XML Fact Sheet

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 02-22-2002 Print Email

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XML Fact Sheet

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By giving companies the ability to share data both internally and externally, XML can provide a significant boost to strategies based on reengineering internal and external business processes, rationalizing supply chains and connecting more seamlessly with customers. But Byzantine standards have been a drag on adoption, so jump in with your eyes wide open.

XML Lets Companies...

  • Share documents between workgroups
  • Generate standardized invoices and other forms inexpensively
  • Access databases with different formats
  • Build flexible Web sites accessible through a variety of media
  • Define and automate shared business processes


  • Cost reduction: Moving from paper-based to automated processes can reduce labor costs.
  • Speed: Implementing XML can speed up the execution of business processes.
  • Standardization: In industries where standards are solidified, trading partners can initiate new relationships with minimal resources.


  • Lack of standardization: Many industries haven't yet agreed on standards.
  • Lack of interindustry support: Few industries have standards for interacting with other industries—and won't for some time.
  • Too much flexibility: XML is so flexible that users are tempted to try solving too many problems at once.


  • RosettaNet: A consortium of more than 400 companies building standards for the electronics industry.
  • FIXML: Extends the Financial Information eXchange (FIX) protocol for securities transactions.
  • ACORD: Standards for the insurance industry.
  • COVISINT: Auto industry consortium setting supply chain XML and e-commerce standards.

Major Players

  • Microsoft Corp's. BizTalk Server: Currently, the leading XML vendor.
  • Software AG's Tamino XML Server: The leading native XML database system. Has been an early implementor of W3C's XQuery.
  • Ipedo Inc.'s Ipedo XML DB 2.0: A native XML database system that has won recognition for its data integration capabilities.
  • Ixiasoft's TEXTML Server: A native XML database emphasizing flexible, dynamic information storage and retrieval of XML documents.
  • X-Hive Corp.'s X-Hive/DB: A database that supports multiple versions of XML documents.
  • dbXML: A native XML database for use by open source developers produced by the dbXML Project.


The World Wide Web Consortium's central XML site

A site for XML standards coordination, sponsored by OASIS

Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, a sponsor of ebXML

An O'Reilly & Assoc. Inc. XML portal

A reference list of XML standards and activities

Insurance industry standards

Electronics industry XML standards

Open Applications Group, the sponsor of 122 XML standards


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