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Re: Use of XML ?

Caroline Clewlow wrote:
> [...]
> Whilst we were developing the system we came to the startling
> realisation that everything we were doing via XML could actually be done
> by simply making each side aware of the 'class' (using Java) of the
> object that the data is read into - in the same way that both sides
> would need to be aware of the schema. So rather than transporting the
> XML doc we could just send that object.
> We know we must be missing some fundamental point here - but if someone
> could just help by explaining why XML is so important as a data exchange
> format it would be very appreciated

Using XML as a serialization format gives you more flexibility
than Java's built-in serialization.  The recipient can use
a different class to process the data than the sender.
You can modify the sender and recipient implementations
independently without having to keep the code bases in sync,
as long as the transport schema remains the same.
You don't have to implement both ends in the same programming

The main drawback is that it takes extra work to implement the
XML serialization and deserialization code.  Whether the
added flexibility is worth the extra effort depends on
the application; in many cases it is.

--Joe English