XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a markup language used for storing, transporting, and reconstructing arbitrary data. It defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. Here’s a breakdown of its key characteristics and functionalities:

Key Characteristics:

  • Structure: Data in XML is organized in a hierarchical structure using elements and attributes. Elements are like containers that hold data or other elements, forming a tree-like structure. Attributes provide additional information about specific elements.
  • Tags: Elements are defined using opening and closing tags, similar to HTML. These tags specify the start and end of an element and its content.
  • Self-describing: XML documents are self-describing, meaning they include information about their own structure and content within the tags and attributes.
  • Platform-independent: XML documents are platform-independent, meaning they can be processed and understood by different systems regardless of their underlying operating system or hardware.