What is XML Format?
XML or eXtensible Markup Language is a markup language similar to HTML but was created with a different purpose. The former was designed for data storage and transport, while the latter deals on data display. XML is a simple text format used widely in data exchange over the Web and using other applications. With XML’s capacity to be viewed or read by other platforms or applications, the “XML FORMAT” or “XML File Format” became some sort of standard file format in business/office applications.
XML File Formats became standard in office-related applications because of its flexibility and interoperability with other systems. Binary file formats like those from Microsoft Word (.doc), Excel (.xls), and Powerpoint (.ppt) were the basic formats of the past. But with the changing needs of the workplace, like moving of data into different applications, these old file formats had to be modified or upgraded for their compatibility issues. In contrast, XML-based formats allowed for interoperability among various applications. And so many document systems adopted the XML Format to keep up with the new business environment.
XML formats or files have several advantages over its binary rivals of the past. One thing it can deliver is robustness of data. With XML, the risk of data corruption is reduced or lost because the application is now designed for improved data recovery and data archiving. Easy integration of business information is also possible with XML File Formats, since documents can be created from different sources and exchanging them is simplified. Version conflicts are also eliminated with the XML Format. Unlike in binary file formats, when you try to view files created using the new versions, you won’t be able to do so if you’re computer is installed with the older version. The only option left for you then is a software upgrade. Using XML File Formats, even if new features are added to the format, older file versions can still be read and viewed.