VOTable is an XML-based format for tabular data endorsed by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance and defined in the VOTable Recommendation. While the tabular data which can be encoded is by design close to what FITS allows, it provides for much richer encoding of structure and metadata. Most of the table data exchanged by VO services is in VOTable format, but it can be used for local table storage as well.
When a table is saved to VOTable format, a document conforming to the
VOTable specification containing a single TABLE element within
a single RESOURCE element is written.
Where the table contains such information
(often obtained by reading an input VOTable),
column and table metadata will be written out as appropriate to
and the elements
attached to table columns or parameters.
There are various ways that a VOTable can be written;
by default the output serialization format is TABLEDATA
and the VOTable format version is 1.4, or a value controlled
votable.version system property.
However, configuration options are available to adjust these defaults.
The handler behaviour may be modified by specifying
one or more comma-separated name=value configuration options
in parentheses after the handler name, e.g.
The following options are available:
format = TABLEDATA|BINARY|BINARY2|FITS
version = V10|V11|V12|V13|V14|V15
V10" is version 1.0 etc.
inline = true|false
compact = true|false|null
encoding = UTF-8|UTF-16|...
Multiple tables may be written to a single output file using this format.
If no output format is explicitly chosen,
writing to a filename with
the extension "
.votable" or "
.xml" (case insensitive)
votable format for output.