Is XML overrated? This is a question not asked lightly. It is a heavy and bloated question, much like XML itself. XML has been around since 1997. It is document based and it is extremely verbose. It requires a higher payload across the network and cannot be natively used once it arrives. The XML payload must be consumed in some fashion. None of these activities attribute to the speed of an application.
In today's world of AJAX and Flex, is XML past its prime? Does XML need to be regarded as a good idea whose time has come and gone? There are plenty of capable replacements available when using AJAX and Flex. Some examples that come to mind are JSON and AMF (Action Message Format). Both of these formats require smaller payloads and less processing on the receiving and sending endpoints. These data interchange formats are faster and less resource intensive than XML.
"XML still thrives on the strength of one key factor: its market penetration."
XML still thrives on the strength of one key factor: its market penetration. As clunky and obtrusive as it may be, XML is still a highly-used standard for data interchange between disparate systems. Most application servers can accept XML and apply some layer of processing to the XML. EDI is a key driver to not only XML's perpetuation, but its very existence.
Where does this leave the first question? Is XML overrated? There are compelling arguments on both sides of the aisle, but the answer lies in individual preference. If a developer is more comfortable with XML, it will be used. If they are more comfortable with an alternative data interchange format, that format of preference will be used.
Either way, XML will continue to exist; but its days may, indeed, be numbered.
About Andrew Powell Andrew Powell has been architecting and developing Web applications for over 10 years using ColdFusion, Java, ASP.NET and ASP. His background includes experience running IT Departments for firms in the executive search and aviation consulting fields. You can read his blog on everything ColdFusion, Java, Flex & AJAX at www.infoaccelerator.net.
That is a very narrow view of XML. AJAX works by exchanging XML fragments with the server app. JSON may replace XML here.
Flex in addition uses XML to describe the UI itself (like XAML and XUL). XML is not just about user interface. It is also used for data exchange, object communication (webservices), creating several industry specific vocabularies (fixml, acord).
Dennis Muzza commented on 20 Dec 2006
For simple data exchanges between a web client and its server within the same application it's probably more practical to use JSON or Flex, but before writing XML's obituary let's not forget that it provides the syntax for web services (the basis of SOA) as well as a myriad markup languages, some of which have by now solidified as industry standards. I personally think that XML is by far the best that ever happened to enterprise data exchange, which for decades had been hindered by mutually incompatible custom EDI formats. This doesn't mean that XML is immortal, but given its traction it will probably stay around for a while and the problems associated with payload verbosity will be resolved sooner or later by better compression algorithms, possibly at the network hardware level, making it transparent to enterprise users.
Trackback Added: Is XML past its prime?; In Today's World of AJAX and Flex, Is XML Past Its Prime?
? Does XML need to be regarded as a good idea whose time has come and gone? There are plenty of capable replacements availabe when using AJAX and Flex. Some examples that come to mind are J
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the I...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of cont...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing sm...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to in...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need t...
Your registrations includes: Golden Pass Delegates will receive full conference access on October 20-22, 2008 including: Lunch and Coffee Breaks, Collectible Bag and Archives of all sessions on DVD. Includes access to all Conference Sessions including the Technical Sessions, Exhibits, Keynotes, Vendor Technology Presentations, and Power Panels.
AJAXWorld offers the undisputed best platform to position your company as a leading vendor in the fast-emerging marketplace for AJAX and Enterprise Web 2.0.
Who Should Attend?
• CTOs & VPs of Engineering
• Directors of Technology
• Sr. User Interface Architects
• Front-End Engineers
• VCs & Industry Analysts
• Directors of Business Development
• Software Engineers
• Senior Architects
• Application Programmers & Software Developers
• Project Managers
• Web Programmers & Designers
• Companies & Organizations that need to stay in front of the latest Web technology
AJAXWorld Security Bootcamp
Introducing at AJAXWorld RIA Conference 2008 West the world's first-ever full, one-day immersive "AJAX Security Bootcamp" - led by one of the world's foremost AJAX security experts and teachers, HP's Billy Hoffman.