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What is XML?XML is a markup language for documents containing structured information.

Structured information contains both content (words, pictures, etc.) and some indication of what role that content plays (for example, content in a section heading has a different meaning from content in a footnote, which means something different than content in a figure caption or content in a database table, etc.). Almost all documents have some structure.

Why XML?In order to appreciate XML, it is important to understand why it was created. XML was created so that richly structured documents could be used over the web. The only viable alternatives, HTML and SGML, are not practical for this purpose.HTML, as we’ve already discussed, comes bound with a set of semantics and does not provide arbitrary structure.SGML provides arbitrary structure, but is too difficult to implement just for a web browser. Full SGML systems solve large, complex problems that justify their expense. Viewing structured documents sent over the web rarely carries such justification.

This is not to say that XML can be expected to completely replace SGML. While XML is being designed to deliver structured content over the web, some of the very features it lacks to make this practical, make SGML a more satisfactory solution for the creation and long-time storage of complex documents. In many organizations, filtering SGML to XML will be the standard procedure for web delivery.


 Relational database systems cannot meet all the demands of electronic business because they process data independently of its context. Traditional databases may be well suited for data that fits into rows and columns, but cannot adequately handle rich data such as audio, video, nested data structures or complex documents, which are characteristic of typical Web content. To deal with XML, traditional databases are typically retrofitted with external conversion layers that mimic XML storage by translating it between XML and some other data format. This conversion is error-prone and results in a great deal of overhead, particularly with increasing transaction rates and document complexity. XML databases, on the other hand, store XML data natively in its structured, hierarchical form. Queries can be resolved much faster because there is no need to map the XML data tree structure to tables. This preserves the hierarchy of the data and increases performance.

by Norman Walsh
October 03, 1998. Retrieved: 16-01-2008




enero 16, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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