Standards That Build on XML

The following standards and proposals build on XML. Because XML is basically a language-definition tool, these specifications use it to define standardized languages for specialized purposes.

Extended Document Standards

These standards define mechanisms for producing extremely complex documents--books, journals, magazines, and the like--using XML.


Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language is a W3C recommendation that covers audio, video, and animations. It also addresses the difficult issue of synchronizing the playback of such elements.

For more information on SMIL, see


Mathematical Markup Language is a W3C recommendation that deals with the representation of mathematical formulas.

For more information on MathML, see


Scalable Vector Graphics is a W3C recommendation that covers the representation of vector graphic images. (Vector graphic images are built from commands that say things such as "draw a line (square, circle) from point xi to point m,n" rather than encoding the image as a series of bits. Such images are more easily scalable, although they typically require more processing time to render.)

For more information on SVG, see


Drawing Meta Language is a W3C note that covers two-dimensional images for technical illustrations. It also addresses the problem of updating and refining such images.

For more information on DrawML, see

e-Commerce Standards

These standards are aimed at using XML in the world of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce.


Information and Content Exchange is a protocol for use by content syndicators and their subscribers. It focuses on "automating content exchange and reuse, both in traditional publishing contexts and in business-to-business relationships."

For more information on ICE, see


The Electronic Business with XML standard aims at creating a modular electronic business framework using XML. It is the product of a joint initiative by the United Nations (UN/CEFACT) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

For more information on ebXML, see


Commerce XML is a RosettaNet ( standard for setting up interactive online catalogs for different buyers, where the pricing and product offerings are company-specific. cxml includes mechanisms to handle purchase orders, change orders, status updates, and shipping notifications.

For more information on cxml, see


Universal Business Language is an OASIS initiative aimed at compiling a standard library of XML business documents (purchase orders, invoices, etc.) that are defined with XML Schema definitions.

For more information on UBL, see