Sunday, February 20, 2011

SOAP – The Indispensable

In the articles about SOAP, I try not to re-invent the wheel. For syntax of SOAP messages and other "freely and easily available" information I will refer to standard links. I try to explain the real nuances of SOAP messaging which makes it such a simple yet powerful tool.

What makes SOAP indispensable?

Let us try to look at some of the features provided by SOAP specifications that make it a nirvana for almost all web service needs.

  1. It provides a mechanism for defining the unit of communication. When we transfer SOAP we have a single unit of measurement in the form of a SOAP envelope. This "holder" allows the recipient and sender both to know when the message ends and when the next message starts. [via. The SOAP Envelope]
  2. It provides a mechanism for error handling that can allow us to identify the source and cause of error and allows for diagnostic information to be exchanged between the participants. [via. The SOAP fault]
  3. An extensibility mechanism, so that there is no lock-in to a protocol. This in my opinion is the real crown jewel with SOAP which makes it such a unique and indispensible asset. It satisfies two major needs of extensibility i.e. orthogonal extension and de-centralized extensions. [via. SOAP Headers]
  4. Mechanism to bind to any network including (but not limited to) HTTP and support for Remote Procedure Calls (RPC's) and mapping for Documents. [via. SOAP encoding]
To know more about the SOAP envelope syntax refer here.










 

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