Eclipse Dataspace Protocol


The Eclipse Dataspace Protocol provides a set of specifications designed to facilitate interoperable data sharing between entities governed by usage control and based on Web technologies. These specifications define the schemas and protocols required for entities to publish data, negotiate usage agreements, and access data as part of a federation of technical systems termed a dataspace.

Sharing data between autonomous entities requires the provision of metadata to facilitate the transfer of assets by making use of a data transfer (or application layer) protocol. The Eclipse Dataspace Protocol defines how this metadata is provisioned:

  1. How data assets are deployed as DCAT Catalogs and usage control is expressed as ODRL Policies.
  2. How contract agreements that govern data usage are syntactically expressed and electronically negotiated.
  3. How data assets are accessed using data transfer protocols.

These specifications build on protocols located in the ISO OSI model (ISO/IEC 7498-1:1994) layers, like HTTPS. The purpose of this specification is to define interactions between systems independent of such protocols but describing how to implement it in an unambiguous and extensible way. To do so, the messages that are exchanged during the process are described in this specification and the states and their transitions are specified as state machines, based on the key terms and concepts of a data space. On this foundation the binding to data transfer protocols, like HTTPS, is described.

The specifications are organized into the following documents:

  • Dataspace Model and Dataspace Terminology documents that define key terms.
  • Catalog Protocol and Catalog HTTPS Binding documents that define how DCAT Catalogs are published and accessed as HTTPS endpoints respectively.
  • Contract Negotiation Protocol and Contract Negotiation HTTPS Binding documents that define how contract negotiations are conducted and requested via HTTPS endpoints.
  • Transfer Process Protocol and Transfer Process HTTPS Binding documents that define how transfer processes using a given data transfer protocol are governed via HTTPS endpoints.

This specification does not cover the data transfer process as such. While the data transfer is controlled by the Transfer Process Protocol mentioned above, the data transfer itself and especially the handling of technical exceptions is an obligation to the Transport Protocol. As an implication, the data transfer can be conducted in a separated process if required, as long as this process is to the specified extend controlled by the Transfer Process Protocol.

Name Date
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Creation Review 2024-03-27
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