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XML Schema allows you to create new types by restricting the possible values of an XML Schema simple type. For example, you can define a simple type, SSN, which is a string of exactly nine characters. New types defined by restricting simple types are defined using a simpleType element.

The definition of a type by restriction requires three things:

Example 3.15 shows an example of a simple type, SSN, which represents a social security number. The resulting type is a string of the form xxx-xx-xxxx. <SSN>032-43-9876<SSN> is a valid value for an element of this type, but <SSN>032439876</SSN> is not.

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