XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a versatile markup language that is essential for storing and transporting data in a format that is accessible to both humans and machines. Its primary function is to provide a universally applicable set of rules for encoding documents in a standardized manner that ensures compatibility across different hardware and software platforms.
At its core, XML utilizes a system of tags to articulate the structure and order of data elements within a document. This tagging system enables the definition of complex data hierarchies and relationships, making XML an invaluable tool for a myriad of applications. It is extensively employed in scenarios that involve the exchange of data between disparate systems, including web services, and is also a staple for creating configuration files, data repositories, and for the representation of structured data in a clear and logical way.
The widespread adoption of XML is due in part to its extensive support across numerous programming languages and applications, allowing for seamless integration and processing of XML data in a variety of contexts within the technological landscape.