Case Study of XML is an online store that sells computers and related peripherals. Visitors can buy products from their online site and through affiliate partners who display the wares of on their sites. Because the company does not advertise much, it has mostly repeat customers who are aware of the site and the products. First-time customers normally purchase through their affiliate partners, some of whom are horizontal portals, including other online stores, magazine sites, and search engines.

The data about the goods of InSysPeripherals is provided to the affiliates each month in the form of databases and in a format preferred by the partners because different sites use different databases as backends. InSysPeripherals has to sell items whose prices rise after the last update at the affiliate sites at the old lower prices to gain customers and also to keep its and the affiliate partner's credibility. Timely updates of data on the affiliate partner's site are also a problem because the information is updated only once a month. InSysPeripherals now intends to use the new Web service technology to share its catalog with its partners from a single source, which will be InSysPeripheral's Web site. The Web site is being built using Perl with the data stored in a flat text database.

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