Converting data from one file format to another is time and cost intensive. Especially when you look at industries such as finance, where data accuracy and regulations are high priority. Plus you need to ensure zero-loss in conversion with the ability to output multiple formats that have high fidelity design.
The first question most people ask is ‘What is XML’. It may be best defined by the name ‘Extensible Markup Language’.
Extensible: XML lets you define your own tags as well as the order in which they occur with the way they should be processed or displayed.
Markup: Each element in an XML is defined by a ‘tag’. With XML, you get to define your own set of tags.
Language: XML can be best defined as a meta-language, similar to HTML but a lot more flexible. You can create other languages like MathML, RSS, and even tools like XSLT.
Where is XML used?
The most effective use of XML us perhaps in authoring and managing structured data of news feeds and technical communications. Since the data follows a hierarchy defined by the XML, and it is plain text, it is platform independent.
The good part is that XML can be used stored in a CMS. Over time, XML has been used to communicate with web services, track financial trends, stock market report, defining and describing formats for images and much more.
An XML workflow simplifies publishing of content in multiple digital formats such as HTML, ePub, PDF, ePapers, eMagazines quickly. You can even automate content layout and repurpose content to websites, catalogs, databases, page layout software like InDesign and QuarkXPresss etc. All this makes scaling up services and publications easier – plus you have quick access to all the archived data if its in XML.
In corporate and marketing terms, XML workflows help publishers extend their market leadership. It helps drive publishing efficiency and eliminates the need to re-create content across different channels and platforms.