Fleet News

New language for internet

ELECTRONIC data interchange (EDI) is poised to be overtaken by a new internet language hailed as fleet e-commerce revolution. The latest buzz phrase is XML - eXtensible Markup Language, a development of hypertext markup language (HTML) standard web coding and tags but which is said offer the benefits of EDI without the costs and limitations.

Furthermore, XML is claimed to be so easy to read and use that it doesn't need an IT specialist to operate it. Andrew Stickland, development

manager for global e-solutions company Perwill, told a FleetNet open day conference: 'XML is the method of the future. Everyone wants to move forward with it, and major players such as Microsoft, IBM, Sun and Oracle are upgrading software so that it will include and support XML.'

But he warned there were drawbacks. Fleets might have to expand their internet bandwidths to cope with bloated data bursts, and there were likely to be many different 'standards' - a problem fleets already experience with EDI. 'XML is new, it's sexy and it's here to stay,' Stickland told fleet operators and suppliers.

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