What is XML

Overview

XML is an extremely powerful and pervasive solution for any structured enterprise content or information requirement. XML based standards include:

  • VoiceXML: uses XML to define the user interface of an automated telephone application, including prompts and menus.
  • XMLTV: uses XML to define television program listings including show times, descriptions, and actors.
  • qbXML: uses XML to allow programs to exchange financial information with QuickBooks accounting software
  • XHTML: uses HTML – adjusted for XML compliance – to define web page content, layout, and links.

XML has been used as the foundation for hundreds of information standards.

How Does XML Work?

XML content is enclosed in tags. Tags are like bags with a label: they hold their content and describe what’s inside. Furthermore, their content may include other bags. These bags provide the structure and organization of XML.

For example, imagine a zip-lock bag was in the fridge, with a candy bar and two other bags inside of it, containing vegetables and fruits, respectively. The XML to describe the zip-lock bag above might look like this:

<bag label="Glenns Food" storage-date="October, 2001">

  <item>Candy Bar</item>

  <bag label="Vegetables" storage-date="Oct 11 2001">
	<item>Carrot</item> 
	<item>Lettuce</item>
  </bag>

  <bag label="Fruits" storage-date="Oct 13 2001">
	<item>Pear</item> 
  </bag>

</bag>

Benefits of XML

XML delivers significant benefits to standards, platforms, and solutions that use it as their foundation:

  • Proven: XML is based on the strengths of two of the most successful markup standards ever created – SMGL and HTML – and is in active use at thousands of enterprises throughout the world.
  • Versatile: XML can be used for everything from scientific data to visual and audible user interfaces. Furthermore, it works with any programming language and operating system.
  • Powerful: In addition to its native strengths, XML leverages the power of IP and web technologies. These technologies enable rapid, reliable, scalable deployment of any XML based solution.
  • Extensible: XML based solutions can easily be extended and enhanced by vendors, customers, or 3rd parties – delivering the value of both standards-based and cutting-edge features.
  • Ubiquituous: XML tools, libraries, products, platforms, and solutions are widely available and are probably already known by your developers and IT staff. This ubiquity saves time and money.

Aspect and XML

When used as the foundation of telephony application platforms such as Aspect’s VoiceXML IVR Platform (Prophecy) and CCXML platforms, XML brings these valuable benefits to any telephony project. This combination can significantly reduce the time, expense, and complexity enterprises face when creating telephony solutions.

Related Topics

IVR Systems for businesses

VoiceXML IVR Platform (Prophecy)

What is CCXML?