Are you dazed and confused about the pace of new Web technologies? Have you heard of XML for years, not really grasping its importance for managing Web-based applications? You’re not alone. This column discusses how business applications exploit XML technology now—and later. It explains why PureXML is the next step in merging relational data with what I like to call “Web-structured data.” XML data will ensure that your business can fit into Webbased business applications today and in the future.
Like everything else, technologies evolve. In 1945, Vannevar Bush proposed the basics of hypertext, and 45 years later, Tim Berners-Lee and others invented the World Wide Web, HTML, HTTP, and URLs. These languages and TCP/IP were used to create the phenomena we know today as the Web. The Web has evolved from simple Websites that did nothing but display information, to search engines, to commercial Websites, and now to the plethora of social Websites. New technology enabled these new uses. The problem is how to make all this stuff work together.
Web services is a collaborative effort to develop and maintain a set of standards that focus on interoperability. These standards allow for integration with internal and external applications using different technologies. XML is just one piece of this standard that solves the problem of data exchange and provides logical structure to a simple text file.
Here’s is a complete (but very simple) XML document: