XML, or eXtensible Markup Language, is one of the hottest topics in e-commerce today, partially because it seeks to enable more electronic exchange with less cost.

<PurchaseOrder>
     <ponumber>123456</ponumber>
     <item>
          <itemnumber>01</itemnumber>
          <quantity>15</quantity>
          <unitprice>0.05</unitprice>
     </item>
</PurchaseOrder>

This simple example shows data that can be stored in a text file, encrypted as necessary, sent via email, and displayed in a web browser. And since the file is in an electronic form, it can also be interpreted by another program and imported into software.

How does XML work with E-Commerce?
As shown above, XML can label and organize the contents of any business transaction. The trading partners can use whatever means they prefer to access the information, from writing a style sheet to display the contents, to writing or purchasing software to process the data.

How will I use XML?
XML is being used in some applications for e-commerce here at Raytheon. Contact the Electronic Commerce team to discuss how it might be used in communicating with your organization.

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