The data needed to support real-time e-business lives in legacy, back- office systems. Comprehensive customer management solutions are required to access data in a variety of disparate systems to achieve a complete picture of the customers and their relationships.

XML plays a significant role in the efforts many companies are undertaking to integrate e-business and customer information management applications with their enterprise systems. Companies can define XML grammars that deal with customer information management. These can be used to interface data between systems in a more open and simplified way, saving time and reducing error, and to represent customer data in a common language across the different lines of business. However, vendor-proprietary XML grammars can cause problems when data is exchanged between systems. Special XML converters are needed to move data, which defeats the purpose of using XML in the first place.

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