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FileVault Document View (DocView) Format


FileVault uses a slightly different format than the Document View specified by JCR 2.0. In general all nodes that cannot be serialized as plain directories or as plain files are serialized into DocView XML files. If the node can only be partially mapped to a directory or file, it will be accompanied with a .content.xml containing the residual content.

For example, a full coverage content tree, starting at the node example will be serialized into an example.xml file, using the (FileVault) DocView format.

For example, a sling:Folder node, named libs will be serialized into a directory libs and a libs/.content.xml file, using the (FileVault) DocView format.

Also see the Vault FS article about this.

Deviations from the JCR Document View

Root Element

The root element of the FileVault DocView is always jcr:root no matter of the node name it serializes. Because the node name is implicitly given by either the file name or the directory name, it would be redundant to repeat the node name in the document.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<jcr:root xmlns:sling="" xmlns:jcr=""

As by that the filename implicitly sets the root element name, its namespace is also supposed to be declared in the XML in case it is using a prefix. This is similar to all other elements in the XML.

Empty Elements

The deserialization treats empty elements different than the default JCR 2.0 DocView Import, as empty elements never create a new node in the repository but are merely used to define the child node sort order. Nodes/properties below empty elements will never be removed during import (JCRVLT-251)

Property Values

The probably biggest different to the JCR 2.0 DocView is the handling of the property values. All properties are serialized as XML attributes as in JCR, but their values have the property type encoded. The format of the attribute value is:

property-value := [ "{" property-type "}" ] ( value | "[" [ value { "," value } ] "]"

If no type is specified, it defaults to STRING. As types all arguments accepted by PropertyType.valueFromName(String) are valid. This is all strings defined by the constants whose names start with TYPENAME_ in PropertyType and BinaryRef for binary reference values (see below).

Multi-value properties contain the values as comma-separated list enclosed by [ and ]. The special value \0 must be used to for a singleton multi-value property containing only the empty string.


Type Value Serialized
String “Hello, world!” “Hello, world!”
Long 42 “{Long}42”
Boolean true “{Boolean}true”
Double[] {1.0, 2.5, 3.0} “{Double}[1.0,2.5,3.0]”

Binary Properties

In contrast to JCR 2.0 DocView binary properties are not supported inline via base64 encoding. Instead either a dedicated .binary file must be used or a regular file aggregate which sets the jcr:content/jcr:data binary property implicitly.

Only for binary values which also implement org.apache.jackrabbit.api.ReferenceBinary the string identifier of the binary reference is optionally given directly inside in a FileVault DocView (JCR-3534). This only happens in case the package property useBinaryReferences is set to true. Package imports use this approach whenever a binary reference property in FileVault DocView XML is found (with property-type = BinaryRef). This only works if the source and the destination repository of the package share the same data store.

Empty binary attributes (with values "{Binary}") will always leave the according property in the repository untouched during import (in case such a property already exists). Every other value for binary properties leads to an exception.


The raw attribute value is escaped in order to preserve the special semantics:

Character Escape Sequence Comment
\ \\
, \, Only necessary for multi-value properties
[ \[ Only necessary at the start of single-value properties
{ \{ Only necessary at the start of single-value properties
invalid xml character \uXXXX Unicode code points
<empty string> \0 Only necessary within singleton multi-value properties to indicate an empty string item (JCRVLT-4).

Please note, that this escaping only concerns the raw attribute value. If the value contains characters that cannot be used in XML attributes, like quotes ", the according XML entities need to be used.