Extensible Markup Language, or XML, has received a whirlwind of hype since its creation in 1998, promising the ultimate universal format for all exchanges of company data.But to seasoned technology experts, this promise was initially made more than a decade ago with EDI, which also portended massive efficiencies and savings in business-to-business transactions.

Supporters of XML declare that it can be deployed as a vehicle for exchanging data between companies within an industry, enabling straight-through processing and closer collaboration between organizations. XML also supports internal system-to-system interactions, thereby facilitating enterprise application integration initiatives.

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