Sometimes it is difficult to tell which technologies one should care about and which one can ignore. Do you remember DDE? Have you ever heard of SGML? In truth, some technologies (DDE but not SGML completely) can be safely ignored because they are waystation technologies that are stepping stones to something better. Then, sometimes a technology arrives and really can't be ignored. XML is such a time.
A refined question is can Excel VBA programmers afford to ignore XML? And an equally refined answer is probably not for long. XML is quickly becoming the definitive language of the Internet much as English has become the language of technology. In this chapter we will explore XML, beginning with a brief discussion of what it is, and we will show you a few of the things you can do with XML vis-a-vis Excel.
XML, or eXtensible Markup Language, is a derivative of SGML, or Standard Generalized Markup Language. XML is a markup language like HTML that contains data and things that describe the data. What is important about XML is that XML is self-describing in nature and that XML is just text. Because XML is self-describing it can be used to describe just about anything, and because XML is text it can easily be transported across networks very easily, including the biggest network, the Internet. The Internet will handle other things besides text, but TCP/IP networks really like text.
Because XML is text, it is very easy to manage and transmit. Because XML contains ...