Extensible Markup Language, abbreviated as XML, is a markup language used to define documents with a standard format that is human-readable as well as machine-readable through the use of tags. It is a hardware and software-independent tool for storing and transporting data.

In simple words, it is a simpler subset of the SGML, a standard to craft a document structure. It uses a Document Type Definition (DTD) to describe the data formally. XML data is self-defining, suggesting that the structure of the data is embedded with the data, hence there is no need to pre build the structure to store the data.

Benefits

  • It is easy to learn.
  • It allows data to be used by any kind of application.
  • It is entirely compatible with Java and 100 percent portable.
  • It is extensible, meaning you can create your own tags.
  • It is platform independent.
  • It can represent commonly used data structures such as lists, records.
  • It permits validation using schema languages like Schematron and XSD which makes unit-testing efficient.
  • It is comparatively easy to maintain forward and backward compatibility despite alterations in DTD or Schema.

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