Are you in the midst of preparing for an XML interview? Then this blog is a must-read for you. We have collated a list of XML-related questions that you will most probably be asked during your interview. However, before we jump into the details, let us first understand the basics.
Markup languages are designed for the presentation of text in various formats and can also be used for storing and transporting data. A markup language specifies the code for layout, formatting, and style of data. The markup code is known as a Tag. HTML and XML are examples of markup languages.
HTML, or the Hypertext Markup Language, is the standard markup language for pages designed to be displayed in a Web browser.
XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is a markup language that is quite similar to HTML; however, it does not comprise predefined tags to use. Instead, one has to define tags based on their exclusive requirements. This is an extremely powerful way for data to be kept in a format that can be stored, searched, and shared. Also, since the basic format of XML is standardized, recipients can still parse the data if one shares or transmits XML across platforms or systems, either over the internet or locally. It is a text-based form to encode structured data that comprises transactions, books, documents, invoices, data, settings, etc. The initial name for XML was SGML; however, later, it was renamed and enhanced to XML to accommodate the new development and wide usage of the Web in recent years.
There are various languages based on XML, for example, MathML, XHTML, RSS, SVG, and RDF. You can also choose to define your own language based on XML.
Following are the key features of XML:
- Very easy to understand, learn, and then implement.
- XML files are plain text files, and there is no requirement for an editor.
- There are minimal and a restricted number of syntax rules in XML.
- The language is extensible, and it specifies the structural rules of tags.
25 Questions to Prepare for an XML Interview
These days, with the increasing usage and exposure to XML, it is typical for organizations to be looking for XML experts and developers to be hired in their organizations. Following are 25 questions that you may be asked by interviewers as you apply for XML-related positions. We have also provided the best answers to these questions.
1. Why are you interested in this particular vacancy?
“I have always had a passion for the computer science field. I truly believe that this opportunity would help me apply the knowledge and skills that I have acquired during my four years of Computer Science Bachelor’s degree. Also, a job offer with this organization will help me grow in my career path and will simultaneously make way for personal and professional achievements while meeting the vision of this company.”
2. Briefly explain what you understand about XML.
XML is the shortened term for Extensible Markup Language. It is more precise and flexible and is used to improve the Web’s function by enabling you to recognize the data in a highly adaptive manner. XML is different from HTML as it enables you to design your own markup languages for an unlimited type and number of documents.
3. What do you think are the key roles of an XML developer?
One of the key roles of an XML developer is executing diagnostic tests and resolving issues, aside from providing support to the tasks that need to be completed. XML developers are also responsible for documenting the processes of XML development and ensuring that all reports, designs, and standards are documented correctly. They are also responsible for increasing the delivery of virtual content across Web-based applications. Last but not least, they have to monitor the data duplication.
4. Briefly explain the functions of XML?
XML is used to transport data where the main focus is on what the data is. XML is also used to store data in simple text format, which allows for independent ways to store, transport, and share data in both hardware and software. XML is one of the most preferred markup languages as it is extensible and easy to implement.
5. When would XML be preferred over SQL?
SQL is a great choice for tabular data or information that fits effortlessly into columns and rows’ while XML is perfect for hierarchical data or data that has numerous levels of varying sizes. SQL is also useful for storing and searching data, while XML is used for both formatting and conveying data. Instead of designing a whole database, you can use XML. However, you must consider the type and amount of data you want to retain, as well as your justifications for not using a database.
6. Define XML DOM?
DOM is the abbreviation for Document Object Model. It addresses how to access and operate documents in a reliable manner. DOM is an XML and HTML document programming interface. It explains how documents are retrieved and changed, as well as their logical structure. One of the main objectives of DOM as a W3C definition is to offer a common programming interface that can be utilized in a wide range of applications and settings.
7. What are the advantages of an XML DOM?
Following are the advantages of XML DOM:
- XML structure can be modified and values can be added, edited, and deleted.
- XML structure is traversable, and it can be accessed randomly by traversing the tree.
8. How is HTML different from XML?
XML stores and transfers data, while HTML displays data and defines a Web Page structure. XML is a standard language that can describe additional computer languages, while HTML is a predetermined language with its own consequences.
9. Define XML Schema?
XML Schema is also known as XML Schema Definition(XSD). It defines and authenticates the content and structure of XML data. The attributes, elements, and data types are defined by the XML schema. Schema elements support namespaces. It is similar to a database schema, which defines the database data.
10. What do you think are the qualities needed by an XML developer to be effective?
A successful XML developer must possess good knowledge of programming and markup languages and should be able to apply the knowledge of programming tools. They must also have strong problem-solving and analytical skills to be able to adapt to any issues that may occur during programming processes.
11. What is XML Element?
An XML document comprises XML Elements and begins from an element’s start tag to the end tag. An XML element can include:
- Other elements within the main element
- An Attribute
12. Explain some of the common rules while writing XML code.
Some of the main points that should be kept in mind while writing XML are:
- Tags are case-sensitive and always need to be closed.
- Tag names cannot include spaces.
- All tags need to be nested properly.
- The white space in XML must be reserved, and all XML should comprise root elements.
- Another thing is that tag names for XML cannot have spaces.
- Attribute values should be specified within quotes.
13. What is an attribute?
An attribute offers extra or additional information about an element than otherwise. Example:
The attribute name can be given to an element person.
14. Can we have empty XML tags?
Yes, an XML document can have empty tags. Empty tags are used to specify elements that do not include textual content. Empty tags can be represented as:
15. How would you define a well-designed XML Document?
A well-designed XML document needs to abide by all common rules while being written. All XML code needs to comprise a single root element that is made up of all other elements that have to be nested properly. It is essential to be careful with the tags.
16. Which are the XML tools that you are familiar with?
“There are multiple XML tools that one can use while designing, editing, and also changing XML documents. Some of the tools that I am well versed with are Liquid Studio, XSL checkers, and Oxygen XML. I have worked with these tools during my study years and in my previous organization. I also love to explore new tools from time to time as one tool could have better features compared to the other and I am always open to learning and using new tools as and when required.”
17. Mention some of the benefits of XML?
Following are some of the advantages of XML:
- XML is a human and not a computer language. This markup language can easily be understood also by novices, and just like HTML, it is not very difficult to code.
- XML is compatible with JavaTM and is also completely portable. The data can be used by any application that can process XML, irrespective of the platform.
- XML can be extended. One can design their own tags or also use tags created by others that use the domain's natural language and have attributes based on specific requirements.
18. Define HttpRequest in XML?
19. What is XPath?
XPath is used to locate information in an XML document and includes standard functions. It is the key element in XSLT, and it is W3C recommended. Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) is an XML-based language used in combination with specialized processing software for the conversion of XML documents.
20. What is DTD?
DTD is the abbreviation of Document Type Definition. DTD defines the tree structure of a document and provides some information about its data. It is a set of markup assertions that describe a type of document for the SGML family, such as GML, HTML, SGML, and XML. A DTD can be specified inline or also as an external reference within an XML document. The DTD indicates how many times a node should be displayed and how the child nodes should be ordered. CDATA and PCDATA are the two data types.
- CDATA is character data that is not generally parsed.
- PCDATA is character data that has been parsed.
21. Which tag is used to locate the version of XML and the syntax?
To see the XML version, we can use the DOM tag. The DOM tag is the root of the content tree and denotes an entire HTML or XML document. It has numerous characteristics, such as XML version, encoding, and so on.
Syntax: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
22. Define SAX in XML?
SAX is an online algorithm for parsing XML documents. It is event-driven and includes an API that is designed by the XML-DEV mailing list. SAX offers a mechanism for reading data from an XML document that is an alternative to what is provided by DOM. With SAX, parsers are used to process XML documents. The parser reads the XML document, confirms that it is well-designed, and validates it against a schema or DTD if it is a validating parser.
23. What is XML Signature?
The XML Signature is a method of linking a key with referred data (octets); it does not describe how keys are lined with people or institutions, nor does it describe the data that is being referenced and signed. As a result, while the XML signature is a crucial component of safe and secure XML applications, it is not capable of managing all application trust/security concerns, specifically when employing signed XML (or other data formats) as the basis of human-to-human agreement and communication.
24. How can you open an XML file?
XML files can be opened in a number of ways as they are text files. If the XML file needs to be opened on a frequent basis, then one can use their preferred browser. Use a text editor or an online XML editor on your computer if you need to inspect, modify, and reformat XML files.
25. How to convert XML to excel?
You can convert an XML document to Excel by:
- Open the Excel file into which the data needs to be imported.
- Switch to the Data tab.
- From the Get and Transform group, select Get Data.
- From the drop-down menu, select From Other Sources.
- Select From Web.
- Specify the URL for the XML data in the From Web dialog box.
- Click OK.
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To summarize, it is essential to be able to demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skillset, and confidence related to XML coding during an XML interview. Other than your technical skills, it would help if you displayed a sense of responsibility, leadership, and collaborative skills to increase your chances of bagging the job. Make an impactful first impression with your thorough, smart, and precise answers.
Best of luck with your interviews!