Item 40. Avoid Vendor Lock-In

Although XML is a nonproprietary, vendor-independent technology, it doesn't have to stay that way. Be extremely cautious of any tool that would tie you to one vendor's systems. In some cases the lock-in is obvious. For instance, one vendor went so far as to patent its DTDs. That's easy to avoid. But sometimes the lock-in is less obvious. The real danger is complexity. If the system is so complex that you cannot imagine writing your own tools to process the documents it uses, avoid it. It's one thing to buy a useful tool from a vendor that will save a you a couple of weeks of programmer time. It's a completely different thing to depend on a system that you couldn't reimplement given a couple of years of expert developer ...

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