XML is a markup language and subset of SGML. It was created to provide functionality that goes beyond that of HTML for Web publishing and distributed document processing.
XML is less complex than SGML, but more complex and flexible than HTML. Although XML and HTML can usually be read by the same browsers and processors, XML has characteristics that make it better able to share documents:
XML documents possess a strict phrase structure that makes it easy to find and access data. For example, opening tags of all elements must have both an opening tag and a corresponding closing tag, for example, <p> A paragraph.</p>.
XML lets you develop and use tags that distinguish different types of data, for example, customer numbers or item numbers.
XML lets you create an application-specific document type, which makes it possible to distinguish one kind of document from another.
XML documents allow different displays of the XML data. XML documents, like HTML documents, contain only markup and content; they do not contain formatting instructions. Formatting instructions are normally provided on the client using eXtensible Style Language (XSL) specifications.
You can store XML documents in Adaptive Server as:
XML in a field of a Java object
XML in a text or image column
XML in a char or varchar column
Parsed XML in an image column