Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that can be used to produce documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.
This is achieved by including the definition of the message within the message itself. For example:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <stock_items> <item> <name>Notebook-sp-200</name> <price>3.25</price> <currency>GBP</currency> <description>Spiral-bound notebook, lined, 200 pages</description> <stock>650</stock> </item> <item> <name>Pen-BL</name> <price>1.99</price> <currency>GBP</currency> <description>Ball-point pen, black</description> <stock>200</stock> </item> </stock_items>
This, of course, results in a larger file, than a corresponding EDI file, which would mostly contain just the data itself. But with the bandwidths available now, this is not a issue.
To PathFinder, XML is just another file format, and it can translate to and from XML just as easily as it can Traditional EDI. XML is not a standard in itself, but there are several messaging standards based on XML, all of which can be processed by PathFinder.
PathFinder also uses XML as an intermediate format when mapping to databases, and also when producing output such as reports, labels and PDFs using Document Creator. The document will be mapped from the source data to an XML file, and then PathFinder will take that and process it as necessary.