XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a markup language that was created to store and transport data. It has become an essential tool for developing web-based applications, particularly data sharing between systems. XML provides a way to structure information in such a way that it can be easily read by both humans and machines, making it ideal for exchanging large amounts of structured information over networks or on storage devices.

XML documents are built up from elements that contain tags defining their content and attributes, providing additional information about them. This allows developers to create custom tags with specific meanings and define relationships between pieces of data within an XML document using tree structures known as hierarchies or three sets. Additionally, each element can have its namespace so multiple applications can use the same tag without conflict; this makes it easier to share complex datasets across different platforms without having to worry about disputes arising from incompatible versions or changes in syntaxes used by various programs/languages when reading/writing files containing these types of structured documents.

The importance of XML lies not only in its ability to facilitate communication between disparate systems but also its wide range of applicability across various industries, including finance, healthcare, education, etc., due largely thanks to being supported by all major operating systems & programming languages such as Java & C++ allowing developers to create robust software solutions quickly & efficiently while ensuring compatibility with other existing technologies they may need to interact with during their project’s lifecycle. As more organizations turn towards digital transformation initiatives, leveraging tools like XML will become even more critical going forward if they want to achieve success in implementing new strategies based on big data analytics, cloud computing, as well as other technologies.