Object Protocol Advances

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (07/11/2000) - Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced specifications for SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) Contract Language and SOAP Discovery at the Professional Developer's Conference here. The specifications are a mechanism for integrating services on the Internet across any operating system, object model, or programming language. Further, because they use standard Internet protocols such as XML and HTTP, the new technologies are designed to enable applications to communicate with each other.

"They're not fully fleshed out yet, but [the specifications] are what you'd expect to complete SOAP," said Will Zachmann, a vice president at market research firm Meta Group Inc., in Duxbury, Mass. "SOAP is a good starting point, but the specs are the pieces you need to make SOAP work."

SCL (SOAP Contract Language) builds on SOAP to help developers describe the features of an XML-based Web service to other developers and development tools.

John Montgomery, a Microsoft program manager, said developers can use SCL to describe Web services available on the server.

The SOAP Discovery specification, on the other hand, provides a set of rules that enable developers to automatically locate the description of a Web service within the SCL.

SOAP is an XML-based interoperability protocol created to enable the communication of applications and services on the Internet.

Microsoft submitted the SOAP specification to the World Wide Web Consortium earlier this year.

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