What does XML Mean?

XML (or eXtensible Markup Language according to abbreviationfinder) is a simple markup language similar to HTML. Its objective is to facilitate the representation, storage and transmission of various information by computer applications, computers and digital media in general.

XML is not a particular language but serves as a framework for defining languages ​​for different needs. Some examples are XHTML, XSLT, SOAP.


XML (eXtensible Markup Language) consists of a set of rules to represent information in a form that is easily processable by a computer. Its design seeks to emphasize simplicity and usability over the Internet. Its format is based on text characters with support for all languages. Originally designed to meet the challenge of large-scale electronic information publishing, XML has played a major role in the exchange of information on the Web and beyond.


The XML (eXtensible Markup Language = Extensible Markup Language) began to be developed at the end of 1996 at the request of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) with the intention of creating a standard in the markup language that would allow integrating the simplicity that HTML offers and the expression possibilities of the GML (Generalized Markup Language), developed by the International Business Machine IBMin the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The overcoming of the difficulties that the use of HTML had in relation to the mixture of the styles that are applied, the limitations when sharing the information with devices (computers or mobile phones) and the presentation on the screen of the information depending on the browser or used visor were the main considerations driving this new standard.

The antecedents are in the GML that allowed to save large volumes of information together with the possibility of classifying and writing any document to process it later as required.

The ISO directive, in charge of standards at a global level, became interested in the new language and in 1986 they presented the SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), which established a definition of language standards, however, it was still a brake on the development of the distribution of information without the limitations implied by the format in a document.

XML was intended to distinguish the content and structure of documents for presentation on paper or on screen, the essential thing was to explicitly show the structure and informative content, as well as the creation of documents that could be exchanged and processed easily on heterogeneous IT systems.

XML has been accepted as an enabler of management, it is also used in the retrieval, exchange and encoding of content and metadata. The list of initiatives put into practice is vast, and although not all have achieved a level of acceptance, there are numerous examples of the successful application of this language in the academic, business and institutional fields.

Since 2004, new proposals and initiatives related to the use of language have been shown and it has been seen how some of its specifications continually mature until solidifying. Versions of computer applications designed to work with XML are continually coming to light, as well as the design of new vocabularies or the adoption of the language in different areas of work.

This process is shown in the definitive publication of the first version of the Universal Business Language (UBL) vocabulary for the exchange of business documents, the development of the DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) vocabulary by OASIS for the coding and reuse of technical documentation; and the launch of new versions of computer programs such as DB XML by Sleepycat Software, Astoria 4.3 or the acquisition of Advent Publishing by Arbortext, are a sign of the boom that the use of XML has reached in the world of information sciences.

Starting in 2005, interest grew in specifications aimed at integrating computer applications by exchanging data through web services, hence the utilities in this regard presented by the Tom Cat and the Eclipse, to give output to documents whose base is XML.


An XML document consists of tags organized in herarchic ways. Each tag represents an entity and its scope is extended until the companion tag that closes it is found. Each label is a mark made on the document, which marks a portion of it as an element. A piece of information with a definite meaning. Tags are of the form <name>, where name is the name of the element being flagged.

<? xml version = “1.0” encoding = “UTF-8”?> <Message> <Sender> <Name> Sender’s name </Name> <Mail> Sender’s email </Mail> </Sender> <Recipient> <Name> Name of the recipient </ Name> <Mail> Mail recipient </ Mail> </ target> <text> <Subject> This is my document with a very simple structure contains no attributes or entities… </subject> <paragraph> This is my document with a very simple structure contains no attributes or entities… </Paragraph> </Text> </Message>