What is XML?

  • XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language.
  • XML was designed to store and transport data.
  • XML was designed to be both human- and machine-readable.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. The W3C's XML 1.0 Specification and several other related specifications—all of them free open standards—define XML. The design goals of XML emphasize simplicity, generality, and usability across the Internet.It is a textual data format with strong support via Unicode for different human languages. Although the design of XML focuses on documents, the language is widely used for the representation of arbitrary data structures[6] such as those used in web services. Several schema systems exist to aid in the definition of XML-based languages, while programmers have developed many application programming interfaces (APIs) to aid the processing of XML data.

Why XML?

  • XML is often used for distributing data over the Internet.
  • XML is used in many aspects of web development.
  • XML is often used to separate data from presentation.
  • XML tags are not predefined like HTML tags are
  • XML was designed to carry data - with focus on what data is
  • Most XML applications will work as expected even if new data is added (or removed)
  • XML stores data in plain text format. This provides a software- and hardware-independent way of storing, transporting, and sharing data.