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XML Standards Reference 

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simple flexible text format that can be used as the basis for creating new markup languages that can be used in document publishing and data exchange. XML is based on a series recommendations published by the working groups of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is therefore well suited (though not limited) to use in Web-based applications.

At Microsoft, our engineers contribute to the efforts of the W3C working groups who define and set standards for XML and other Web protocols. Wherever possible, we strive to achieve full compliance with the XML standards once they are stable and published as recommendations by the W3C.

Among the XML standards Microsoft currently provides developer support for are the following:

  • The XML Schema definition language (XSD), a current W3C standard for using XML to create XML Schemas. XML Schemas can be used to validate other XML documents.

  • Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) 1.0, a current W3C XML style sheet language standard. XSLT is recommended for transforming XML documents.

  • The XML Path Language (XPath) 1.0, a current W3C XML standard used by XSLT and other XML programming vocabularies to query and filter data stored in XML documents.

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