A website has a useful explanation of XML tags as applied to portfolios of contracts. “The basic mission of XML is that it can make whole documents visible and meaningful to machines. And not just a snapshot of high level data. XML allows you to tag documents with meaning, right down to the fine print on page 42. Which means that you can tell a computer to crunch through a collection of contracts and find every non-standard termination clause or definition of “Event of Default” where Lehman Brothers is a counterparty. And computers can do this much faster than humans.”
If a law department could tag its contracts with the meta-notes of XML, it could retrieve them quickly and efficiently. A similar desire for data visibility sits behind the SEC’s requirement for large companies to submit financial reports using XBRL. The idea and quote for this post came from material on the blog of Exari, dated Sept. 17, 2008.