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What Is Soap

   
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With so many protocols that already make use of the XML language, how many more could exist? Well many because the extended markup language was designed to be extremely robust and another protocol that uses it is known as the Simple Object Access Protocol or SOAP for simplicity. Along with making use of XML, it also uses the Remote Procedure Call as well as HTTP in order to function. In all simplicity, SOAP is used in order to create a web services stack and offers a messaging system throughout the framework.

If a website is dynamic and makes use of web services like that of a real estate website. When doing a simple search on this website can result in the creation of a page that follows with the XML format to return the data surrounding a particular listing to the browser. Many real estate networks actually make use of this type of framework already.

The structure of SOAP is one of intertwining layers that consist of predetermined specifications regarding the formatting of messages whether they are information retrieved from a database or any other type of possible web services system.

It was back in 1998 when a small team consisting of Mohsen Al-Ghosein, Bob Atkinson along with Dave Winer and Don Box started developing the initial release of SOAP with the help of financial backing from Microsoft. From the beginning it was developed to be an object-access protocol which at the time was not fully filled. However, since its initial inception, it is no longer supported by the folks over at Microsoft, but rather it has since been handed over to the XML Protocol Working Group which is a division of the World Wide Web Consortium.

In use, SOAP uses the Internet application layer’s protocol as its own transport protocol for which a number of developers has argued that this can be considered as an abuse of the Internet Application Layer seeing as though it was never developed to be used in that manner. Irregardless of this fact though, the SOAP protocol still continues to do this as it has been found to be the most efficient manner for the protocol to function.

Basically, SOAP uses both the SMTP as well as the HTTP protocols as its transportation. Of course since it is most commonly used on websites, the HTTP protocol has become the most used internet layer for the transportation of SOAP. Another reason for this has to do with the fact that HTTP can manoeuvre through a networks firewall more readily then that of SMTP. Since it is possible to use HTTP for its transport, this also means that HTTPS can also be used which means that SOAP can also function as a shopping cart of sorts too.

Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 05/03/2009

 


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