Cover by Joe Fawcett, Liam R.E. Quin, Danny Ayers

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INTRODUCTION

THIS IS THE FIFTH EDITION OF A BOOK that has proven popular with professional developers and academic institutions. It strives to impart knowledge on a subject that at first was seen by some as just another fad, but that instead has come to maturity and is now often just taken for granted. Almost six years have passed since the previous edition — a veritable lifetime in IT terms. In reviewing the fourth edition for what should be kept, what should be updated, and what new material was needed, the current authors found that about three-quarters of the material was substantially out of date. XML has far more uses than five years ago, and there is also much more reliance on it under the covers. It is now no longer essential to be able to handcraft esoteric configuration files to get a web service up and running. It has also been found that, in some places, XML is not always the best fit. These situations and others, along with a complete overhaul of the content, form the basis for this newer version.

So, what is XML? XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language, which is a language that can be used to describe data in a meaningful way. Virtually anywhere there is a need to store data, especially where it may need to be consumed by more than one application, XML is a good place to start. It has gained a reputation for being a candidate where interoperability is important, either between two applications in different businesses or simply those within a company. Hundreds of ...

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