What has the UN got to do with your e-commerce plans?

Quite a lot, if its ambitious ebXML initiative delivers on its promises.
Anyone attending some kind of e-commerce conference or briefing in the past year would no doubt have come across the term XML. Usually itÆs somewhere on those technicalápowerpoint slides with the boxes, cylinders and zig-zagging lines - written alongside other conferenceáfavourites like æopen architectureÆ and æmultiple channelsÆ.

Often the term is glossed over in the interest ofáákeeping the non-technical audience awake, so for many people it is justácategorised as one of those computer languages that make the internet work. But what makes Extensible Markup Language XML such a big deal, and how is it different from the plain old hypertext markup language HTML we read in our browsers every day

HTML and XML...

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