"Only in the abbreviation-laden world of high technology could three letters have such wide impact." CNET XML is one of the hottest Web development tools/languages - especially in e-commerce. XML (Extensible Markup Language), a tagbased language similar to HTML, is designed to structure data, rather than format it like HTML. XML allows for the exchange of data between companies, within a company, or within an application. XML is a Web standard touted as having the potential to revolutionize the way businesses exchange data. It not only allows companies to easily and cheaply conduct online transactions with their customers and partners, it also delivers sound, video and other data across the Web. XML is simple to learn and works over Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the underlying protocol of the Web. In comparison, CORBA, EJB, and COM require more extensive programming knowledge Nearly every company - including Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM - is building XML support into their products.