Frequently Asked Questions

What is XML?

XML stands for Extensible Markup Language.  The primary purpose of XML is to provide a secure way of sharing structured data across different information systems.  XML is a free open standard that is recommended for use by the World Wide Web Consortium.

What is a Data Standard?

A Data Standard is a statement on how to enable consistency and predictability when recording data.  A Data Standard shows what data should be recorded, how data should be recorded, and how the data should be supported.  A Data Standard allows data to be utilized across different types of systems and data structures.

What is Well-Formed XML?

Well-Formed XML is an XML document that conforms to all of XML's syntax rules.  XML utilizes "tags" to provide a stable and secure way to transfer data.  XML has a starting tag and ending tag for each separate piece of data.  XML defines each piece of data as an Element.  The example below shows the elements FirstName, MiddleName, and LastName.

Example of Well-Formed XML


Example of Non-Well Formed XML


In order for an XML document to be Well-Formed each piece of data must have both a starting and ending tag.

What is Valid XML?

Valid XML is a document that applies to an additional level of constraints above the XML syntax rules.  The Client Data Standard conforms to an additional XML Schema that defines such things as Data Element Name, Data Type, Length, Allow Null and Option List values.

The Client Data Standard XML Schema can be found here.