- 2 - XML Explained Michael Broberg/Lalith Reddy, Jun 2000 © 2001 Sixhills Consulting Ltd & Author determine when its contents have been received over a network. Attributes of XML elements are defined as part of its start-tag (e.g. <Order type="production">). Each XML attribute must be fully defined, with the attribute name followed by a value indicator (=) and a quote delimited string containing the attribute value. XML and B2B Transactions XML provides unlimited flexibility when exchanging data between businesses and machines. Data can be exchanged with or without human intervention. For example, using XML a business can  Define a document such as a Purchase Order (PO) with a valid data structure.  Display this XML PO through a browser or a ‘XML Parser’  Integrate XML documents with internal applications like E-catalogues  Pass on this XML PO directly to partners or intermediaries who can interpret the document without any prior knowledge of data structure The B2B global data exchange standards that were established by ANSI and UN have been evolving as a result of changing requirements of B2B E-commerce. The emergence of the Internet has fuelled the need for technologies that fosters real-time application to application, web to application and web to web integration. This is where XML fits in. It accomplishes the need for real-time, Internet-centred solutions, providing businesses a flexible and extensible environment for integrated and interoperable data exchange. XML standardization makes it possible to use message brokers or shopping agents to search the Internet for specific information, no matter how disparate the systems are. Advantages XML offers the following benefits to businesses conducting transactions over the web: Application integration. With XML, standard formats for data interchanges can be defined and XML templates that integrate EDI transactions with other business processes and workflow automation tools can be created. Cost savings. By using generic software tools and technical skills to eliminate the need for specialized EDI resources, XML/EDI makes exchanging business documents more cost-effective. Faster processing. Many Web-based applications are slow because a server typically must perform a new query and create a new HTML document each time a client requests data from the server. With XML/EDI, an HTML document still defines how data is displayed, but the data itself is provided to the client
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