The most eloquent piece I’ve written this year:
XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a portable and efficient means to define and manage data of any level of complexity.
Because databases, web-browsers, and Java applications are being designed with the ability to interact with XML directly, it can be used as a universal language for tightly integrating internal applications and as a format for exchanging data with clients.
XML formats are more robust and less complicated than the structures of classic EDI formats like X12 and EDIFACT. In sharp relief to EDIFACT’s and X12’s over-architectured syntax rules, XML syntax requirements are only as complicated as is necessary to maintain data integrity. XML document structures are explicitly defined in schemas that are more manageable than the technical specifications and industry guidelines used to describe classic EDI standards. (2/21/01)