Uses of XML

XML has a variety of uses for Web, e-business, and portable applications.

The following are some of the many applications for which XML is useful:

  • Web publishing: XML allows you to create interactive pages, allows the customer to customize those pages, and makes creating e-commerce applications more intuitive. With XML, you store the data once and then render that content for different viewers or devices based on style sheet processing using an Extensible Style Language (XSL)/XSL Transformation (XSLT) processor.
  • Web searching and automating Web tasks: XML defines the type of information contained in a document, making it easier to return useful results when searching the Web:

    For example, using HTML to search for books authored by Tom Brown is likely to return instances of the term 'brown' outside of the context of author. Using XML restricts the search to the correct context (for example, the information contained in the <author> tag) and returns only the information that you want. By using XML, Web agents and robots (programs that automate Web searches or other tasks) are more efficient and produce more useful results.

  • General applications: XML provides a standard method to access information, making it easier for applications and devices of all kinds to use, store, transmit, and display data.
  • e-business applications: XML implementations make electronic data interchange (EDI) more accessible for information interchange, business-to-business transactions, and business-to-consumer transactions.
  • Metadata applications: XML makes it easier to express metadata in a portable, reusable format.
  • Pervasive computing: XML provides portable and structured information types for display on pervasive (wireless) computing devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), cellular phones, and others. For example, WML (Wireless Markup Language) and VoiceXML are currently evolving standards for describing visual and speech-driven wireless device interfaces.