One of the often-touted benefits of extensible markup language (XML) is that it is an open standard. Although this is true, Hurwitz Group believes that a more realistic way to think about XML is to consider it a meta-language for defining a herd of stampeding standards.

A small herd of standards is already on the run and consists of XML-based messaging standards such as FIN- XML for financial transactions and C-XML for diverse commercial transactions. Numerous XML-based standards already exist and are in the adoption phase for the financial, manufacturing, healthcare, chemical and other industries. More than 100 proposed standards are listed on for exchanging data in accounting, communications, insurance, music, supply chain, weather and many other areas. Time will tell which will receive wide adoption and which will be trampled in the stampede by competing standards.

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