Canonical, in computer science, is the standard state or behavior of an attribute. This term is borrowed from mathematics, where it is used to refer to concepts that are unique and/or natural. Also known as canonicity or canonicality.
The term canonical depicts the standard state or manner of something. For instance, the XML signature defines canonicalization as a process to convert XML content to canonical form. In enterprise application integration, on the other hand, the canonical model is a design pattern that is used to communicate between different data formats where another format, the canonical format, is introduced.
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