Even though XML is a lingua franca, the price of its expedience has become complexity and inefficiency. Chief information officers are encountering layers upon layers of XML data generated by multiple platforms through myriad applications. Companies may be sitting on a goldmine of XML services and be unaware of it. They may also be sitting on potential problems.
For instance, XML standards themselves are creating heterogeneity. A simple XML message might contain three to five “namespaces” from three to five different standards. (A namespace is like a digital snapshot–a picture of an XML standard taken at a single point in time and displaying unique context.) The message alone may be complex enough, but competing standards, versioning and styling choices further complicate it.
And because XML messages emanate from application code, the cost of retrofitting poorly designed XML usually includes a rewrite of a significant portion of an application. It’s much more cost-effective to get it right the first time.