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The referenceLink element defines a hyperlink as the realization of a Reference Property in the Data Structure bound to the containing resource.  A Reference Link also enables hyperlinks to be decorated with selected properties from the referenced Data Structure. Decorated hyperlinks mean that clients can obtain key properties of the referenced Data Structure without having to traverse the hyperlink to the target resource.


referenceLink > <reference-property-name>

[targetResource <target-resource>]

[(targetProperties <target-properties>) | (linkDescriptor <link-descriptor>)]

[linkRelation <link-relation>]


// Explicit Reference Link to default target resource

referenceLink > taxpayer

// Target resource and properties explicitly specified

referenceLink > taxpayer

targetResource PersonObject2





linkRelation about

// Using linkDescriptor defined in targetResource to select target properties

referenceLink > taxpayer

targetResource PersonObject2

linkDescriptor EssentialProperties


Field Name




SName(Reference Property)

The name of the Reference Property to be realized as a hyperlink.


QName(Collection Resource or Object Resource)

A reference to an Object Resource or Collection Resource designated as the target of the hyperlink.  The target resource MUST be bound to the same Data Structure as the Reference Property.


List(SName(Primitive Property))

A delimited list of Primitive Property names, each of which MUST be defined in the referenced Data Structure.  A Reference Link MAY specify <target-properties> or a <link-descriptor>, but not both.


SName(Link Descriptor)

The name of a Link Descriptor to be applied to this Reference Link.  The referenced Link Descriptor MUST be defined within the target resource.  The <link-descriptor> parameter MAY be used only if the <target-resource> is explicitly specified, and MUST NOT be used in combination with <target-properties>.


SName(Built-in Link Relation) or QName(User-defined Link Relation)

A reference to a Built-in or User-defined link relation that describes the semantics of the link.

Child Elements


Parent Elements

Collection Resource
Object Resource
Reference Embed


Reference Properties will be hyperlinked by default if there is an available default resource bound to the referenced Data Structure, and having the required multiplicity.  See Automatic Linking and Embedding for more information.

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