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XML stands for Extensible Markup Language that is used to encode the document that can be understandable by humans and machines both. A data is stored in XML format is easy to understand and easy to modify. This format was designed to transport and store data in a specific format. There are three main things that have to keeps in your mind when you are using the XML – Simplicity, Generality, and Usability. XML contains a few rules that you have to follow like opening and closing tags. XML was invented in the year of 1998, after that, it was modified in the year of 2006 and 2008 which is the latest standard edition of XML. 

There are few key terminologies in the XML: 

  • Character: XML is a string of characters that can cover every Unicode characters.
  • Markup and content: If the string constitutes markup then it will be started with <, and ended with >. And if the string that constitutes content then it will start with & and end with ;
  • Tag: The markup tag start with <tag> and ends with </tag > and the empty element tag <line-break/>
  • Elements: The elements placed between the start tag and the end tag like <tag> elements </tag >
  • Attribute: The attribute placed inside the start tag like <tag attribute=”value”> elements </tag >. It is used to hold the behavior of the elements.

Characteristics of XML: 

  • Structure: XML is a structured format where we can decide how to arrange the data within a file. We can struct as we want, put any data at any place.
  • Described: XML data format is a much more described format if you’re familiar with the HTML then you can easily understand the XML, it will look to you as a normal text.
  • Validated: Validation comes in mind when you have to follow some specific structure for your data, you can describe exactly how the XML data file should be structured in another XML file.
  • Discoverable: Any language can easily discover the data from an XML data and can create another XML data that will follow the validation also.
  • Strongly-formed: The application can check the schema definition to identify the data type to import it.

Advantage of XML: 

  • XML is easy to read and write to normal human being can understand the XML.
  • Backward and forward compatibility is so easy to maintain.
  • It has one standard that the international standard means any language can collaborate with the XML easily.
  • It is platform-independent that means resistance changes in technologies.
  • XML can upgrade incrementally.

Disadvantage of XML: 

  • The namespace support can be difficult to correctly implement in an XML parser.
  • XML become complex when you are trying to struct a lots of data manually.
  • It required so many tags to struct the data compared to JSON.
  • XML node relation required extra effort.
  • XML encourage non-relational database.


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Last Updated : 19 Oct, 2021
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