Industry consortiums are bringing together technology and professional services companies to drive the adoption of common XML-based vocabularies to streamline information interchange among firms belonging to a particular industry. These industry-specific standards are built upon the core XML technologies listed in the previous section. XMLSPY is an extensible editor in that it automatically supports editing and validation of any of the following industry-standard XML formats because they all have a content model defined using either an XML Schema or a DTD.
Numerous XML technologies are dedicated to providing ways of visually displaying documents in different formats. The following standards can be grouped into the category of document presentation:
Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1): XHTML is a reformulation of HTML 4 as an XML 1.0–compliant vocabulary. Published as a W3C recommendation in January 2000.
Wireless Markup Language (www.wapforum.org/): WML is an XML vocabulary for fast delivery of information and services to mobile users. These include handheld digital wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones, and communicators built on any operating system including PalmOS, EPOC, Windows CE, FLEXOS, OS/9, JavaOS, and so on.
Scalable Vector Graphics (www.w3.org/TR/SVG/): SVG is an XML vocabulary for describing two-dimensional vector and mixed vector/raster graphics in XML. It allows for three types of graphic objects: vector graphic shapes (for example, straight and curved lines), images, and text. Graphical objects can be grouped, styled, transformed, and easily embedded into an XML document.
Virtual Reality Modeling Language (www.vrml.org/): VRML is a file format for describing interactive 3D objects and worlds. VRML is designed for use on the Internet, intranets, and local client systems. VRML is also intended to be a universal interchange format for integrated 3D graphics and multimedia. VRML may be used in a variety of application areas such as engineering and scientific visualization, multimedia presentations, entertainment and educational titles, Web pages, and shared virtual worlds.
Voice Extensible Markup Language (www.w3.org/TR/voicexml/): VoiceXML is designed for creating audio dialogs that feature synthesized speech, digitized audio, recognition of spoken and key input, recording of spoken input, telephony, and mixed-initiative conversations. Its major goal is to bring the advantages of Web-based development and content delivery to interactive voice response applications. It was published as a W3C Note in May 2000.
Cascading Style Sheets (www.w3.org/Style/CSS/): This is a simple mechanism for adding style (for example, fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents.
Although scientific concepts are known to be universal, we lack a truly universal and efficient means to electronically express complicated formulas. The following standards help address this need:
Chemical Markup Language (www.xml-cml.org/): XML vocabulary for representing molecular information, covering macromolecular sequences to inorganic molecules and quantum chemistry.
Mathematical Markup Language (www.w3.org/TR/REC-MathML/): XML vocabulary for describing mathematical notations that enables mathematical expressions to be easily sent, received, and processed on the Web. This was a W3C recommendation, finalized July 1999.
The publishing industry is responsible for creating volumes of useful content on a daily basis. The purpose of the following standards is to enable loosely structured documents to be expressed as XML documents:
News Markup Language (www.newsml.org/): NewsML is the standard XML grammar for describing news articles for use in print or Web publishing.
DocBook (www.oasis-open.org/committees/docbook/): DocBook is a popular XML content model for describing books, articles, and other prose documents such as technical documentation.
The financial industry has greatly benefited from advances in Internet technologies and is eagerly pursuing the development of standards-based XML formats for describing business processes. The following is a listing of some of the financial industry’s most adopted standards:
Extensible Business Reporting Language (www.xbrl.org): An XML grammar for describing financial statements of both public and private companies, used by the accounting profession, regulators, analysts, the investment community, capital markets, and lenders. It provides accurate and reliable information.
Research Information Exchange Markup Language (www.rixml.org): XML standard to categorize and describe the contents of financial research reports, used to facilitate sharing of information between a financial institution and its clients.
Financial Products Markup Language (www.fpml.org): FpML is the industry-standard protocol for complex financial products, describing interest rate swaps, Forward Rate Agreements, interest rates, derivatives, swaps, foreign exchange, and other financial products. It is used to automate the flow of information across financial institutions.
Market Data Definition Language (www.mddl.org): Market Data Definition Language (MDDL) is an XML-based interchange format and common data dictionary on the fields needed to describe financial instruments, corporate events affecting value and tradability, and market-related, economic and industrial indicators. It enables the exchange of market data between dealers and brokers.
XML technologies are being employed to solve today’s medical challenges. Here are some of the relevant medical standards:
Gene Expression Markup Language (www.geml.org/): XML vocabulary for biological gene expression data, using bioinformatics professionals to catalog and search genetic data.
Health Level 7 (www.hl7.org/): HL7 is an XML vocabulary for the healthcare industry, including pharmacy, medical devices, imaging, insurance (claims processing), and both clinical and administrative data. Its purpose is to improve patient care and ensure interoperability between healthcare information systems.
Human Resources Markup Language (www.hr-xml.org): HR-XML is an XML vocabulary for describing human-resource processes and documents, including stock options, resumes, job descriptions, benefits enrollment, background checks, time expenses, and more. It is designed to reduce paperwork and provide a standard means for companies to transmit information.