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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) Protocol

SOAP stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. It is a communication protocol. It is for communication between applications. SOAP is a format for sending messages. It communicates via Internet. SOAP is platform independent and language independent protocol. SOAP is based on XML. It is simple and extensible protocol. SOAP allows you to get around firewalls. SOAP is a W3C recommendation.

SOAP is a protocol specification for invoking methods on servers, services, components and objects. A SOAP message may need to be transmitted together with attachments of various sorts, ranging from facsimile images of legal documents to engineering drawings. Such data are often in some binary format. SOAP consists of three parts:
- The SOAP envelope construct defines an overall framework for expressing what is in a message; who should deal with it, and whether it is optional or mandatory.
- The SOAP encoding rules defines a serialization mechanism that can be used to exchange instances of application-defined datatypes.
- The SOAP RPC representation defines a convention that can be used to represent remote procedure calls and responses.

Where is SOAP used ?

One of the most important uses of SOAP is to help enable XML Web Services. A web Service is an application provided as a service on the web. They are functional software components that can be accessed over the Internet. Web Services combines the best of component-based development and are based on Internet Standards that supports communication over the net.

Syntax Rules

A SOAP message must be encoded using XML. A SOAP message must use the SOAP Envelope namespace. A SOAP message must use the SOAP Encoding namespace. A SOAP message must not contain a DTD reference. A SOAP message must not contain XML Processing Instructions.

Message Format

XML was chosen as the standard message format because of its widespread use by major corporations and open source development efforts. The lengthy syntax of XML can be both a benefit and a drawback. While it promotes readability for humans, facilitates error detection, and avoids interoperability problems such as byte-order (Endianness), it can retard processing speed and be cumbersome.

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