The lack of software interoperability with respect to gating due to lack of a standardized mechanism for data exchange has traditionally been a bottleneck, preventing reproducibility of flow cytometry (FCM) data analysis and the usage of multiple analytical tools. To facilitate interoperability among FCM data analysis tools, members of the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) Data Standards Task Force (DSTF) have developed an XML-based mechanism to formally describe gates (Gating-ML). Gating-ML, an open specification for encoding gating, data transformations and compensation, has been adopted by the ISAC DSTF as a Candidate Recommendation. Gating-ML can facilitate exchange of gating descriptions the same way that FCS facilitated for exchange of raw FCM data. Its adoption will open new collaborative opportunities as well as possibilities for advanced analyses and methods development. The ISAC DSTF is satisfied that the standard addresses the requirements for a gating exchange standard.