By using Extensible Markup Language or XML, companies can parse information including data and content in a variety of ways.
XML is an international data standard, a sort oflingua franca for computing. To be formal about it, XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. Practically speaking, XML is a method to structure electronic documents, and its aim is to separate presentation, structure, and meaning from the actual content. It’s been so successful at doing this, it’s now used to represent any kind of data structure (including databases and other business information).
XML takes an exceptionally simple approach to structure. In essence, it simply marks sections of a document with a descriptive label (hence “markup”—and because you’re not limited to a fixed set of labels, it’s “extensible”). Where a machine would find it difficult to read a document, XML has no trouble breaking down the marked sections into something it can use. It works the other way round, as well: while it’s nearly impossible for a human to read the source of some proprietary data format, by contrast, an XML structure is actually intelligible. At least, it is to a developer – which is why developers find it relatively easy to do something with data they get in XML.
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