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Extensible Markup Language (XML) is the de-facto industry standard for carrying business data. It is simple, and very flexible text format. Originally designed to meet the challenges of large-scale electronic publishing. XML is playing increasingly important role in exchange of a wide variety of data on the Web and elsewhere.
Due to the extensible and generic nature of XML, complex business data in any structure can easily be modelled and encapsulated in a unit of document. XML supports unicode and is designed for internationalization and localization. Therefore, XML is highly utilized in business data interchange amongst applications and business partners. Paper documents like quotations and invoices in early days are now replaced by electronic documents enclosed in XML format.
The server side utilizes XML in various configurations and remote procedural calls (RPC). Web Services is one of the most typical applications of XML in service-oriented architecture (SOA) systems. Remote method calls and parameters are sent to remote machines for processing by encapsulated inside an XML document, so are returned values.