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Thread: Uses for XML...

  1. #1
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    Uses for XML...

    I've got a question... Basically, you can tell by my Subject. Here it is: What are the uses for XML? About the only thing that I'm aware that it's used for now is for news feeds, etc. Is it basically just another database except that it can be accessed by anything? I've been wondering for a while, so I figured I would just ask, lol.
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  2. #2
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    XML has several uses in today' interconnecting world.
    At the very basics, XML file is just a fancy text file,its not differnt then that of old Comma Separated files,however,the Power of XML comes in when its complemented by DTD's or schema's.A DTD or a schema determines that what exactly will be the names of the XML elements and what will be the contents of those XML elements(hence the name eXtensible Markup Language).

    In recent years XML has gain quite a popularity in the IT industry,mostly because of its ease of use.Today XML is used almost everywhere,From web servers to application servers,from databases to rendering HTML pages(using XSL).

    All enterprise applications use configuration files in XML format, J2EE applications depend on XML to configure any settings for an application, The recent entry(few years old already) webservices is entirely based on XML.

    In corporate environment XML has been used to import/export data.

    The truth is there are so many uses of XML that its not even funny..


    Using XML as standalone database,in my opinion, is not too feasible.That is because of you have serveral thousands of records then XML file will grow immensely in size,and that may slow down the search process.For small dab requirements its probably allot better then any other (Access like db)


    I hope this helps....

    I am pretty sure it will create more questions..let me know..I'll try to answer them..
    Cheers

    Khalid

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  3. #3
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    well how does it tie in with oracle? Because I have seen some pretty interesting / confusing stuff about that. These webservices that use xml confuse me too.

  4. #4
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    Oracle?..hunm..I am pretty sure most of the XML used in XML is for configurational purposes,such as how oracle may behave in a certain situation?,,,,they may keep this behavior description in XML files etc.

    Webservices is a pretty neat idea.As we all know that developers have always been bummed by the fact that they have to write applications system/OS specific (heck we have to write browser specific code..darn).

    When Java was introduced,it was the main promotional slogan for it
    "Write once use everywhere"

    There may be arguments that wether java has fullfilled the task or not,but it seems like webservices is definitley is up to the task.
    A corporation or a person will write an application and then werite a Webservice for it,this will define what parts of application may be accesed by any one from any OS using SOAP messages.

    There are already standards around that complement XML to create standard description files.

    Essentially what hapens is that if I have an application on windows machine and I want it to be available for a linux user,I will create webservice using
    WSDL - Web Services Definition Language

    and

    SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol

    In this service's description I will define what are the parts of my application that can be accessed by any one sending a message(SOAP) over the HTTP(typically).

    Below is the Official description by W3C

    [Definition: A Web service is a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. It has an interface described in a machine-processable format (specifically WSDL). Other systems interact with the Web service in a manner prescribed by its description using SOAP-messages, typically conveyed using HTTP with an XML serialization in conjunction with other Web-related standards.]


    I hope it was usefull description...I tried..
    Cheers

    Khalid

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  5. #5
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    XML is both awesome and confusing for me at the same time. I have used it a tiny bit in my asp.net for controling certain applications, like I used it to set the impressions of an ad rotator in a sample application I made. But I really dont know much about it. How exactly does an xml data base work??? I have pretty much only used sql server for my large data bases and access for my smaller ones.

  6. #6
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    Well, like Khalid pointed out, XML is not for databases, although since it is so flexible it can be used as one.

    Here is how you would use a xml as a "database".

    First, you would create the xml file that holds your information (say an address book).

    Then you would use XSLT to "query" the information in the XML file and display the output nicely on a browser (or any other client).

    But to use XML as a database is really putting it to shame, since it can be used for so much more.

    RSS feeds are XML files, so are many of the weather feeds that you can get from the net. XML allows for the easy transfer and broadcasting of data -- so it opens up a whole new world for any application that is XML enabled.

    For example, using XML, you can make your existing application into a webservice using SOAP (or XML-RPC). What this does is allow your application to be accessed over the internet, making it instantly available to millions of users (that you can potentially charge for using it). Examples of web services include the Google API, Amazon Web Services, UPS Business Services, etc. The beauty of webservices and SOAP is that they work over HTML ... so all you need is for port 80 to be open and you can start using webservices. No more hassling with the network admin to open up a port, or having an audit to find out if opening up some other port will lead to a security risk.

    To really understand why there is so much buzz around XML you really need to understand one thing ... information availability. Imagine being able to share information that was before in a proprietary format (something that only your computer system could understand), and now you can make it available to any computer system that can read text files. This allows you (as a business) to expand your product to other platforms, and (as a programmer/developer) allows you the ability to work on different platforms and different types of data.

    Maybe this will help

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by PeOfEo
    I have used it a tiny bit in my asp.net for controling certain applications, like I used it to set the impressions of an ad rotator in a sample application I made. But I really dont know much about it.
    Experience. I've found that everything comes together more easily and more quickly when you learn it at the same time you use it, and the more often you use it, the more you learn about what it can do, what its limits are, and how to do those things. I'm no JavaScript programmer... I know a lot about JavaScript, and I've used it a great deal (sometimes over-extensively). I know what it can do, what it can't do, and how to do what it can do if a situation arises in which I need to use my knowledge. However, just because I know a lot about it, doesn't mean I know everything. Sometimes, I have to ask Khalid or pyro for a little help (more often in PHP, though, as I am newer to it). So you know that you have little experience, when the question comes to mind: "Is this possible?"

    Hope I helped ya, guys.


    [J]ona
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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Jona
    So you know that you have little experience, when the question comes to mind: "Is this possible?"
    Hmm... I'm not sure I agree with that. Unless you know a language forward, backward, and every other way(), there is no way to know for sure that you can't do something in a certain language. Just when you think you know something can't get done, someone shows you a little script to pop open the CD drive(which, BTW, can be done). So I like to refrain for using the words "it cannot be done", since it is only a matter of time until someone will find out how to do it.
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  9. #9
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    You get the idea, anyway... I was meaning more of those "beginner" questions... Usually, the "is this possible?" question is always wrong, because usually the ability for the language to do something in your mind is limited more than it really is, because you don't know it well. Of course, keep it practical... Don't wonder, "Can I customize Windows via JavaScript without ActiveX and can I do it on other people's computers when the script is online?" or something outrageous like that... Oh well, you get the idea... I know you're smarter than that.

    [J]ona
    Visit Slightly Remarkable to see my portfolio, resumé, and consulting rates.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by AdamBrill
    .....since it is only a matter of time until someone will find out how to do it.
    A brillinat statement Adam, Thats my belief in every aspect of life
    Cheers

    Khalid

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