From the problem description:
More and more structured data is converted into XML documents, either for transmission and processing that follow various standards such as the Web service standards, or for combination with "semi-structured" document data in XHTML and similar formats. Sometimes the original structured data is converted in its original position; sometimes it is converted "on the fly." Both approaches pose problems: If the original data is converted, then legacy applications depending on the old format must be rewritten. Converting data on the fly, on the other hand, imposes a significant performance penalty because the standard XML format requires significant overhead for generating or parsing XML character sequences.
Virtual XML Garden works through the use of adapters for each input type. Each adapter is responsible for conversion of the input into a workable XML representation.