When the Extensible Markup Language (XML) was first standardized there were many who felt that this was it, finally the silver bullet that would allow all applications to interoperate. Many felt that this standard and its related technologies (which at the time were largely incomplete) would revolutionize data interchange and easily solve all existing problems.

XML is used to encode data, to take some information and surround it with tags which describe the contents. But while XML did provide significant benefits for data interchange, it didn't necessarily solve many long-standing problems with schema incompatibilities and the corresponding semantic issues that data modelers had been struggling with for years.

As we will see in this ...

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