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How Can XML be Used?


XML is used in many aspects of web development, often to simplify data storage and sharing.


XML Separates Data from HTML

If you need to display dynamic data in your HTML document, it will take a lot of work to edit the HTML each time the data changes.

With XML, data can be stored in separate XML files. This way you can concentrate on using HTML/CSS for display and layout, and be sure that changes in the underlying data will not require any changes to the HTML.

With a few lines of JavaScript code, you can read an external XML file and update the data content of your web page.


XML Simplifies Data Sharing

In the real world, computer systems and databases contain data in incompatible formats.

XML data is stored in plain text format. This provides a software- and hardware-independent way of storing data.

This makes it much easier to create data that can be shared by different applications.


XML Simplifies Data Transport

One of the most time-consuming challenges for developers is to exchange data between incompatible systems over the Internet.

Exchanging data as XML greatly reduces this complexity, since the data can be read by different incompatible applications.


XML Simplifies Platform Changes

Upgrading to new systems (hardware or software platforms), is always time consuming. Large amounts of data must be converted and incompatible data is often lost.

XML data is stored in text format. This makes it easier to expand or upgrade to new operating systems, new applications, or new browsers, without losing data.


XML Makes Your Data More Available

Different applications can access your data, not only in HTML pages, but also from XML data sources.

With XML, your data can be available to all kinds of "reading machines" (Handheld computers, voice machines, news feeds, etc.), and make it more available for blind people, or people with other disabilities.


Internet Languages Written in XML

Several Internet languages are written in XML. Here are some examples:

  • XHTML 
  • XML Schema
  • SVG
  • WSDL
  • RSS


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