About XML

XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. As the name suggests, XML is a markup language. The XML specification was created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the body that sets standards for the web.

Features/Benefits of XML

XML has been widely adopted since its creation and with good reason. Some of the key features and benefits of XML include:

What Does XML Look Like?

The following example demonstrates what the contents of a typical XML document could look like.

I'll be explaining what this is all about in the coming lessons.

Difference Between XML and HTML

If you're familiar with HTML, you might notice that XML looks similar to HTML. Like XML, HTML is also a markup language. In fact, HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. Markup languages are used for describing how a document's contents should be interpreted.


HTML includes over 100 pre-defined tags to allow the author to specify how each piece of content should be presented to the end user. For example, if you surround some content with <b></b> tags, the user agent/browser will render that content using a bold typeface.


XML allows you to create your own tags to describe the data between them. You're not particularly interested in how the data will be presented. Your main focus is ensuring that the data is well organised within descriptive tags (or elements). This is because XML is primarily used for data storage and transfer purposes - not for presentation purposes.