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Using the Time Series Directory
Beta Version

The ABS is pleased to launch the Beta release of our new Time Series Directory. We have been working to provide you with improved access to the Time Series spreadsheets. As this release is a 'Beta', its primary purpose is to identify any features that may not perform to your satisfaction.

We want to hear from you if that happens - Your feedback will help improve the Directory for ABS website visitors.


Sample Time Series Directory interface:
A sample application which consumes the Time Series Metadata XML provided by the ABS is attached below.
System Requirements:

  • Microsoft Excel 2003 or later is required to run this application
  • Internet Explorer is required to be installed on your computer
  • Ensure macros are allowed to run on your computer
Sample TSD Interface.xls

This application is for information purposes only and is not designed to be a production version. Please leave feedback in relation to this concept - and whether further development to incorporate this kind of functionality into the ABS web site would be beneficial.

For Developers:

Time Series metadata can be accessed using a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) formula. This enables access to Time Series Metadata without having to download Time Series Spreadsheets. The metadata returned is in eXtensible Markup Language (XML) format, and provides a single source of Time Series information at the granular level of individual Time Series. The information returned includes metadata already available on Time Series Spreadsheets provided on the ABS web site, as well as Statistical Product relationships and URLs to the actual spreadsheets. URL formula instructions, the XML returned and a sample application which consumes the XML can be found below.

1. Start with root url:
http://ausstats.abs.gov.au/servlet/TSSearchServlet?

2. Append any combination of parameters:
ptitle=<ptitlevalue>&ttitle=<ttitlevalue>&sid=<sidvalue>&catno=<catnovalue>&pg=<pagenumber>

Where:
ptitle=Product Title
ttitle=Table Title
Search value format:
  • each word separated by a space will be searched for in the index. So using:
ptitle=Labour Force
in the parameter list will return all series that are related to Products with 'Labour' or 'Force' in the Product Title.
  • a phrase enclosed in inverted commas will be searched for as a single value. eg.
ptitle="Labour Force"
will return all series that are related to Products with 'Labour Force' in the Product Title.
  • each value will be treated as an distinct word, unless * is used at the end of the value. So:
ttitle=count
will only return results that contain the distinct word 'count' in the Table Title. So the correct way to return all table titles that contain 'country' would be to use:
ttitle=count*
  • Only the start of independent words can be searched for. So using:
ttitle=*count*
will fail, it is not possible to prefix the value 'count' with * and receive results where the Table Title contains words like 'Accounting'
  • capitalisation is ignored
  • The query engine drops commonly occurring words like "the", "an", "a", "of", "in", etc. So:
ttitle=of
will be ignored.

sid= Series ID
catno=Catalogue/Product Number
Search value format:
  • use the complete Series ID or Catalogue/Product Number, eg.
sid=A183774X
will return only the series information for Series ID = A183774X
  • use the start of the Series ID or Catalogue/Product Number, eg.
sid=A1837*
will return series information for all series that have Series ID beginning with 'A1837'
catno=62*
will return series information for all series that relate to Product Numbers beginning with '62' such as '6202.0' and '6248.0.55.001'.
  • capitalisation is ignored

pg=Page Number
Results are returned in pages of 100 series. The number of results are displayed at the top of each xml page, eg.

<Info>Your search returned 6824 series information. If you want access to the rest please add a pg parameter to the url.</Info>
<SeriesCount>100</SeriesCount>
<NumPages>69</NumPages>
<CurPage>1</CurPage>

The default page number is 1. So adding:
pg=4
to your query parameter list will cause the series results numbered 301-400 to be displayed. <CurPage>4</CurPage> will be displayed at the top of the page 4.

3. Time Series Metadata will be returned in the following XML format. Multiple series nodes may be returned between the TimeSeriesIndex tags.

(For less than 100 series returned)

<TimeSeriesIndex>
<SeriesCount></SeriesCount>
<Series>
<ProductNumber></ProductNumber>
<ProductGroup></ProductGroup>
<ProductTitle></ProductTitle>
<ProductIssue></ProductIssue>
<ProductReleaseDate></ProductReleaseDate>
<ProductURL></ProductURL>
<TableURL></TableURL>
<TableTitle></TableTitle>
<Description></Description>
<Unit></Unit>
<SeriesType></SeriesType>
<DataType</DataType>
<Frequency></Frequency>
<CollectionMonth></CollectionMonth>
<SeriesStart></SeriesStart>
<SeriesEnd></SeriesEnd>
<NoObs></NoObs>
<SeriesID></SeriesID>
</Series>
</TimeSeriesIndex>

(For more than 100 series returned)

<TimeSeriesIndex>
<Info>Your search returned x series information. If you want access to the rest please add a pg parameter to the url.</Info>
<SeriesCount></SeriesCount>
<NumPages></NumPages>
<CurPage></CurPage>
<SeriesCount></SeriesCount>
<Series>
<ProductNumber></ProductNumber>
<ProductGroup></ProductGroup>
<ProductTitle></ProductTitle>
<ProductIssue></ProductIssue>
<ProductReleaseDate></ProductReleaseDate>
<ProductURL></ProductURL>
<TableURL></TableURL>
<TableTitle></TableTitle>
<TableOrder></TableOrder>
<Description></Description>
<Unit></Unit>
<SeriesType></SeriesType>
<DataType</DataType>
<Frequency></Frequency>
<CollectionMonth></CollectionMonth>
<SeriesStart></SeriesStart>
<SeriesEnd></SeriesEnd>
<NoObs></NoObs>
<SeriesID></SeriesID>
</Series>
</TimeSeriesIndex>

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