SOAP is a simple XML-based protocol to let applications exchange information over HTTP.
Or more simply: SOAP is a protocol for accessing a Web Service.
Before you study SOAP you should have a basic understanding of XML and XML Namespaces.
If you want to study these subjects first, please read our XML Tutorial.
It is important for application development to allow Internet communication between programs.
Today's applications communicate using Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) between objects like DCOM and CORBA, but HTTP was not designed for this. RPC represents a compatibility and security problem; firewalls and proxy servers will normally block this kind of traffic.
A better way to communicate between applications is over HTTP, because HTTP is supported by all Internet browsers and servers. SOAP was created to accomplish this.
SOAP provides a way to communicate between applications running on different operating systems, with different technologies and programming languages.
SOAP became a W3C Recommendation 24. June 2003.
To read more about the SOAP activities at W3C, please read our W3C Tutorial.
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