Extensible Markup Language (XML) in electronic government : some exemplary scenarios
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In the last decade or two, information technology (IT) has evolved remarkably as can be perceived by the fact that the Internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. With the advent of the Internet in almost every aspect of our lives, we are said to be living in the information and knowledge age. However, there is one institution that is not making use of these developments in IT, despite the fact that it is the one which deals with information more regularly than any other. This institution that handles data and produces new information in every aspect of its work cycle is the government. Hence, applying the advances in information technology to the government, brings before us the concept of “electronic government” or as it is briefly called “e-government”. One of the evolving information technologies is the Extensible Markup Language (XML). The advent of XML has brought both a knowledge dimension and a service dimension to the universal information repository we call the Web, enabling platformindependent, machine-readable, structured data exchange. As it has quickly become the data exchange standard of the Web, the business and research communities are readily making use of XML and related Web services. Why not pick XML amongst the new information technologies to transfer the government into an e-government? XML can be used to achieve interoperability in government-to-government services, a more citizen-centric approach and easier, platform-independent access in governmentto-citizen services, and efficiency in government-to-business services; thus, transforming the traditional government into a more productive, paperless electronic government. In this research we explore the application of XML to the “e-government” concept. We present some exemplary e-government scenarios and show how XML can be used to implement them as we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using XML in e-government.