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Term Definition

A general-purpose markup language for structuring and encoding data, sometimes used in web development for data exchange or configuration files.

In web development, XML (Extensible Markup Language) plays a crucial role in data exchange and storage. Unlike HTML, which defines the structure and presentation of web pages, XML focuses on representing arbitrary data in a structured and platform-independent format.

Here's a breakdown of the key aspects of XML in web development:

What is XML?

  • markup language similar to HTML, but with customizable tags for defining specific data structures.
  • Enables storing and transmitting data in a way that's easily understood by different applications and systems.
  • Often used in conjunction with other technologies like XSLT (stylesheet language) and XPath (query language) for processing and manipulating the data.

Where is XML used in web development?

  • Web services: Exchanging data between different applications and services through APIs.
  • Content syndication: Sharing content (e.g., news feeds, product information) with other websites.
  • Configuration files: Storing application settings and preferences.
  • Data exchange: Transferring data between different systems (e.g., e-commerce, healthcare).
  • Content management systems (CMS): Managing website content in a structured format.

Benefits of using XML:

  • Flexibility: Custom tags allow for representing diverse data structures.
  • Platform independence: Works across different operating systems and programming languages.
  • Interoperability: Enables seamless data exchange between applications.
  • Human-readable: Easy to understand and edit even without specialized knowledge.

Limitations of XML:

  • Can be verbose and complex compared to other data formats like JSON.
  • Requires additional processing and parsing compared to simpler formats.
  • Not ideal for real-time data exchange due to its overhead.