IVOA Resource Registry Working Group Home


Current Activity

Standards Evolution

The following pages collect ideas, new features, specification bugs, and the like for our current standards:

What is it?

A review article on the registry says: "[T]he Registry provides the mechanism with which users and applications discover and select resources -- typically, data and services -- that are relevant for a particular scientific problem."

The Registry is the data source feeding numerous in-application interfaces (e.g., the information you get in TOPCAT's VO service selectors gets pulled from the Registry) as well as some dedicated Registry clients (see the "Browse the Registry" section on the IVOA Software page..

The Registry is built from data provided by the publishers, who define a rich set of metadata for their services and put that up on publishing registries. Operators of searchable registries pull that information regularly and run interfaces to query it. Put succinctly: The Registry is what brings data publishers and data users together.

How do I use it?

You probably already have -- VO applications letting you search for services or perform all-VO searches build on Registry content. For more demanding discovery work, you can use several interfaces, e.g., GAVO's WIRR (which includes a SAMP interface to pass on discovered resources to desktop clients) or the more google-like US-VAO Searchable Registry at STScI. Also see the "Browse the Registries" part of the IVOA application directory.

For programmatic access, you will want a TAP client (with sync querying, which should be plenty enough for Registry queries, generic HTTP libraries will do) and skim over the RegTAP standard.

How do I get in?

This is a longer story; see GettingIntoTheRegistry.

If you have tutorials, jupyter notebooks, worked-out use cases or similar material useful for educational/self-study purposes, please see RegisteringDocuments.

How We Operate and How to Join

We coordinate our activities as a Working Group of the IVOA; apart from this wiki and the VO-wide version control system Volute, our main means of communication is the Registry WG's mailing list; you can subscribe and inspect archives from our mailing list landing page.

The most visible output of the RWG are the specification documents. For us, these govern how IVOA registries operate both between themselves and toward data providers and data users; they are what lets all sorts of clients work with services operated by different parties, and what lets the searchable registries easily obtain information from many different publishers.

The most useful output of this group are the actual implementations of the specifications. See the links below for how to find some if you need to or head for the Registry of Registries right away..

All interested are welcome to participate in any of the our activities. Here are some things you can do to "join" the working group (listed roughly from easiest to hardest):

  1. Subscribe to the registry mailing list and participate in the discussion.
  2. Create a TWiki Login for yourself so that you provide comments on specification documents.
  3. Make text contributions to ongoing specification document authoring, or volunteer to take up editorship of a new spec.
  4. Get involved in a registry-related application development project. This might either be an implementation of a registry itself or an application that uses registries.


Membership of this working group is informal as people and projects come and go. See above for information on how to 'join' the working group. Basically: If you want to be part of the RWG, you are.

RenaudSavalle (PADC, Paris Observatory) is currently is chairing the working group, with TessJaffe (NASA, GSFC) as vice-chair. Both will be happy to answer Registry-related questions (though, again, you are welcome to post on our mailing list).

Previously, TheresaDower (USVAO) was chairing the working group, with Pierre le Sidaner as a vice-chair.

Some Links

For registry providers, the centeral Registry of Registries (RofR) lists VO registries; this can be used to seed searches for active registries.

Some sites offering Registry content:

RegTAP endpoints (for client programs and advanced users writing queries in ADQL):

Some Registry-related references:

  • RegistryNamespaces - a list of generally agreed-upon XML namespaces for describing Registry resources.


Most of our face-to-face activity takes place during IVOA Interoperabiltiy Meetings. To see what happened, from IVOAEvents go to the program pages of the Interops and follow the link to the Registry session(s). Slides for most talks in the sessions are online.

Let us stress that there's no real substitute for actually coming to an Interop and talk to the other Registry enthusiasts.

Related Work


The "primary key" to the VO Registry are our identifiers, the IVOID. The separate ResourceIdentifier page tracks work on those.

Astronomy Visualization Metadata (AVM)

The OutreachMetadata page collects discussion related generally to outreach metadata and specifically to a standard in development for tagging graphics images intended for outreach with astronomical metadata.

Writing a Registry record for a standard

With StandardsRegExt we have a way to register IVOA standards. This is a good idea in particular if the standard defines identifiers (e.g., for standardID). However, for consistency even standards that do not need such identifiers should provide a registry record for consistency.

See WriteAStandardsRecord for details.

Errata Pages for our Standards

TAPRegExt-1_0-Errata Identifiers-2_0-Errata RegistryInterfaces-1_1-Errata StandardsRegExt-1_0-Errata SimpleDALRegExt-1_1-Errata VOResource-1_1-Errata VODataService-1_1-Errata RegTAP-1_0-Errata

Deprecated Pages

The following links were created as part of RWG activity but have fallen into disuse:

ResourceIdentifiers RegistryMetadata RegistryQuery RegistryResponse ResourceHierarchy RegistryLocation RegistrySynchronisation RegistryExtension RegistryImplmentation RegistryWorkingGroup

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Topic revision: r123 - 2024-05-14 - TessJaffe
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