Is your enterprise capitalizing on this year’s biggest trends? Evaluate your competitive edge with the 2022 Virtusa Trend Almanac. View report

Digital Themes


What is XML (Extensible Markup Language)?

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language without predefined tags. XML is a simple text-based format representing structured information in documents, data, configuration, books, transactions, invoices, etc. XML labels, categorizes, and structurally organizes information as a markup language. The XML tags represent data structure and contain metadata. An additional XML schema, XML schema defined or XSD, defines the necessary metadata through a process referred to as the canonical schema for interpreting and validating XML. Within the tags, data is encoded as per the XML standard.

Serialization – which includes storing, sharing, and reconstructing arbitrary data –  is XML’s vital purpose. XML has to agree upon a file format for two disparate systems to exchange information. Thus XML standardizes the process. Numerous schema systems aid the definition of XML-based languages. Furthermore, many programmers have developed various application programming interfaces (APIs) to assist in processing XML data.

In XML, a coder can define his tags explicitly designed as required. Moreover, XML is a robust way to store data in a format that can be easily searched and shared. Thus, XML also defines a set of rules to encode documents in both human and machine-readable formats. The basic structure of XML is standardized. Thus, allowing to share XML across systems or platforms, either locally or over the internet. It’s noteworthy that a recipient can still parse the data due to the standardized XML syntax.

The XML design focuses on documents because this language is widely used to represent arbitrary data structures used in web services. XML also focuses on simplification, universality, and usability across the internet. 

Benefits of Extensible Markup Language (XML)

XML is one of the most widely used formats for sharing structured information locally and across networks. XML has several advantages over many other formats.:

  • Redundancy: XML markup is lengthy and lets the computer catch common errors such as incorrect nesting
  • Self-describing: Being a text-based format, the presence of element and attribute names in XML enables people to understand the format seamlessly
  • Network effect and the XML promise:  XML documents can be read and processed quickly by any XML tool whatsoever. 
Related content