Frequently Asked Questions:


Basics             What is ISO 15022?
                          What was the reason to start a second edition for ISO 15022?
                          What is the official mission statement for the second edition of ISO 15022?
                          Is ISO 15022, second edition only meant for the Securities industry?
                          What are the main drivers for the second edition of ISO 15022?
                          What are the main components of ISO 15022, second edition?
                          How is ISO 15022, second edition documented?
                          What has (not) changed compared to the first edition of ISO 15022?
                          Is ISO 15022, second edition an official standard?
WG10               What is Working Group 10 (WG10)?
                          How is WG10 organised?
                          Who is involved in the work of WG10?
                          When will WG10 be disbanded and what will happen afterwards?
Repository     What is the ISO 15022 Repository?
                          Why has the ISO 15022 Repository been kept out of the official standard?
                          How will the ISO 15022 repository be accessible?
                          Will all repository information be public and free of charge?
                          Who will maintain the ISO 15022 Repository?
Benefits          What is the main benefit of ISO 15022, second edition for the industry?
                          Are there relations with other major industry initiatives?
Use                  How will ISO 15022 compliant messages be developed?
                          How will we guarantee continuity between the first and second edition of ISO 15022
                          What will be done to help users migrate to the ISO 15022 XML standards?
                          What is convergence documentation?

Basic questions on the standard

What is ISO 15022?

ISO 15022 (“Scheme for messages”) is an ISO standard that sets the principles necessary to provide communities of users with tools and guidelines to design standardised message sets to support their specific information flows.

A first edition of the ISO 15022 standard has been approved by ISO in 1999. It delivered:

        a set of syntax and message design rules

        a dictionary of data fields

        a catalogue for messages

End 2000 work has started on a second edition, which is a further evolution and expansion of the first edition. This second edition is currently in the ISO approval process and will deliver:

        a modelling-based standards development process

        a set of syntax specific design rules (e.g. for XML)

        a consistent approach to reverse engineer existing message sets

        an electronic repository, containing a data dictionary with reusable information components and a business process warehouse with messages and business processes


What was the reason to start a second edition for ISO 15022?

The initial driver was the emerging of XML and the fact that this resulted in the creation of multiple unrelated (and therefore incompatible) XML-based standards initiatives. The second edition has started as an attempt to stop this proliferation by offering an acceptable path towards industry-wide standards convergence.


What is the official mission statement for the second edtion of ISO 15022?

The official mission statement (given by ISO TC68 SC4) is: Evolve ISO 15022 to permit migration of the securities industry to a standardized use of XML, guaranteeing interoperability across the industry and with other industry sectors, particularly but not restricted to the financial industry”.


Is ISO 15022, second edtion only meant for the Securities industry?

The principles of this second edition of ISO 15022 are NOT specific to the Securities industry. It is therefore the intention to use these principles – and hence the standard – for the entire financial industry.


What are the main drivers for the second edition of ISO 15022?

With respect to this mission statement, WG10 has taken the following elements into consideration:

1.      In order to achieve interoperability across the securities industry, the new version of the standard takes into account the existence of industry message sets like the first edition of ISO 15022, the FIX standard and others. The new standard must offer a solution that can cover the functionality of all these message sets. It must also provide a way to interoperability between these message sets (short term) and a way to converge towards a single standard (medium term).

2.      In order to achieve interoperability with other industry sectors, the new version takes into account the current status and the evolution of standards in other sectors. To this end WG10 has closely monitored the outcome and evolution of the ebXML-project. The ebXML-project is a joint initiative of UN/CEFACT (the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business) and OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards). It has delivered a number of technical specifications and technical recommendations for the use of XML in electronic business applications across industries.

3.      As the technological evolution will not end with XML, one can expect that the ISO 15022 standard will at some point in time further evolve to a newer technology. In order to limit the impact of such evolution on the standard, the new edition has not simply focused on the impact of XML. It has focused on defining a way to isolate technology-dependent aspects of the standard from the bulk of the standard.

4.      As the securities industry is currently investing in the implementation of the first edition of the ISO 15022 standard, the second edition ensures continuity to protect these investments.


What are the main components of ISO 15022, second edition?

ISO 15022, second edition is based on four major components:

1.      A standards development process that is based on a modelling methodology. This makes it possible to capture, analyse and describe the standardised business processes and message definitions of the financial industry in a syntax-independent way. This approach offers a way to cover the functionality of all relevant industry message sets, without necessarily impacting their current definitions. This approach is also in line with the approach of other standardisation organisations, like UN/CEFACT and ebXML.

2.      A set of syntax specific design rules, making it possible to convert the syntax independent message definitions into a standardised XML representation. These design rules guarantee a consistent set of XML-messages and make it possible to automate the generation of XML-messages. Any future evolution of syntax will only impact this set of design rules and will have no impact on the syntax-independent description of the message set.

3.      A reverse engineering approach, describing the way to capture information from existing industry message sets and to create equivalent ISO 15022 XML compliant message sets. This approach also provides documentation that supports interoperability between the original industry message set and the new ISO 15022 XML message set. This documentation will also ease the ultimate convergence towards the ISO 15022 XML standard.

4.      A central electronic repository (the ISO 15022 Repository), serviced by a Registration Authority, offering the industry participants access to:

         A Business Process Warehouse containing the description of the business model, the business processes and the message definitions, including the XML Schemas.

         A Data Dictionary containing all reusable elements used in business processes and message definitions.


How is ISO 15022, second edition documented?

ISO 15022, second edition is documented in two major sets: the official standard and the related technical specifications.

The official standard is called “ISO 15022 – Scheme for Messages, second edition”. It has to be approved according to the official ISO approval process for international standards.

The official standard has been structured in two parts:

1.       Part 1 “Overall Methodology and Format Specifications for Inputs and Outputs to/from the ISO 15022 Repository” contains the following information:

         A general explanation of the concepts that are used for the definition of ISO 15022 compliant messages.

         An overall description of the ISO 15022 Repository.

         A description of the input that is required when submitting a request for the registration of an ISO 15022 compliant message to the Registration Authority.

         A description of the outputs that will be provided by the Registration Authority.

         An overview of the relation between the first and second edition of the ISO 15022 standard.

2.       Part 2 “Roles and Responsibilities of the Registration Bodies” contains the following information:

         The rules that govern the maintenance of the repository by the Registration Bodies (e.g. criteria for acceptation or rejection of a registration request, conflict handling, timing).

Three additional documents are defined as ISO Technical Specifications. These documents are not included in the official standard because they contain detailed information on technical aspects, which makes them subject to regular updates. These documents have to be approved according to a lighter ISO approval process for technical specifications.

The following technical specifications have been identified:

1.      ISO 15022 Modelling Guidelines, describing the method to be used to construct ISO 15022 compliant Messages.

2.      ISO 15022 XML Design Rules, providing detailed specifications on the conversion rules applied by the ISO 15022 Registration Authority to translate an ISO15022 compliant Message Definition into an ISO 15022 XML Message Scheme and XML Message instance.

3.      ISO 15022 Reverse Engineering, providing guidelines on how to extract relevant information from existing non-compliant Messages in order to prepare the submission to the ISO 15022 Registration Authority of equivalent ISO 15022 Messages.


What has (not) changed compared to the first edition of ISO 15022?

ISO 15022, second edition builds on the main concepts of the first edition and – where necessary – takes these concepts a step further:

        Short time to market: just like in the first edition the messages and message components are kept outside of the standard and are put under the control of registration bodies.

        Registration bodies: the second edition keeps the concepts of “Registration Authority” (for the daily maintenance of the ISO 15022 Repository) and “Registration Management Group” (as a body of appeal) but adds the concept of “Standards Management Groups”. There will be multiple Standards Management Groups and each Standards Management Group will be responsible for the business-oriented validation of all standards development related to a particular business area (e.g. securities pre-trade) and/or asset class (e.g. fixed income).

        Syntax independence: the second edition keeps the separation between “business” and “physical representation”. It introduces business modelling principles and formal syntax design rules to make this separation even more apparent than in the first edition.

        Data Field Dictionary and Catalogue of Messages: the second edition keeps these concepts and widens their scope to have a more complete storage of all relevant information. The Data Dictionary – which replaces the Data Field Dictionary – will for instance include business rules and relations between business elements. The Business Process Warehouse – which replaces the Catalogue of Messages – will for instance include message flows and business processes.


Is ISO 15022, second edition an official standard?

ISO has a strict process that must be followed to develop official standards. The main steps in this process are:

        The development of a “Working Draft” (by a Working Group)

        The distribution of this Working Draft as a “Committee Draft” to a Sub-Committee or Technical Committee (after approval by the Working Group)

        The distribution of this Committee Draft as a “Draft International Standard” to the full ISO community (after approval by a Sub-Committee or by a Technical Committee)

        The publication of this Draft International Standard as an “International Standard” (after approval by the full ISO community)

So far ISO 15022, second edition has gone through the following phases:

        Approval of the Working Draft by WG10 (January 2002)

        Approval of the Committee Draft by ISO TC68/SC4 (October 2002)

        The standard has been distributed as a Draft International Standard to the entire ISO community in November 2002. It is open to comments and voting for a five months period (ending 28 April 2003).


Questions related to Working Group 10 (WG10)

What is Working Group 10 (WG10)?

Standards-related work in ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is usually delegated to “Working Groups”. In the case of ISO 15022 a Working Group has been created end 2000 by the Sub-Committee SC4 (Securities and Related Financial Instruments) of the Technical Committee TC68 (Banking, Securities and Related Financial Services). This Working Group is called “Working Group 10 (WG10)”.

ISO TC68 / SC4 has given the following mission statement to WG10: Evolve ISO 15022 to permit migration of the securities industry to a standardized use of XML, guaranteeing interoperability across the industry and with other industry sectors, particularly but not restricted to the financial industry”.

Based on this mission statement WG10 has developed ISO 15022, second edition, which was delivered early 2002 to ISO TC68 / SC4.


How is WG10 organised?

WG10 consists of the following teams:

         A Steering committee, responsible to ensure that the deliverables are produced and that other XML initiatives in the financial industry are made aware of the work of WG10 and are invited to join WG10.

         Three technical project teams, each responsible to produce specific parts of the official standard and of the related technical specifications in a timely and quality way. Each project team is composed of 10 to 30 members and led by 2 co-chairs (one representing the current ISO 15022 Registration Authority).

         Several business project teams, each responsible to provide the necessary information for the population of the initial ISO 15022 Repository in a particular business area.


Who is involved in the work of WG10?

For confidentiality reasons, ISO doesn’t allow the publication of the individual members of its Working Groups. The participants of WG10 represent either a member country or a liaison organization of ISO TC68 / SC4. They come from a large number of financial institutions and standards organizations that are active in the financial industry in general and in the securities industry in particular.


When will WG10 be disbanded and what will happen afterwards?

WG10 will be disbanded when all required deliverables have been produced. The maintenance of the standard will then be assured by following bodies:

         The ISO 15022 Registration Authority, which will take care of the daily maintenance of the ISO 15022 Repository and of all publishing aspects.

         The full set of ISO 15022 Standards Management Group, which can each be considered as a “steering committee” for a particular business area and/or asset class.

         The ISO 15022 Registration Management Group, which can be considered as a “body of appeal”.


Questions about the ISO 15022 Repository

What is the ISO 15022 Repository?

The ISO 15022 Repository is an “electronic store” that contains all relevant information regarding all developed ISO 15022 compliant standard messages. It consists of:

         A Business Process Warehouse containing the description of the business model, the business processes and the message definitions, including the XML Schemas.

         A Data Dictionary containing all reusable elements used in business processes and message definitions.


Why has the ISO 15022 Repository been kept out of the official standard?

The set of ISO 15022 compliant messages is subject to the evolution of the business. Keeping the information out of the official standard eases the update process. The Registration Authority will make all updates requested by the industry under the control of the relevant Standard Management Groups and in compliance with the ISO 15022 standard and the related technical specifications.


How will the ISO 15022 repository be accessible?

The ISO 15022 Repository information will be accessible via the following access types on a public web site:

         Interactive search/queries

         A set of predefined downloadable extracts


Will all repository information be public and free of charge?

The interactive queries will be provided free of charge.

The downloadable extracts will also be provided free of charge in at least one of the following formats: RTF, HTML and PDF.

The Registration Authority may also agree, on a case-by-case basis, to deliver ISO 15022 Repository information, in a structured language or processable format. The Registration Authority may charge a reasonable fee to the requesting community of users for these deliverables.


Who will maintain the ISO 15022 Repository?

The second edition of ISO 15022 identifies three registration bodies that – together – will maintain the ISO 15022 Repository.

         The Registration Authority will take care of the daily maintenance of the ISO 15022 Repository and of all publishing aspects. This means that all requests for updates to the ISO 15022 Repository must be sent to the Registration Authority, which will process them.

         The Registration Management Group is a “body of appeal”. It will control the working of the other registration bodies and can intervene in case of conflicts between registration bodies and users of the repository.

         A Standards Management Group can be considered as a “steering committee” for a particular business area and/or asset class that is included in the repository. There will be multiple Standards Management Groups and each of them will verify the quality of registration requests that are relevant for their business area and can define the development priorities within their own business area.


Questions about the scope and benefits of this standard

What is the main benefit of ISO 15022, second edition for  the industry?

The industry needs to reduce costs and to improve automation. This need is best served by a single standard based on open technical industry standards (like XML).

The initial target group of ISO 15022, second edition is the securities industry, which will benefit from the harmonization of the use of XML and from the fact that the standards will be based on the existing ISO 15022 standard.

At a later stage the whole financial industry will benefit from this work, as it is the intention to expand the scope of the ISO 15022 repository to cover the entire financial industry.


Are there relations with other major industry initiatives?

Given the importance of “interoperability” (see mission statement), WG10 is heavily interested in a solution that is interoperable with other major international initiatives, such as ebXML. Members of WG10 are therefore active in relevant areas of ebXML (e.g. Core Components, Methodology and Message Assembly).

WG10 is also building relations with other XML-based initiatives in the financial industry, such as FIX, FpML, MDDL and RIXML. The goal is to work with all these initiatives towards convergence of all standards related information in a single repository.


Questions about the actual use of the standard

How will ISO 15022 compliant messages be developed?

WG10 has chosen a standards development methodology that is based on business modelling. The main principle behind this approach is the fact that the business standard has to remain independent of the physical representation that will be used to transport these standards. This approach is in line with the approach that is being followed by major standards organisations, like UN/CEFACT, ebXML, eBOM, SWIFT, etc. UML (Unified Modelling Language) is promoted as the way to represent the business standards and XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language) is currently promoted as physical representation.

The standards development methodology is a three-layered approach. The first layer is the “business layer”, which focuses on getting a good understanding of the business domain and the business requirements. The second layer is the “logical layer”, which focuses on the definition of a logical (i.e. syntax-independent) standardised solution for the identified business requirements. The third layer is the “technical layer”, which focuses on the physical representation of the standardised solution (i.e. XML-messages, software).

WG10 identifies two major approaches to get to an ISO 15022 compliant standard:

         Forward engineering: this is the normal straightforward way to develop new standards, based on a thorough analysis of the business requirements.

         Reverse engineering: this is an alternative approach that is used to integrate existing standards in the ISO 15022 repository, by extracting the business information from the existing standard and by defining a corresponding set of ISO 15022 compliant standards.

All relevant standards-related information that is captured or produced during the standards development is stored in the ISO 15022 Repository, an electronic safe-storage that is maintained by the ISO 15022 Registration Authority.


How will we guarantee continuity between the first and second edition of ISO 15022

In order to ensure a maximum continuity between the first and second edition of the ISO 15022 standard there will be a period of co-existence. This period of co-existence will last until the migration to the second edition is completed. During this period the current system (based on Data Field Dictionary and Catalogue of Messages) will exist in parallel with the new system (based on the ISO 15022 Repository). The Registration Authority will maintain the information and functionality of both systems and will ensure that updates to information stored in both systems remains aligned.


What will be done to help users migrate to the ISO 15022 XML standards?

1.      In preparation to the migration, the reverse engineering approach will be applied on the message sets that are covered by the ISO 15022:1999 Data Field Dictionary and Catalogue of Messages. This will ensure that the new ISO 15022 Repository will at least cover the business functionality of the current Data Field Dictionary and Catalogue of Messages.

2.      The reverse engineering of the message sets that are covered by the ISO 15022:1999 Data Field Dictionary and Catalogue of Messages will also provide “convergence documentation”. This will support and ease the migration to the equivalent new ISO 15022 compliant message sets, based on the semantic equivalence of the information described in the business information models and message definitions. The Registration Authority will provide access to this convergence documentation, free of charge.

3.      Whenever possible, ISO 15022 subfield code words defined in the ISO 15022:1999 Data Field Dictionary and having a LIVE status will be re-used as such in the new ISO 15022 Data Dictionary.


What is convergence documentation?

Convergence documentation is a documentation set showing relations between items defined in ISO 15022 XML compliant message sets and items defined in other industry message sets (including the messages in the current Catalogue of Messages).