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RE: Use of XML ?

>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.

Assuming "each side" means different companies, then in the long run it may
be advantageous to assume that the two sides have hetrogenous system,
unaware of each other.

What if you have to exchange the same information with a different company?
Your file based approach will more generic since the new side's application
may not be java-class aware.

Also, consider efforts required in synchronising a change in the class.

Hope this helps.