Monday, May 26, 2003

XML – What does “IT” do?
A break down

If you know that all programming functions are based on “language” scripting then it is easy to explain XML developments up to present day applications.

If you don’t, here is an explanation that should get you on the right track to learning and exploring on your own with the massive information that is out there for consumption.

The “language “ used to program and create programming software varies from server type/brand and developer expertise or preference but to put it simply the language used for programming was created in order to communicate and standardize communication (like any language developed for human to human interaction).

Scripting Languages are used to communicate instructions and requests to and from the servers themselves. Then there are programming languages to communicate code based on the scripting language being used. So that everything functions in one harmonious flow that generates any given web page or site hosted on the “inter” or “intra” net.

XML is an eXtensible Markup Language literally, so to define its meaning would likewise literally be, the language created to denote functions which “extend”(extensible) and “increase” the value (markup) of he programming language (language) it is being used with. This thought in mind, XML is also free to work within sets of programming languages from scripting to HTML to text documents like this page. HTML stands for hypertext markup language and provides communication of human readable text, images, and design layout to and from publishing software. Likewise, XML may be used with human readable text directly for the purpose of syndication or “sending” a document or structured data to another location or software to then be reinterpreted back in to human readable text but in the exact format that it was sent (nice touch if you ask me).

XML, is meant to be used in order to create smooth and efficient communications the key ingredient to web services also. To protect and preserve what is been programmed or typed so that it may be delivered and interpreted correctly else where or within other operating systems.

Q: Why is XML in the spotlight?
A: Mostly because the more XML may be developed, the more areas which, its usefulness and functionality may be applied to in turn create more useful and functional programming tools, software features, etc. You see based on the method by which XML was created it is necessary to discover all of its abilities so that it may be used efficiently and likewise depending on its stamina, evolved or lead to new language development tools.

Q: What part does Microsoft (for example) play in XML’s achievements?
A: Speaking presently Microsoft is launching an new version of MS Office which will include and enable XML in its features. In all likelihood, this will set a positive and forward example of XML and increase awareness and the developments of functionality. Essentially, Microsoft will be the one to release XML features to the world at large beyond the developers’ scope. This will serve to provide more insight into its developments.

To Quote,” Most vendors are becoming much more XML-friendly and consequently it [xml] is changing the nature of applications vendors business. If Microsoft continues to lace its Office applications with XML, most users will have more seamless flow of information between the heavy-duty back-office financial applications and desktop applications like Word and Excel.” (from the article “Microsoft’s unified app. Goal comes into view”

What this means for the Business Owner, Consumer, and Developer alike:

The only thing better than advanced know how is perfected advanced know how. XML is the beginning to this very endeavor. That is to say the beginning to furthering IT developments so that what is produced finally is totally reliable and functional “quality” software applications and integrations initiatives.

To list but not limit some of XML’s uses and accomplishments:
ü B2B
ü Data Mining Developments
ü Web Services
ü Publishing
ü Syndication
ü Database Developments
ü Internet/ inter business applications
ü Intranet/ intra business applications
ü Content Management Systems
ü Software import/export features
ü Wireless Developments (PDA, mobile, and digital imaging) import, export, and publishing capabilities
ü Enterprise applications integrations

There are variants of XML like vXML and many others for more specific requirements. The key to understanding all of them is rooted in understanding the concept of XML. Once done then over time all these developments will be cohesive and coherent to any reader.

XML is a favorite topic for business applications because of the greater efficiency and flexibility it offers which in turn caters to the slogan or theme of businesses “better results and less cost”.

To be fair, there is speculation that XML is being over hyped as the super solution. The truth of this depends on the perspective. Likewise the only real test of certainty is the one of time. If it is not the super solution it may very well be the parent or sibling of the super solution quest.

The Wrap up:

Oasis and UBL; Organization for the Advancement of structured Information Standards or OASIS and Universal Business Language or UBL are terms which are frequently associated with XML Developments, news, information, and resources.

The reason being is that more often than not XML is and will be for the time being the underlying protocol to these initiatives. Therefore is constantly being evaluated and exercised by OASIS for the involvement or standardization of UBL.

XML Schema’s – defined as the general idea of a document that describes and constrains as set of XML document instances. An XML Schema is itself an XML document, however, its position is used to further enhance an XML document. Like XML itself Schema’s will continue to evolve and be redefined but presently maintains 2 specifications of “archetype” and “data type”. Essentially, the primary purpose is the same building value added applications for web sites, improving security, accuracy, and flexibility for XML applications.

Resources for more information:,, and



How to become a certified XML developer


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