Advantages of XML over Databases
Relational and object-oriented databases and formats can represent data as well as meta-data, but for the most part, their formats are not text based. Most databases use a proprietary binary format to represent their information. There are other text-based formats that include metadata regarding information and are structured in a hierarchical representation, but they have not caught on in popularity nearly to the extent that XML or even SGML has. One of the primary issues faced by alternate file format and database languages is that processing tools are custom, proprietary, or expensive. When tools are wide spread, they are usually specific to the particular file format inquestion. One of XML‘s greatest strengths is that processing tools have become relatively wide spread and inexpensive, if not free.