Extensible Markup Language (XML) provides a format for describing data. This facilitates more precise declarations of content and more meaningful search results across multiple platforms. In addition, XML enables the separation of presentation from data, just like in HTML where we use tags to tell the browser how to format the data. In XML, we use tags only to describe the data, such as CustomerID, CompanyName, etc. XML separates the data from the presentation and the process, enabling us to display and process the data as we wish by applying different style sheets and applications to it.
XML is at the core of many features of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework. XML plays a large role in the way data is handled in Visual Studio .NET. XML is used in the following ways:
- Datasets can serialize their data as XML. The schema of a DataSet is defined using an XML Schema (.xsd file).
- We can infer XML Schemas from existing Datasets. We can also create Datasets from existing XML Schemas.
Visual Studio makes working with XML files, XML Schemas, and ADO.NET Datasets easy by providing us with a visual tool, the XML Designer.