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The Catalog Tool has been designed to replace several tools that have been utilized over the years to support the PDS3 catalog submission process. Besides simplifying the process by consolidating tools, it also provides consistency in handling of catalog files because the application is built on top of the Product Tools Library which provides reusable APIs for parsing and validating PDS product labels. The following diagram details the flow of the catalog submission process:

Catalog Activity

The catalog submission process is divided into three steps:

  • Preparation of the catalog files by Data Engineers at the Discipline Nodes (DNs)

  • During this step the DN Data Engineers are encouraged to utilize the Compare and Validate modes of the application. The Compare mode enables the user to compare a single catalog file with another or a set of catalog files with another set (assuming they are like-named). The Validate mode performs the same validation as the Validation Tool (VTool) but also includes checks for referential integrity. The referential integrity check helps to ensure that the catalog submission is internally consistent. Details on the types of checks performed can be found in the Referential Integrity Checking section. If viewing this document in PDF form, see the appendix for details.

  • Validation of the catalog files and generation of ancillary information by Data Engineers at the Engineering Node (EN)

  • During this step the EN Data Engineers also utilize the Compare and Validate modes of the application. By utilizing the same tool to accomplish these tasks, we should be able to reduce the back-and-forth between the EN and DN's during the submission process.

  • Ingestion of the catalog files into the Registry Service by the Operations staff at the Engineering Node

  • During this step the EN Operator utilizes the Ingest mode to ingest the catalog submission. Although this mode is generally available to users of the application, only the EN Operator is authorized to perform ingestions into the Registry Service. Although it has not been incorporated into the tool yet, there is a post-ingestion referential integrity check against the registry that is performed. This will be included in a future release of Catalog Tool.


The following diagram details the inputs and outputs for Catalog Tool:

Catalog Interfaces

The inputs and outputs for the tool are described below.


The application allows the specification of a target or targets for each of the modes. In the Compare mode, the first target specified is compared against the second target. In the Validate and Ingest modes, the specified targets are taken as a whole and considered the catalog submission.

The application also allows the user to import multiple PDS compliant data dictionaries for use during the Validate mode. The assumption is that the user will load one instance of the Planetary Science Data Dictionary (PSDD) and any number of local data dictionaries appropriate for the design session. In this case, the tool will validate the contents of the data dictionary files. The latest PSDD can be downloaded from the Data Dictionary page on the PDS web site at

In order to perform referential integrity checking against references contained in the catalog files, the application allows the user to import the Allrefs file. This file contains the listing of all references contained in the PDS catalog database. The latest version of this file is also available for download from the the Data Dictionary page on the PDS web site. The link to the file can be found in the menu bar on the left hand side of the page.


Each mode of the application (Compare, Validate, Ingest) produces a report in a slightly different format. The Operation section provides details on these reports and links to example reports. If viewing this document in PDF form, see the appendix for the actual examples.

The other major output of this application is the ingestion of the catalog submission into the Registry Service. This interface utilizes the REST-based API provided by the Registry Service.

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