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XML> - Short Overview XML> (Extensible Markup Language)> is used to represent data structured in different ways. This makes it very useful for communications between different applications and for the integration of data from different applications. XML> data comprises metadata (markups) in the form of tags and the actual data in the form of elements. XML> does not specify a fixed set of tags. In XML 1.0> format, tags are wrapped in pointy brackets and always appear in pairs, with <(><<)>tag>> marking the start of an element and <(><<)>/tag>> the end of an element. <(><<)>tag> ... <(><<)>/tag>> A short way of writing an empty element <(><<)>tag><(><<)>/tag>> is <(><<)>tag />> . Elements can be nested inside other elements to any depth. A subelement can be specified more than once within an element. <(><<)>tag> <(><<)>tag1> <(><<)>tag2> ... <(><<)>/tag2> <(><<)>/tag1> <(><<)>tag1> ... <(><<)>/tag1> ... <(><<)>/tag>> Valid XML> data contains exactly one root element, in which all other elements are nested. Alongside subelements, attributes are allowed. These are defined in the opening tag of an element: <(><<)>tag attribute='...'>> The attributes of an element are specified as name-value pairs using the equals sign => before the closing bracket and do not themselves contain markups>. Attributes can be delimited using double quotation marks, '>, and single quotation marks, '>. An attribute can only be specified once within an element. The order in which the attributes are specified is not important. To stop naming conflicts occurring when XML> data from different sources is processed, tags can be given namespaces. Special xmlns> attributes are used to declare namespaces. A uniform resource identifier (URI>) is attached to a namespace prefix ns>. <(><<)>... xmlns:ns='...'>> Prefixing a tag or attribute with a namespace prefix ns> separated by a colon :> gives the tag or element a qualified name: <(><<)>tag xmlns:ns='...'> <(><<)>ns:tag ns:attribute='...'> ... <(><<)>/ns:tag> ... <(><<)>/tag>> A namespace prefix must be defined in the same document before it is used. Characters that have a separate meaning in XML> syntax need to be escaped if they appear in values of elements or attributes: Character>XML> Notation> <(><<)>><(> <)>lt;> >><(> <)>gt;> <(> <)>><(> <)>amp;amp;> '> in attributes delimited by '> <(> <)>quot;> '> in attributes delimited by '> <(> <)>apos;> XML> data is valid (well-formed) if it does not break any XML > rules. Generally speaking, XML> data must be well-formed before it can be processed by an XML> parser.
The XML 1.0> format shown here (character strings in pointy brackets) is only one way of representing XML> data, although it is the most widely used. A W3C recommendation>> states that the tree-like arrangement of data in information sets> defines the XML> format. Any data structured in this way can be handled as XML> data. Other notations can also be used, not just XML 1.0>. For example, SAP's own Binary XML>> uses a binary format instead of character strings and does not delimit tags with pointy brackets. ABAP supports further formats alongside XML 1.0> thanks to sXML> Library>.
The program DEMO_XML_SYNTAX_CHECK> > enables XML> data to be entered and its syntax checked.