There is no simple answer to this question. Arguments vary depending on the speaker. The general consensus however is that XML is the most promising approach to move EDI technologies to the Internet. In particular XML/EDI could significantly lower the costs of EDI and thus should bring in SMEs.
Another argument is that XML is versatile and benefits from a large industry support. This opens new areas for EDI such as direct integration with the major databases and off-the-shelf business packages, browser software, multimedia, extranets (i.e. secure internet network shared among several corporations), etc. All these are to be built with the same core technology.
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