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Basic XML Guide.       
 XML Introduction.
 XML Tags Guide.       
 XML Attributes.           
 XML Syntax Guide.    
 XML Compilation.      
 XML Execution.          
 XML with CSS.           
 XML with XSL.            
 XML Data Island.        
 XML Professional.       
 XML with JavaScript. 
 XML Namespaces.      
 XML CDATA.              
 XML Editors.               
 XML Summary.           

XML Tutorial >> XML Introduction.


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XML is by itself is nothing. XML is more of a "common ground" standard. The main benefit of XML is that we can take data from a program like Oracle or MS SQL Server, convert it into XML, then share that XML with a slough of other programs, platforms, etc. Each of these receiving platforms can then convert the XML into a structure the platform uses normally and presto! we have just communicated between two potentially very different platforms! Like Windows and Unix platforms.

XML is a markup language. The impressive ones who created the XML, as we know XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. XML was released in the late 90's and received a great amount of hype. The XML standard was created by W3C to provide an easy to use and regular way to store self-describing data, self-describing data is data that describes both its content and its structure. Here we will follow the rules and regulations only.

What things makes XML actually powerful is the acceptance and hard work done by all those who work with backend, programming, web services, etc. It is because of this hard work that the tools exist to do these conversion from whatever platform into standardized XML data or convert XML into a format used by that display place.

In the past, attempts at creating a standardized format for data that could be interpreted by many different platforms i.e. different applications failed sadly where XML has mostly succeeded.

Basically XML was not designed to DO anything. But its working is nothing except to get contain and post data or information.  It is quite easy to understand that XML can hold data what so ever we need.  As shown in example of Employees record under here.

Syntax of XML file

<employee>
<firstName>Creston</firstName>
<lastName>Narvon</lastName>
<gender>m</gender>
<DOB>22/04/1976</DOB>
</employee>

On the above example the employee element is the root or header of this message. Here it contains the information of a single employee and nothing to do more. But still, this XML document does not DO anything. It is just pure information wrapped in XML tags. The next step is to make some kind of application or software to display or send this information.

One thing is to be remember that XML is Free and Extensible that's why we use our own defined tags while creating XML documents.  Mean no predefined tags we use in XML. Here we invent our own tags.

In HTML tags are predefined and we must use those tags only.  So we can say structure of HTML documents are predefined. The maker or user of HTML can only use tags that are defined in the HTML standard (like <b>, <i>,<br>, etc.). XML allows the developer to define there own tags and define there own document structure. On above example we used <employee> as root and <firstName> and <lastName> as child of the root and these are not predefined tags in the XML structure, but one thing is that we just followed the standards of XML. These tags are made-up by us and used in the XML document.

A major note about XML is this that it is not a replacement for HTML. But the future of Web development it is most likely that XML will be used to describe the data.

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