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Future of XML

XML has revolutionized the web and the nature of distributed computing. It is the preferred file format for web development, document interchange, and data interchange. Currently, news organizations and wireless services exchange news articles, stock information, and other similar information through proprietary formats. XML will enable wider use and exchange of such information in future. XML will also help global businesses exchange data in a customized and universally acceptable format.
The future uses of XML can be summarized as:

  • XML will be widely used in e-commerce.
  • XML will have a huge core market in the form of B2B.
  • XML will be used for mobile devices, such as mobile phones, PDAs, and palmtops due to its ability to easily convert into the appropriate format for any device.
  • XML will be used to solve communication problems in EDI and Enterprise Application Integration(EAI) as it provides interoperability between disparate  applications.
Lets us look at some real life examples of XML implementation.
identifying Real-Life implementation of XML 
The Microsoft site, http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/, provides information about customers who have successfully implemented XML in real-life. A few of these customers are listed as follows:
  • FreeEDGAR.com, Inc. is an organization that provides updated information on finance, institutional holdings, and insider trading patterns to its customers. To provide this information, FreeEDGAR.com uses an XML based delivery service. This service is based on real-time filling from the US securities and Exchange commission. One of the project requirements was that FreeEDGAR's customers should be able to use the service on multiple platforms. The service had to be independent of any database technology. FreeEDGAR also had to ensure are able to query and access the structured information easily. The development team realized that XML was the perfect solution for its project's requirements. The team used a processing server and built its XML service on top of it. To generate Web Pages, it used MSXML DLL along with some XSL style sheets that were used to convert XML into HTML. The team used MSXML inside a Web page created using Visual InterDev and Visual Basic components. This approach reduced code maintenance and resulted in the development of more readable code.
  • Shopping.com is another example of the real life implementation of XML. Shopping.com uses context based shopping to ensure that its uses get relevant results for their searches. The organization had to ensure that the users who conduct keyword searches through AltaVista Search also receive suitable product offers from Shopping.com for example, The keyword , "CD player", on AltaVista Search will return Web search results along with relevant CD players and electronics merchandise available for purchase from shopping.com. The development team faced the challenge of ensuring quick transfer of data between two different operating systems. Since the XML syntax is simple to learn and can be used quickly , they decided to use XML for the project. The use of XML enabled them to reduce the size of the data file and the time taken to transfer the data file to a great extent.

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