What Does Canonical Mean?

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.

Techopedia Explains Canonical

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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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…