What is XML?

Extensible markup language (XML) stands for a markup language. What is that? It’s a collection of codes, sometimes known as tags, that define the text in a digital format. Hypertext markup language (HTML) is the most well-known markup language, and it is used to format Web pages. XML, a more versatile relative of HTML, enables complicated commerce to be conducted over the Internet.


XML explains what’s in a document, but HTML instructs a browser program on how it should look. To put it another way, XML is concerned with how data is arranged rather than how it is displayed. (Separate style sheets are used to prepare XML).

Consider the following HTML tags as an example: The command indicates the start of a paragraph, and the word is translated into a word. The HTML tags are set in stone; every website developer uses the same tags to accomplish the same goals. XML, on the other hand, allows you to build your own tags to indicate the meaning or application of data.

The flexibility of XML provides several advantages. It allows you to move data between corporate databases and Web sites without losing important descriptive data. Rather than displaying the same page to everyone, it allows you to automatically personalize the presentation of data. Search engines may sift via specific tags rather than large pages of text, making searches more efficient.

XML and data

Because XML adds complex data coding to Web sites, it makes it easier for businesses to combine their data flows. Information may be exchanged effortlessly throughout Web sites, databases, and other back-end systems by defining a single set of XML tags for all company data. However, XML’s revolutionary value rests in its ability to facilitate economic transactions. When one firm offers a product or service to another, a lot of information is shared, including pricing, conditions, specs, delivery dates, and so on. Due to HTML’s one-size-fits-all nature, such exchanges via the Internet are difficult, if not impossible.

All relevant information may be transmitted electronically using XML, allowing complicated transactions to be completed without the need for human participation. That’s why business-to-business Web markets like Ariba and Commerce One already use XML to match buyers and sellers automatically. In the not-too-distant future, the content of your XML tags may be used to assess your organization.

  • It makes data exchange easier.
  • It makes data transmission easier.
  • It makes platform transitions easier.
  • It makes data more accessible.

Many computer systems have data in formats that are incompatible. Web developers spend a lot of time transferring data between incompatible (or updated) platforms. Incompatible data is frequently lost when large volumes of data must be translated.

Data is stored in plain text format in XML. This provides a method of storing, transmitting, and exchanging data that is independent of software and hardware.

Without losing data, XML also makes it easy to extend or upgrade to new operating systems, new apps, or new browsers.

Data may be made available to a variety of “reading machines,” such as humans, computers, speech machines, news feeds, and so on, using XML.

However, One firm may develop unique tags that are unrecognizable to its suppliers and purchasers if there is no agreed syntax. Many XML dictionaries are being constructed in sectors like banking, mathematics, chemistry, and e-commerce to mitigate this risk. These dictionaries, which are included in XML, standardize tag definitions. JP Morgan has suggested FpML, a lexicon that would standardize XML tags for foreign currency exchange and other financial operations on Wall Street. Other industries are making similar efforts.