What is an XML Document?

XML documents allow theĀ use of a standard which makes it easier to produce, receive, and archive any kind of information across different hardware, software, and programming languages. Generally, electronic justice data exchange is accomplished via documents, queries, responses, and other messages or transactions. In XML Schema terminology, all of these are considered XML documents.

In the GJXDM and NIEM, XML documents refer to standard business exchange containers (i.e. Rap Sheet, Arrest Warrant, or Incident Report) that are usually persistent. This means that they are archived, maintained, or reused intact by the sender or receiver. XML documents can also be transactional. For example, queries, responses, or messages can be structured as XML documents. A document can be defined as ". . . something which brings together strongly related objects for a well defined business purpose or context . . ." or ". . . that bundle of data that is passed from one agency to another as part of an exchange . . ." [Gerry Coleman, Wisconsin Crime Information Bureau]. So, the term XML document can refer to a message or other form of information, as well as what we traditionally recognize as a document.