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World Wide Web Consortium Issues Proposed Recommendation of SOAP Version 1.2


W3C XML Protocol Working Group Requests Final Review of XML-based solution for Data Transport

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today releases the SOAP Version 1.2 Proposed Recommendation, consisting of the SOAP 1.2 Messaging Framework; SOAP 1.2 Adjuncts, and a Primer. SOAP 1.2 is a lightweight protocol intended for exchanging structured information in a decentralized, distributed environment such as the Web. A W3C Proposed Recommendation is issued after review by the W3C Director, W3C Working Groups and the developer public, with evidence of implementation and interoperability. SOAP 1.2 has been sent to the W3C Membership for final review, which closes on 7 June 2003.

"Starting today, developers who may have hesitated to pick up SOAP 1.2 should take a look," stated Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "After resolving over 400 issues - including over 150 from SOAP/1.1 and delivering evidence of rigorous implementations, the W3C XML Protocol Working Group has produced for final review a real SOAP standard - SOAP 1.2."

Robust Web Services Rely on Standardized, Flexible Models for Message Exchange

Data transport is central to modern computing in the networked, decentralized, and distributed environment that is the Web. As XML has emerged as the preferred format for data, the challenge is for both the sender and the receiver to agree on an application level transfer protocol - whether the transfer is to occur between software programs, machines, or organizations.

Since its inception in September 2000, W3C’’s XML Protocol Working Group has worked on both XML Protocol Requirements and the SOAP 1.2 specification, using the W3C Note SOAP/1.1 as a starting point. After producing multiple drafts, receiving significant feedback from developers, and identifying interoperable implementations, the W3C XML Protocol Working Group (WG) believes its work on SOAP 1.2 is complete.

SOAP 1.2 Provides Stable Support for W3C Recommendations, Refined Processing Model

The XML Protocol WG has the goal of developing technologies which enable two or more peers to communicate in a distributed environment, using XML as the encapsulation language. Their solution allows a layered architecture on top of a simple and extensible messaging format, which provides robustness, simplicity, reusability and interoperability.

SOAP 1.2 provides a framework for XML-based messaging systems, in two parts - the Message Framework and Adjuncts.

SOAP 1.2 Message Framework provides a processing model (the rules for processing a SOAP message), an extensibility framework (enabling developers to use extensions inside and outside the SOAP envelope), the message construct (the rules for constructing SOAP messages), and the protocol binding framework (the rules for specifying the exchange of SOAP messages over underlying protocols such as HTTP).

SOAP 1.2 Adjuncts defines a set of adjuncts. It includes rules for representing remote procedure calls (RPCs), for encoding SOAP messages, for describing SOAP features and SOAP bindings. It also provides a standard binding of SOAP to HTTP 1.1, allowing SOAP messages to be exchanged using the mechanisms of the World Wide Web.

In addition to fulfilling requirements spelled out in the WG charter, SOAP 1.2 integrates core XML technologies. SOAP 1.2 is designed to work seamlessly with W3C XML schemas, maximizing SOAP’s utility with a broad range of XML tools, and paving the way for future work on WSDL. It also makes use of XML Namespaces as a flexible and lightweight mechanism for handling XML language mixing.

SOAP 1.2 describes a refined processing model, thus removing ambiguities found in SOAP/1.1, and it includes improved error messages, thus helping developers to write better applications.

Implementation Experience Puts SOAP 1.2 in Strong Position for Final Review

After its Candidate Recommendation period, the W3C XML Protocol WG tracked seven SOAP 1.2 implementations from W3C Member organizations and independent developers to ensure the viability and interoperability of implementations based on the specification. The WG had already identified and resolved over 400 technical and editorial issues raised in public review of both the previous SOAP/1.1 specification and the resultant SOAP 1.2 specification.

Current members of the Working Group include industry and technology leaders such as: AT&T; BEA Systems; Canon; DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology; Ericsson; Fujitsu Limited; IBM; IONA Technologies; Macromedia; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.; Microsoft Corporation; Oracle Corporation; SAP AG; SeeBeyond; Software AG; Sonic Software; Sun Microsystems; Systinet; TIBCO Software Inc.; and Unisys.

Developer communities outside of the W3C membership and other organizations with related interests have provided valuable input to the creation of SOAP Version 1.2.

Marie-Claire Forgue | alfa
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