XML in Real Life

Content Management
Content management is an integral part of any enterprise. Content management system everybody has the access to required and allowed information as and when required.
The following example shows how an effective content management system can help a company improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, increase revenue and compete with third party and after-market parts suppliers.
Content Management Backbone
What is Content Management?
“Content management encompasses a set of processes and technologies, enabling the creation and packaging of content (documents, complex media, applets, components, etc.) as part of a dynamic and integrated Web-centric environment.”
META Group
Let’s examine this definition further. First, content management requires new, enabling technology. Second, content is not merely documents and words, but graphics, audio, video clips, live feeds and software components. This leads to two related questions that will be discussed later in this paper: What constitutes content? How can content be reused? Finally, the definition is decidedly web-oriented, bringing up two questions: Can content be shared between web and non-web uses? Are there new technologies that can assist in this process?
Enterprise content management emphasizes the need to address content management across all forms and formats of information stored throughout the extended enterprise. Within the enterprise, information is created using a wide variety of methods and tools, and this information is revised frequently. Enterprise content management takes the smallest, most appropriate units of information and allows them to be re-purposed and delivered in a personalized form to the individual requiring information.
What is Content?
In understanding content management, it may be helpful to distinguish it from document management and knowledge management. Document management deals with maintaining and storing documents. Knowledge management is concerned with making information accessible for decision making through index, query and search mechanisms. While content management shares some of the attributes of both document management (storing information) and knowledge management (accessing information), it goes beyond them to create a system for re-purposing and using information to drive business processes.
The traditional method used to transfer a document into a document management repository won’t work with a live feed. Nor will the standard method of linking, object linking and embedding (OLE). Because “content” encompasses a wide variety of information objects, an expanded repository and a new system of linking are required. Content management requires a new enabling technology, to accommodate the dynamic array of information. With
The biggest advantages of a content management system is that content can be created using the best available tools for the job. Simple text documents can be created in Word while engineering drawings are built in sophisticated CAD/CAM software. Complex technical documents might use Interleaf 7 on the otherhand marketing literature may be created using Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw etc.
Structure and Format
<P>Associate details<br /> Name: Dharampal Das</P>
<ebiz><associate><name>Dharampal Das</name></associate></ebiz>
<ebiz><associate-name>Dharampal Das</associate-name></ebiz>
<ebiz><name isAssociate=”yes”>Dharampal Das</name></ebiz>
The idea of identifying content is not new; numerous authoring tools define information formatting.
The SGML Approach
The idea that markup should be standard and separate from format information led to the creation of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) in 1978. SGML became an ISO standard in 1986. SGML provided two key markup innovations. The first was to provide a language for describing markup, not just a particular set of markup elements. The second was to separate the tagging of content from its presentation or style. In other words, you do not mark up content according to SGML, you write an SGML application that tags the content according to the rules set forth in the Document Type Definition (DTD). These rules do not define whether or not the content is centered or bold. Instead they define the structural elements that the content represents. DTD is used as the grammar for SGML documents. The DTD defines what SGML elements are and an application aware of the specific DTD tags the content accordingly.
In looking at DHTML with CSS, Microsoft made the following observation in a technical perspective on XML:
CSS can still be used for simply structured XML data-and we anticipate that in such situations it will be useful. However, CSS does not provide a display structure that deviates from the structure of the data source. With XSL (eXtensible Style Language), it is possible to generate presentation structures (in HTML for instance) that are very different from the original XML data structure.”
HTML is perhaps the best and easiest  way to present information. HTML also has content delivery limitations, especially when content is stored in databases, when there are complex interrelationships, and when the content is bound dynamically at the time of delivery. This means HTML has its own limitation when the content to be presented is dynamic. Without the ability to generate multiple, different presentations and to deliver a variety of content dynamically, enterprise content management is not possible. With HTML content can be presented easily and in fastest way but, one should not forget about its limitations.
Enter XML
In the year 1996 the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and 80 SGML experts joined forces to develop a permanent solution to the problems of HTML. As the result a new language called XML (eXtensible Markup Language) was developed, together with a new style language called XSL (eXtensible Stylesheet Language) and, later, a new link language called XLink (eXtensible Links). XML is a simplified subset of SGML that is easy to use, designed specifically for the Web, and oriented toward content structure, not style.
XML is among one of the fastest growing web technologies at the time. XML technology has a number of advantages over SGML. First, XML is simpler to use and process than SGML, making it more likely that low cost tools that accept XML will be widely available. Second, because XML has been developed as an enhancement to the Web, it has broad industry support. XML has been adopted by many companies such as Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, giving it a prominent place in Unix and Windows workplaces. Third, significant progress has already been made in defining standard XML DTDs for a variety of applications.
XML, combined with Java and object-oriented data technology, has become the enabling technology that makes enterprise content management possible.
True Enterprise Content Management
To achieve these goals a content management system must allow content to be:
Created using familiar tools at any place within the enterprise
Structured and accessed in units appropriate to its meaning
Personalized and used in one-to-one marketing
Reused as often and in any combination desired
Easily updated and kept current
Faithfully rendered in a variety of presentation media.
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