and sanitized, ASF explained. 

Daffodil is currently in use at many large organizations such as DARPA, GE Research, Naval Postgraduate School, Owl Cyber Defense, Perspecta Labs, and Raytheon BBN Technologies, among others.

“We’re extremely excited that Apache Daffodil has achieved this important milestone in its development. The Daffodil DFDL implementation is a game changer in complex text and binary data interfaces and creates massive opportunities for organizations to easily implement highly sophisticated processes like data decomposition, inspection, and reassembly,” Beckerle added.