What is Physical Markup Language?

The Electronic Product Code identifies individual products, but all the useful information about the product would be written in a new, standard computer language called the Physical Markup Language (PML). PML is based on the widely accepted eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Because it’s meant to be a universal standard for describing all physical objects, processes and environments, PML will be broad and will cover all industries. It will provide a common method for describing physical objects and will be broadly hierarchical. So, for instance, a can of Coke might be described as a carbonated beverage, which would fall under the subcategory soft drink, which would fall under the broader category food. Not all classifications are so simple, so to ensure that PML has broad acceptance, EPCglobal is relying on work already done by standards bodies, such as the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (Le Système International d’Unités – SI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States.

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