XML for the rest of us

We've known for many years that most of our vital information lives in documents, not databases. XML was supposed to help us capture the implicit structure of ordinary business documents (memos, expense reports) and make it explicit. Sets of such documents would then form a kind of virtual database. The cost to search, correlate, and recombine the XML-ized data would fall dramatically, and its value would soar. It was a great idea, but until the tools used to create memos and expense reports became deeply XML-aware, it was stillborn. XML did, of course, thrive in another and equally important way. It became the exchange format of enterprise databases and the lingua franca of Web services. Now Office 11 wants to erase the differences between XML documents written and read by people using desktop applications, and XML documents produced and consumed by databases and Web services. This is a really big deal. [Full story at InfoWorld.com.]

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/11/18.html#a510