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XML: What's it all about?

XML can help you automate your business processes.

XML data entered in one department works in different programs in other departments.

Another advantage of XML is its ability to automate any number of business processes. Say that a customer sends you a purchase order. It arrives looking like any document, but the information in this document is in XML. Your computer system can automatically transform that purchase order into a worksheet for your shipping department to use, and automatically import the order data into your accounting database. Depending on how your system is designed, all you do is push a couple of buttons.

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language, and it's called "Extensible" for a good reason: You can extend it by adapting it to fit almost any need: in business, publishing, government, science, academic research — anywhere that information moves from one use to another.

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