SOAP spec for Web services progresses

The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), in Cambridge, Mass., on Monday published a working draft for the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) 1.2 standard.

SOAP, a key standard embraced by vendors pushing Web services, is a data transfer protocol for sending and receiving XML information.

The new working draft of SOAP 1.2 operates under a refined processing model, and major enhancements include compliance with the W3C Schema Recommendation and the use of XML Namespaces.

Furthermore, the draft includes recommendations for error messages for mandatory extensions. The W3C said the recommendations provide developers with more pertinent information to help them build more interoperable and extensible applications.

"SOAP 1.2 is an incremental improvement," said Philip Desautels, a program manager for XML Web services at Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Wash. Microsoft is one of the companies backing SOAP.

Desautels added that SOAP 1.2 will not break SOAP 1.1, and upgrading will be a nominal rewrite that only affects a small part of the system. So companies that already have a SOAP 1.1 implementation will not need to rewrite the back-end logic or the actual Web service.

SOAP works in conjunction with the XML, WSDL (Web Services Description Language), and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration) standards to form the core de facto Web services protocols that enable the describing, registering, locating, and consumption of Web services.

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