(Application-Oriented Networking) Using network devices to help with integration. Application-oriented networking has arisen in response to increasing use of XML messaging (combined with related standards such as XSLT, XPath and XQuery) to link miscellaneous applications, data sources and other computing assets. Many of the operations required to mediate between these different participants, or to monitor their exchanges, can be built into network devices that are optimized for the purpose. The rules and policies for performing these operations, also expressed in XML, are specified separately and downloaded as required. Network equipment vendor Cisco has adopted the AON acronym as the name of a family of products that function in this way.