What is an XML Editor?

Extensible markup language (XML) is a special language designed to support the packaging and definition of data that is shared between computers. XML is a document-based format that uses special tags that define the data elements in a message. This format and definition is similar to the hypertext markup language (HTML) that is used for the creation of web pages. An XML editor is a unique developer tool that assists in the creation of XML documents.

XML standards are managed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This group defines and manages how XML documents should be created and interpreted by consumers. XML is considered the standard method for sharing information throughout the Internet. The XML document is the data package that is sent between computers over the Internet.

There are many XML editors available that assist developers in creating XML messages. An XML editor can help with validation rules and attributes for specific XML tags. Within the XML standards, each data tag requires an opening and closing syntax. This rule is critical because it lets the compiler know when a new data element begins.

Extensible stylesheet language transformation (XSLT) is a process in which XML documents are transformed into Internet web pages. Most XML editors provide tools for creating these pages from XML documents. This gives the developer an integrated development environment that provides an example of a page when completed. It also offers many debugging processes that ensure the web page will function correctly.

An XML schema is used as the blueprint of the data attributes and rules of an XML document. This includes the rules of data types, relationships, and quantities of attributes within the document. The XML editor typically provides an interface for the creation, storage, and management of an XML schema.

XMLspy is an example of a commercial version of an advanced XML editor. It provides modeling, editing, and storage capabilities that are typically handled manually. Most advanced editors allow the manipulation of multiple XML file types. This includes interfaces, validation and standard XML rules. Each file has a specific purpose within the extensible markup language.
There are also many open-source editors available on the Internet. Open-source software is a form of XML editor that is typically created by a social networked community of developers. This form of editor provides the advanced capabilities of most commercial products with reduced costs for the developers. Open-source is free for use. Some examples of open-source editors include XML-pro, Syntext Serna and Xerlin.