XML stands for Extensible Mark Up language and often divides structure from content. The mark-up language is extensible unlike other languages such as HTML, which has a fixed vocabulary. The benefit of this is that the user is able to easily read and edit the XML to their own advantage and purpose. The use of XML occurs in particular programmes used for businesses such as Microsoft Excel. As XML is text based, the divide between content and structure can be clearly defined. It is also useful as describing a store of information which is often what spread sheets are used for.
The role of XML is to carry information rather than to display it. In programmes such as Excel, this means that information only needs to be stored once – after this, it can be reused many times. It is an important part of business documents in particular as XML can easily withstand change without the xml document breaking as a result of a change in structure. If another attribute was added to another attribute necessary for the programme to process information, this change can be encompassed easily within the extensible mark ups without causing error. XML is often preferred as it has the capacity to display structured and semi structured information; this information can come in the forms of charts, tables and graphs. XML is also beneficial to these types of documents as it is a platform independent mark-up which means that is can be used, opened and edited across a different variety of programmes and operating systems- particularly useful for those businesses that use a range of systems.