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What is the purpose of BASE.xml file located at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\XML\BASE.xml

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It is used for defining Sharepoint base list types (Document library etc).

Edit

Found the current MSDN documentation

Here is the snippet regarding Base.xml:

BASE.XML: Provides the schemas used in creating the Lists, Documents, and UserInfo tables in the database when a new site is provisioned.

The link also provides documentation for all of the other Major CAML files.

Good to know:

With the exception of DocIcon.xml, Microsoft does not support modifying any of the built-in files that are installed with SharePoint Foundation. In most cases, you can supplement or override the effects of these files with files of your own.

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