Objective Definition Work Group
Concise Definition - Greg THOMPSON
Technical Definition - Bob GUTHRIE
w3 definition - Shirley KEATING


DTDDocument Type Definitions
ExtensibleTags (fields/data elements) can be defined by the end user
HTMLHyper Text Markup Language
SGMLStandard Generalised Markup Language
TMLTutorial Markup Language
XMLExtensible Markup Lanuage
XPATHXML Path Language
XSLTExtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation

Objectives of XML Definition Work Group

The objective of the XML Definition Work Group is to provide a clear up-to-date understanding
of the meaning of the jargon and terms associated with XML.

There will be new terms and revised meanings as XML develops over the next few years.

If you would like to contribute a term with a definition please e-mail New Definition.

Definition by Greg THOMPSON


HTML is a language for the presentation of data but it's not extensible.

XML is a language for describing data and it is extensible.

Both are a sub-set of SGML.

Part of the XML language enables you to describe data externally through the use of Document
Type Definitions (DTD).

The OIC is interested in DTD's based on UN-EDIFACT and are active in the process 
EDIFACT special interest group.

The transport of XML messages is not yet clear and OIC are looking at email as one way to send

OIC members are promoting internal and reviewing external projects
to get some experience with XML

More Technical Definition by Bob GUTHRIE

XML Definition

XML is a meta-markup language. It provides a format for describing structured data (containing
words, graphics, numerical data, etc.) and an indication of what role that content plays.

XML is derived from SGML (Standard Generalised Markup Language - defined by ISO 8879), but is
optimised for Web applications.

XML is similar to TML, but differs in many ways, among them that XML tags specify what the
content means not how it should appear.

The extensibility and flexibility of XML allow it to describe data contained in a wide variety
of heterogeneous applications, from describing collections of Web pages to data records.

Since XML-based data describes its own content, data can be exchanged and processed without
having a built-in description of the incoming data.

The importance of XML for eCommerce developers is that XML is designed to enable structured
data from different sources to be easily combined. 

Software agents can be used to integrate data on a middle-tier server from back-end databases
and other applications. 

This data can then be delivered to clients or other servers for further aggregation, processing
and distribution.

XML DOM: manipulating XML data

The W3C XML Document Object Model (W3C XML DOM) specifies a standard application-programming
interface for loading, parsing, formatting, navigating, and manipulating XML documents in a
web-enabled environment. 

It allows data to be manipulated with scripting or other programming languages. Data computations
can be performed without additional return trips to the server, reducing network traffic and 
accelerating performance.

Separating the user interface that views data from the data itself allows powerful applications,
formerly found only on high-end databases, to be created naturally for the Web using a simple, 
flexible, open format.

The W3C XML DOM has the following characteristics:

o The XML document is represented as a tree structure composed of nodes. Typically, the most
  common node types are element, attribute and text.

o The API (application programming interface) enables applications to navigate the tree and
  manipulate its nodes. The content and structure of an XML document can be queried, navigated,
  and modified.

The advantages of XML

o It can represent structured data in a format that is uniform and independent of applications
  or vendors.

o Its interoperability is ideal for transferring data between line-of-business applications and
  eCommerce applications over the World Wide Web.

o Once the data is on the client desktop, the XML DOM specifies how it can be manipulated, 
  edited, and presented in multiple views, without return trips to the server. This lowers the
  demands on the servers.

o Since data is exchanged in the XML format, it can be easily merged from different sources.

o As a text-based format, XML is easier to understand and work with than binary standards such
  as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), which requires special drivers that are complex to write,
  debug, and adapt to new tools and technologies.

o XML can represent rich, hierarchical data structures as easily as flat, SQL-relational data
  structures, making it is uniquely suited for representing hierarchical data from legacy 

The challenge: connecting line-of-business data systems and XML-based eCommerce systems

As flexible and powerful as XML is, there are some difficulties to be overcome in implementing 
line-of-business to eCommerce data-transfer solution.

o Custom tool development is required. Line-of-business data typically resides in a database 
  management system that is not directly accessible by eCommerce applications. Tools must be 
  developed to export the DBMS data as an XML document that the eCommerce applications can 

o Overlapping and conflicting standards exist. There are several XML eCommerce and eBusiness
  standards currently in existence. The vast majority of XML-based applications are not built 
  on a standard, but are a proprietary set of tags published by the specific vendor.

o Rich data structures add complexity. XML supports and sometimes requires rich data structures.
  Most DBMSs are relational, and don't support such rich structures, adding another layer of
  complexity to the developer's task.

o XML DOM API requirements increase the difficulty. The W3C's XML DOM API specifies that
  hierarchical data be represented by parent and child nodes, which is not ideal for describing
  business data.


XML is a flexible, open, standards-based markup language that can represent structured data in
a format that is uniform and independent of applications or vendors. 

Its text-based format, optimised for transmission over the web, is simple and intuitive to work
with, so XML applications can be built quickly, are easy to maintain, and can provide multiple 
views on the structured data.

Its resulting interoperability, combined with strong industry support, makes XML the best choice
for data transfer between a new generation of business and eCommerce web applications.

For all XML's potential, however, the dearth of tools for converting eBusiness data and line-of-
business data to XML and back again poses a challenge to companies wanting to implement an XML
XML white paper

W3 definition provided by Shirley KEATING

SUBMITTED BY:		Shirley KEATING  Turn-Key Systems

XML Definition

1.1 Origin and Goals

XML was developed by an XML Working Group (originally known as the SGML Editorial Review Board)
formed under the auspices of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1996. It was chaired by Jon 
Bosak of Sun Microsystems with the active participation of an XML Special Interest Group
(previously known as the SGML Working Group) also organized by the W3C. 

The membership of the XML Working Group is given in an appendix. Dan Connolly served as the WG's
contact with the W3C. 

The design goals for XML are:

 1.XML shall be straightforwardly usable over the Internet. 
2.XML shall support a wide variety of applications.
3.XML shall be compatible with SGML.
4.It shall be easy to write programs which process XML documents.
5.The number of optional features in XML is to be kept to the absolute minimum, ideally zero.
6.XML documents should be human-legible and reasonably clear.
7.The XML design should be prepared quickly.
8.The design of XML shall be formal and concise.
9.XML documents shall be easy to create.
10.Terseness in XML markup is of minimal importance.
This specification, together with associated standards (Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 for characters, Internet RFC 1766 for language identification tags, ISO 639 for language name codes, and ISO 3166 forcountry name codes), provides all the information necessary to nderstand XML Version 1.0 and construct computer programs to process it.

Created: ST: 08:27 FT: 09:55 Fri 18/08/2000 Syd
Who: sgg
Authorised: sgg
Created: 08:17 Fri 18/08/2000 Syd
Who: sgg
Revision: 3a4a9.001
Original: 3a4a9
Authorised: sgg
Date: 18/08/200