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What is XML Technology

Posted On: Sep 13, 2014

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. The name extensible comes from the fact that users can create unlimited number of tags and reuse those tags; where as the name mark-up is because of XML’s simple approach to structure data that is by using descriptive labels. It was derived from SGML (Standard Generalized Mark-up language) mainly for more manageable data storage and transportation.

XML is an international data standard, using which, users are able to communicate with other party applications and information systems much more easily, provided everyone abides by those industry standards. XML is a significant step towards searching, organizing and managing information within a surfeit of data, information and their structure and formats that are difficult to read and reuse.

With less than 10 syntax and rules XML is not only easy to master, but also a versatile way to create common information storage formats and transport both the format and the information over any network tofrom wide gamut of applications and technologies that supports XML. Even though it packages data and structure together, interpretation is not very tedious for humans as well as for computers, it is clearly readable and parsed easily. XML is a technology to build electronic documents, and its aim is to distinguish layout, design and definition from the actual content.

One requirement for a XML document to be valid is that it must be well-formed, which means the document must have one core section for which the start and end tag are not inside any other element, and all other element tags, or sub-elements, nest within each other in the same fashion. Other rules designed to make XML parsers effective and easier to develop include:

  • Rule for some special characters – Special characters such as &, <, >, ‘, ” cannot be directly included as contents or text of XML documents, the rule is to enclose (amp, lt, gt, apos, quot) between an & and ; for an example Sonal’s must be written as Sonal’s
  • Rule for structure completeness – XML tags must complement, that is for each start tag there must be an end tag, leaving end tags is not allowed, although tags without attributes are allowed.