Extensible Markup Language: Definition, Examples


Extensible Markup Language, known as XML, is a tool used to encode documents in a format that is both machine-readable and human-readable. It is a set of rules for designing text formats that facilitate the sharing of structured data across different systems. Essentially, XML is a way of describing data that allows it to be categorized in a manner that software and web tools can understand.


The phonetics of “Extensible Markup Language” are: Eks-ten-suh-buhl Mar-kup Lan-gwij

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a text-based markup language utilized to structure and store data in a format that’s both human and machine-readable.</li> <li>XML is extensible which means it allows users to create their own customized markup languages for specific purposes, unlike HTML which has predefined tags.</li> <li>XML is non-discriminatory about the data it holds, meaning it can successfully contain, transport, and structure any kind of data regardless of the specific platform or software being used.</li></ol>


The technology term: Extensible Markup Language, or XML, is important due to its wide-ranging versatility and flexibility in defining, transmitting, validating, and interpreting data between databases, applications, and organizations. It’s a self-descriptive, text-based, and platform-independent language, making it easy to understand and read by both humans and machines. Moreover, it provides a standard format for sharing data across different systems, particularly via the Internet, thereby enhancing interoperability. XML provides a structured format for data, thus improving the accuracy and consistency of information, reducing errors, and increasing efficiency. Hence, it is a crucial aspect of many web-based technologies and data transmission processes.


The primary purpose of Extensible Markup Language, commonly referred to as XML, lies in its ability to store and transport data. In other words, it facilitates the transfer of information between disparate systems with focus on what the data is. XML is notably employed in a wide range of applications including web development, software and hardware interfaces, publishing workflows, and in a myriad of other fields where systems exchange information. It is a flexible and customizable tool that is adaptable to just about any type of application for the simple reason that it doesn’t do anything on its own, but provides a structure for describing data.One of the key uses of XML is in the area of data interchange among systems on the internet. For instance, a business can use XML to exchange product and pricing data with its suppliers or customers, irrespective of the software they’re using. It allows for data to be shared across different systems, platforms, and languages. XML is also often used in document storage and processing. Because XML separates the data from the format, it makes it easier for organizations to store data for a long period of time, without worrying about future changes to software or hardware affecting the ability to use the data. As such, XML has become an indispensable player in today’s true data interoperability and continuity.


1. RSS Feeds: RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a type of web feed that allows users to access updates to online content via XML format. This technology uses XML to structure the data in the feed, helping computers understand and process the information in a standardized manner.2. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): Many businesses use EDI to exchange data electronically with their partners. XML is used to format and label the information being exchanged—such as invoices, purchase orders, etc.—making it easier for systems to process this data automatically.3. Web Services: In modern web development, XML is widely used to structure data in SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) web services. This allows different computers/apps to communicate and exchange data over a network, regardless of the operating system or programming language being used. With XML, the data is organized in a way that’s both human-readable and machine-readable.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is Extensible Markup Language (XML)?**A1: Extensible Markup Language, also known as XML, is a markup language similar to HTML. It is designed to store and transport data. XML was created to structure, store, and send information.**Q2: Who is the creator of XML?**A2: The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) created XML.**Q3: What is the difference between XML and HTML?**A3: Both XML and HTML are markup languages, but they are designed to do different things. HTML is used to display data and focuses on how data looks, whereas XML focuses on what data is. It structures and stores data but doesn’t display it.**Q4: What are tags in XML?**A4: Tags are user-defined labels used both to start and end elements in XML. They enclose data and differentiate it into elements.**Q5: Is XML case sensitive?**A5: Yes, XML is case sensitive. Therefore, and would be considered different elements.**Q6: What is an attribute in XML?**A6: An attribute provides more properties or information about an element. It’s found within the opening tag, and it comes in name/value pairs. For example, .**Q7: Can you provide an example of XML syntax?**A7: Yes, here is a basic example:“` John Doe“`In the above syntax, , , and are XML elements.**Q8: What is the purpose of XML namespaces?**A8: XML Namespaces are used to avoid element name conflicts. This is useful when combining XML documents from different XML applications.**Q9: What is an XML Schema?**A9: An XML Schema describes the structure of an XML document. It sets the rules for the content and allows the document to be validated for accuracy.**Q10: How is XML parsed?**A10: Parsing XML refers to breaking it into pieces for more comfortable reading or manipulation. Several libraries (in languages such as Python, Java, and PHP) can parse XML files and are usually part of the standard library in these modern programming languages.

Related Finance Terms

  • XML Schema
  • XML Namespace
  • XML Document Object Model (DOM)
  • XML Path Language (XPath)
  • XML Transformation (XSLT)

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