Installing and Configuring LDDTool

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LDDTool is the Java-based tool that takes an input XML document (using the <Ingest_LDD> structure found in the PDS4 master schema) and converts it into the various types of structured files used to define, document, and use a local data dictionary in PDS4 labels. This tool is now being hosted on the NASA GitHub: This site includes older versions as well.

Update in Progress: An update of this page has begun for the latest release of the LDDTool (compatible with the version of the IM).

Previous update for tool version 8.0.0 (Information Model version 2018-03-11, A. Raugh


A local data dictionary is a set of schema files that define a namespace that is under the control of someone other than the PDS4 managers. It includes the PDS discipline dictionaries for things like display orientation and geometry, as well as node- and mission-specific dictionaries. There are web-based and GUI-based tools in development at various places to help users who prefer to do dictionary development in an web/GUI environment - ask your friendly, neighborhood PDS node consultant what's currently available if that's what you're looking for. These pages are for the roll-your-own crowd that either prefers or has no choice but to work at the command line and see how the sausage is made.

Caveat Usor

Be advised: There is a moderate amount of hands-on setup work required to get the LDDTool working in your local environment the way you want it to. And because this tool is updated for each new model release and to accommodate the sometimes complex needs of the discipline dictionaries still in development, you will likely have to repeat this process with each new release for the foreseeable future. We'll try to keep this page updated to reflect the latest version of the tool. Feel free to add additional information about LDDTool versions or OS versions not specifically mentioned here. Contact Anne Raugh at the Small Bodies Node for permission to edit this Wiki if you don't have it already. Thanks!


Our goal in this set of pages is to start with the LDDTool installation package and end up with the tool installed for general use on the target system. "General use" in this case means you can invoke the tool in any directory where you happen to be working with a command line that looks something like this:

    % lddtool -lp <input_file>

Part List

To run the LDDTool locally, you'll need the following:

  • Java 1.7 or later. Type "java -version" at your command line to see what version of Java, if any, you have available. If you don't have Java installed, or want to work with a later version than what is currently installed, you'll usually need administrator privileges on your computer to download and install a newer version from the Oracle web site (if you want to install it for all users for all purposes, that is). Java 1.7 and later include a handy feature that will help with configuration later on, so if you're still running a (relatively) ancient version, you now have one more reason to upgrade.
  • A text editor that can handle simple text files without filling them up with stupid control characters. On linux-based systems, things like vi, pico, or gedit will work; from the Windows DOS command line, you can use the edit command on older systems (pre-Windows7), or Notepad (which can be invoked from the Windows command line as notepad) on newer ones.
  • An XML editor, while optional, will make editing the input file much easier. A schema-aware editor like Eclipse (open source) or oXygen (commercial) can be very handy for one-off file creation and editing. The files created by LDDTool should not require further editing, but can be viewed and edited in the same text editor used for the lddtool batch file/script editing, should the need or desire arise.

General Procedure

Here's the general procedure for setting up the tool:

  1. Unzip the LDDTool package.
  2. Move the directories you actually need to run the tool to a permanent location.
  3. Edit the batch file or script for the local environment.
  4. Install the batch file or script.
  5. Test the installation with the supplied sample files.
  6. Rejoice in the knowledge of a job well done.


Unzip the LDDTool Package

Use any standard ZIP tool (unzip on linux-based systems; the Extract All option in Windows Explorer) to extract the files from the ZIP package. For the tar file, use the z option to uncompress while you extract. You should end up with a directory with a name that starts with lddtool- and ends with the version number of the tool. As of this writing, the latest version of the tool is 11.3.1, so the delivery package unpacks into a directory called lddtool-11.3.1. You can unpack it anywhere - we'll move the stuff we need to a new home once we've picked one out. If you haven't inspected previous LDDTool delivery packages, you should probably take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the contents.

Here's what you'll find in the unpacked directory:


The executable elements of the package include:

You'll actually only need one of the files from this directory, but you'll have to carry the directory along nonetheless. We'll be modifying one of these scripts to work on your local system, and then installing just that modified file into an LDDTool-specific bin/ directory.
These files are referenced directly by the LDDTool java code, so it needs to be present.
This directory contains only the DMDocument.jar jar file, which contains the actual Java code.


The doc subdirectory contains an HTML directory tree. Point your browser to the index.html file to see it in its intended format. There are brief summary instructions for installation and usage in the nominal case.


This directory seems to contain an old set of files for the Display Dictionary, as it was built for the version of the IM. Not sure why it's here - I think there have been changes in the Ingest_LDD structure that would make this file incompatible with the current version, but feel free to try it out. The result should be similar, but not quite identical.


Like packing peanuts, these files are included in the ZIP but are not, as far as I have found, particularly useful once the package is opened:

  • LICENSE.txt: Standard boilerplate license (JPL employees produced this code, and JPL is part of the California Institute of Technology)
  • README.txt: This file just directs you to the doc/index.html file.
  • export/ : This directory appears to contain dumps of the PDS4 core namespace in various different formats.
  • Extract/ : Seems to contain a stub text file for ... something.
  • Model_DataDictionary/ : Not as interesting as its title would suggest; this file appears to contain dumps of the PDS4 IM in the format used by the Protege database.
  • SchemasXML4/ : This directory contains a copy of the current IM core schema files. Handy if you don't already have a local PDS4 schema tree but want to use a schema-aware editor to create your LDDTool input file.

Install the Executable and Support Directories

Unless you're seriously hardcore, you will be running LDDTool by invoking a batch file or script (depending on your OS). This batch file/script sets up some environment variables and then calls Java with the appropriate Java options and arguments needed to run the DMDocument.jar file with the options and arguments passed on from the wrapper script. There is a lot of optioning and argumenting involved in that whole process - thus the batch file/script.

Note: The classes in the DMDocument.jar file read all the environment variables set by the batch file/script, and also contain hard-coded references to the Data subdirectory in the installation tree. So wherever you install LDDTool, you're going to need to preserve the delivery tree structure for the bin/, lib/, and Data/ subdirectories - and the executable batch file/script must be physically located in that bin/ directory.

Choosing an Installation Location

On linux-based multi-user systems, you can install LDDTool for general use by all users either by installing into one of the standard locations (/usr/share, for example), or in shared disk space. If the latter, users wanting to execute LDDTool will likely have to add the appropriate location to their $PATH setting. Alternately, you can install it into your own ~/bin/ directory for personal use. Note that if you haven't created or used a personal ~/bin/ directory before, you may have to add it to your $PATH to use it.

In any event, on a linux-based system you will ultimately have to choose one of these options:

  1. Add the lddtool-[version]/bin directory to your $PATH; which requires editing your shell resource file; or
  2. Create a link to lddtool-[version]/bin/lddtool in a directory already in your $PATH, which requires an additional edit to the lddtool wrapper script; or
  3. Type the full, absolute path to the lddtool script every time you want to run it.

On Windows systems, you can install LDDTool into the "Program Files\" directory for general use (this may require admin privileges), or in your own directory space for personal use. You will likely have to modify %PATH% setting information to make the lddtool.bat executable visible to users without requiring a complete path specification to run the batch file. More on that later.

What to Copy/Move

Create a directory in your chosen installation location to hold the LDDTool tree. You can name this lddtool, or include a version number, or rename it anything convenient. The name of this directory is not significant to the code.

Under this directory, copy over the entire contents of the lib/ and Data/ directories from the installation package. You will also need to create a bin/ directory, into which you should copy either the lddtool linux script or the lddtool.bat Windows batch file, as appropriate for your environment. For linux users, you will likely also have to make the lddtool script executable.

At this point you may also want to copy over the contents of the doc/ directory, for easy reference. I also copy the README.TXT and LICENSE.TXT files from the root of the install package into this directory, just in case I want to find them again later.

Edit the Wrapper Script/Batch File

The lddtool script (linux) or lddtool.bat file (Windows) is used to run the tool. This file will need to be edited to conform to the installation environment. Any simple text editor can do the job.

Windows Batch File lddtool.bat

You'll likely want or need to make a couple changes to this file. Lines beginning with '::' are comments - feel free to add more.

The first executable line in the file is:

@echo off

which stops the shell from printing every executable line to your command window when you run the batch file. Comment this line out if you're trying to trouble-shoot something.

Immediately after the "@echo off" line, you should probably add this line:


This makes sure that any variables that are set by this script do not permanently overwrite any environment variables with the same name that might have already existed for other reasons.

Following the next set of comments you'll see the (uncommented) lines that check whether the %JAVA_HOME% environment variable is already set, and if it isn't, sets it. See the Finding and Setting JAVA_HOME page on this wiki for detailed steps to check the variable and find the right value to insert here if the variable is not already set.

The last executable line in the script before the :END statement looks like this:

"%JAVA_HOME%"\bin\java -jar "%DMDOC_JAR%" %*

Remove the quotes from around %JAVA_HOME%. If they were needed to set the value, then they are already part of the string and the additional quotes will cause a syntax error.

Paths with embedded blanks and extra sets of quotes can cause failures, frequently with messages about unexpected information or invalid paths. If you see that sort of message when you test the batch file, comment out the @echo off line so you can see where the script is failing, and you may have to add or remove quotes on that line (or an earlier line) to adjust for the actual paths in your environment.

Linux lddtool script

If your $JAVA_HOME environment variable is not already set, you will need to edit the export JAVA_HOME line to set it. See the Finding and Setting JAVA_HOME page on this wiki for gory details.

Note: The lddtool wrapper script is written to be run in the Bourne shell, so use Bourne shell syntax to set JAVA_HOME in the script, regardless of what your login shell is.

If you're planning to add lddtool to an existing bin/ directory (as opposed to adding a new element to your $PATH to access the tool) you'll need to edit one additional line in the lddtool wrapper - the line beginning export PARENT_DIR (line 34 in the current distribution). Replace the back ticks (`) and everything inside them with the absolute path to the LDDTool installation directory (without ticks or quotes).

Now make the lddtool script file executable, and you're ready to test it.


To make sure the batch file or script can properly invoke the tool, you can run it from its bin/ directory home. At the command prompt (Windows or Linux) do:

  lddtool -v

The response should look something like this:

  LDDTool Version: 11.3.1
  Built with IM Version:
  Build Date: 2020-05-21 21:02:39

The LDDTool Version number here should correspond to the version number in the name of the ZIP or tar file you installed from.

Once you have had some experience with running LDDTool and tried out some of the other options available, you may want to further modify the script or batch file to automatically include certain options, provide a standard output file redirect, and otherwise customize tool behavior. Knock yourself out.

Install the Wrapper Script/Batch File

Assuming, of course, that you don't want to do all your dictionary work in the LDDTool bin/ directory, the last step is making sure you can invoke lddtool from wherever you will be working. For Windows users this will almost certainly mean adding a new directory to your %PATH% environment variable. Linux users have the option of adding a link in a directory already in their command path to the lddtool script wherever it lives.

You can, of course, always execute the script/batch file by using its full, absolute path on the command line. For ease of use, though, most people prefer to have their executables available in their path.

Setting Windows %PATH%

If you only want to add the lddtool.bat location to your path temporarily, say for testing, you can enter something like this at the command prompt:

    C:>set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Users\LDDTool\bin

where C:\Users\LDDTool\bin should be replaced with whatever the full path is to your LDDTool bin/ directory. This appends the path you provide to the current value of the %PATH% variable. You will need to use double quotes around the path you are adding if it contains embedded blanks.

If you'd like to add the LDDTool path to your default %PATH% once and for all, you can follow the instructions on this page for your particular flavor of Windows:

Setting Linux-based $PATH

The method used for adding a directory to your current PATH varies based on the shell you use. The Bourne shell requires an assignment followed by an export command to make the new path visible to programs you run:

   % PATH=$PATH:/usr/share/LDDTool/bin
   % export PATH

or this shortcut should also work:

   % export PATH=$PATH:/usr/share/LDDTool/bin

where /usr/share/LDDTool/bin is replaced with the full path to the LDDTool installation tree bin/ directory.

For C-shell and related shells, use a setenv command:

   % setenv PATH $PATH":/usr/share/LDDTool/bin"

or the set command:

  % set PATH=($PATH /usr/share/LDDTool/bin)

For either type of shell, you can do this at the command line before beginning your work with LDDTool, or you can add the lines to your shell resource file so it's already there every time you log on.

If you don't know what any of this means, it is time to seek out your friendly, neighborhood Linux programmer and ask, or try Googling "Setting environment variables" for your particular operating system.

Linux Alternative to Extending $PATH: Links

So far, at least, as long as the lddtool script is physically located in the LDDTool installation tree as described previously, you can create a link to the script from some more convenient place so that you don't have to modify your $PATH just to run lddtool. You'll need to have write permission to some directory already in your path. You can do this in your own ~/bin/ directory, for example (assuming it's already in your path).

To do this, simply create a link to the lddtool script from the directory already in your path. Say, for example, that the LDDTool tree is in your home directory and is called LDDTool:

   % ls ~/LDDTool
   bin            Data           doc            lib

Create a link to the ~/LDDTool/bin/lddtool file in the ~/bin/ directory thus:

   % cd ~/bin
   % ln ~/LDDtool/bin/lddtool

If you want to start using lddtool immediately in the same shell window, you will have to source your shell resource file to force it to re-read your path contents. Apart from that rare circumstance, lddtool should be in your path every time you start a new shell from now on.

A similar method can be employed (by users with sufficient privileges) to create a link in an existing system bin/ directory for general use.

Mac Users Note

Mac users should be aware of a minor but possibly annoying detail when defining aliases. The Mac flavor of Linux, while allowing mixed-case file names, does not consider case significant when comparing file names. So if, for example, you decided to install LDDTool into ~/bin/LDDTool, and then tried to create a link called "lddtool" to ~/bin/LDDtool/bin/lddtool in the same directory, you'd get an error message telling you a file by that name already exists.

To get around this you can, of course, move the LDDTool tree; or you can give the link a different name using the second argument to the ln command:

   % ln ~/bin/LDDTool/bin/lddtool makeldd

Now to invoke the lddtool script, you would use the makeldd alias, e.g.:

   % makeldd -lpM IngestLDDtool.xml

I haven't actually tested whether or not you can rename the LDDTool directory itself. If you do try that and have anything to report, let me know...

Test the Installation

Once you think you've got the LDDTool executables tucked into their homes, you should test the installation and configuration. You can use the File:LDDTool 701 for testing if you don't have an input file of your own yet.

Aliveness Test

To test whether you can successfully invoke the executable, try getting the help listing. This command:

lddtool -h

Should produce something like this:

Usage: lddtool -pl [OPTION]... FILE1 FILE2 ...
Parse a local data dictionary definition file and generate PDS4 data standard files.

Example: lddtool -pl  inputFileName

Process control:
  -p, --PDS4      Set the context to PDS4
  -l, --LDD       Process a local data dictionary input file
  -a, --attribute Write definitions for attribute elements.
  -c, --class     Write definitions for class elements.
  -J, --JASON     Write the master data dictionary to a JASON formatted file.
  -m, --merge     Generate file to merge the local dictionary into the master dictionary
  -M, --Mission   Indicates mission level governance (includes msn directory specification)
  -n, --nuance    Write nuance property maps to LDD schema annotation in JASON
  -s, --sync      Use local namespace + information model version as output file names.
  -1, --IM Spec   Write the Information Model Specification with LDD.
  -v, --version   Returns the LDDTool version number
  -h, --help      Print this message

Input control:
  FILEn provides the file name of an input file. The file name extension .xml is assumed.
    If there are more than one file, the first files are considered references
    for the last file. The last file is considered the primary local data dictionary.

Output control:
  FILE is used to provide the file name for the output files. The file name extensions are distinct.
  .xsd -- XML Schema file
  .sch -- schematron file
  .xml -- label file
  .csv -- data dictionary information in csv formatted file.
  .JSON -- dump of model in JSON format.
  .txt -- process report in text format
  .pont -- ontology file for merge

Note: There is more wrong than right in the "Process Information" section displayed. Ignore it and use the information provided by the Running LDDTool and Verifying the Output page on this wiki instead.

Alternately, you can view the version number for the executable:

lddtool -v

which should produce something like this:

LDDTOOL Version:

Anything else indicates a configuration error of some sort. Re-check your paths and script/batch file editing and try again. If you can't resolve the problem yourself, contact your local PDS consultant for additional assistance. If you haven't got a PDS consultant to call your own yet, you can contact the PDS Engineering node, or Anne Raugh - the author of this wiki - as "raugh" at the Small Bodies Node at the University of Maryland (""). Please provide the failing file(s) and as much detail as possible.

Running LDDTool on the Example Files

If you haven't already, download the File:LDDTool 1900 package from this wiki, and unzip it into a working directory. This package contains some example Ingest_LDD input files that demonstrate dictionary creation techniques. The package contains output files from running lddtool to generate the included schemas - you probably want to stow those somewhere to compare them to what you are about to create.

The input dictionary files are called "IngestLDD_Example_Attributes.xml" and "IngestLDD_Example_Classes.xml". To invoke lddtool to duplicate the output files included in the package, do:

lddtool -lpM IngestLDD_Example_Attributes.xml > IngestLDD_Attributes.out


lddtool -lpM IngestLDD_Example_Classes.xml > IngestLDD_Classes.out

The commands above redirect the information that would normally scroll by on your screen to the .out file so you can examine it at your leisure and compare it to the version provided in the package. It is also where errors detected by lddtool are reported.

Expected Results

The example lddtool command above will generate a total of five output files in addition to the .out listing file. The files will all have the same lddtool-generted names but different extensions. Here are those extensions, in approximate order of usefulness:

  • .xsd: This is the XML Schema file that you will reference in your labels when you want to use classes from this dictionary.
  • .sch: This is the Schematron file that you will also reference in your labels when you want to use classes from this dictionary.
  • .csv: This is a CSV-formatted summary of the dictionary contents. You might find this a useful way to review the results if you're averse to reading schema and don't have labels already written to exercise the newly-produced schemas. You might also find this to be a useful file for passing to reviewers who want to see class and attribute definitions - though maybe with a little editing first.
  • .xml: This is a label for the XML Schema and Schematron files; probably only useful as a template. SBN strongly recommends that rather than creating a label from scratch each time, you modify an existing label at reasonable intervals in order to maintain a <Modification_History> within the label that accurately reflects the development history of the dictionary (as any other product label should for an archival product). At the very least, the schema label should be modified to identify the unique origin and application of the dictionary files it describes. Trying to get the unmodified label produced here through an SBN review is unlikely to be successful.

Checking for Success

If you compare the output files from the above commands to what came in the example zip file, you should see differences in date stamps and local paths, but otherwise nothing else. Mage sure your option string is -lpM (lowercase letter "ell", uppercase letter "em"), or you will get a slightly different set of output files or a different namespace definition in the output schemas.

If you run the tool on your own input file, the first thing to check is the program output listing, which will scroll past on your screen if you don't redirect it to a file. The last line of that listing should look like this:

   >>info    - LDDTOOL Exit

This indicates at least some measure of success. Depending on how complex your input file is, there will be a few dozen to a few hundred "INFO" lines containing messages about various override conditions. This is normal. It should not contain any "ERROR" lines or lines beginning with ">>error". These indicate some sort of failure. There will likely also be two "WARNING" lines that look like this:

   WARNING  Header:  - New steward has been specified:sbn
   WARNING  Header:  - New namespace id has been specified:ex

unless you are updating a dictionary that is already known to LDDTool. Other "WARNING" statements, however, are problematic and should be investigated.

Once you've verified expected output, you should be good to go.

Common Failures

The common failures encountered at this point come from system references not resolving. Here are the most likely suspects:

Cannot find DMDocument jar file in [some directory]

This error is reported back to the command line by the lddtool wrapper, which checks for the existence of the DMDocument.jar file before invoking java on it. If you haven't previously set PARENT_DIR in the wrapper to point to the LDDTool installation directory, do so (in some environments this may be required even if you're using the default configuration). If you have already modified PARENT_DIR, search it for typos. The PARENT_DIR directory must contain a lib/ subdirectory, which in turn must contain the DMDocument.jar file.
You'll also get this message if there is a typo in the lib/ subdirectory name or DMDocument.jar name (case counts).

>>error - Required data file was not found: [some path to an XML file]

This will show up as the last line in your listing if you forgot to include the Data/ subdirectory of the LDDTool distribution in your installation LDDTool directory tree. Spelling and case count, so if you're on a linux-based system and accidentally changed "Data" to "data", for example, you'll get this message.

/bin/java: No such file or directory (This is the linux version of this error)

Messages like this are reported to the command line and indicate that the JAVA_HOME setting either failed or points to the wrong place. If there's a typo in the JAVA_HOME setting, you might also see characters before "/bin/java" indicating what the script thinks JAVA_HOME was set to. The JAVA_HOME directory must contain a bin/ subdirectory, which in turn must contain the java executable.

[usage info dump]

If you get a dump of lddtool usage information when you run the test command on the example file, look at the very top - there's probably an error waiting for you. Make sure you spelled the input file name correctly and included the required "-lp" option set.