Advantages of XML | disadvantages of XML

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of XML. It mentions XML advantages or benefits and XML disadvantages or drawbacks. XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language.

What is XML?

• It stands for eXtensible Markup Language.
• It has been designed to transport and store data with emphasis on "what data is". XML is all about carrying information.
• XML gives framework to define markup languages.
• XML is neither programming language and nor presentation language.
• XML is case sensitive. Hence utmost core is needed in writing XML script.
• It helps in transporting data between application and database.
• XML allows custom tag creation and use as desired and hence it is more flexible.
• XML preserves white space.
• XML is dynamic in nature as it carries information.
• XML is recommended by WWW consortium. It is fee free open standard.

XML script example

• Figure-1 depicts XML script example.
• XML defines set of rules or syntax which can encode documents in such a way which can be readable by machines.
• XML helps in opening documents in a browser.

Benefits or advantages of XML

Following are the benefits or advantages of XML:
➨It is text based and hence human readable.
➨It supports unicode standard and hence text from any character set can be used.
➨XML can store binary information. The binary data must be converted to text with the help of "Base64".
➨XML will store any document or data which can be represented as "tree structure".
➨It allows business documents to be viewed in a browser.
➨XML is platform independent.
➨XBRL (version of XML) is recommended by United States SEC for reporting financial earnings to US federal government.
➨It can be used by small EDI users who do not have resources to implement a full blown EDI installation.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of XML

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of XML:
➨XML is relatively inefficient compare to other storage algorithms. This is due to use of XML tags which require extra storage or bandwidth.
➨Storage of binary data such as image data is also inefficient. Storage is done using Base64 encoding which takes 4 bytes to store 3 bytes of binary data. Hence it consumes more storage/bandwidth.
➨An additional program is needed to display encoded image data written in XML.
➨There are three methods to parse XML files. Most of the programmers are not aware of these methods.
➨XML requires separate XML stylesheet to use it for more than basic display of data.
➨XML is backend technology for data storage and transmission. It lacks rendering instructions.
➨Not all the files are well-represented with tree structures. Exampes include DB2/400 tables, flat files, undefined fixed record length files, stream files etc.
➨File sizes are very large.
➨Application bridges i.e. APIs must be re-written.
➨Examples of above advantages and disadvantages of XML are mentioned in pdf file >>.

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