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WWW Consortium Approves Latest Soap Protocol

The Web's leading standards group approved a new key Web-services protocol. W3C said it has published the Simple Object Access Protocol (Soap) version 1.2 as a formal standard. Soap is one of a handful of standards behind the industry move toward building Web-services software.

The protocol originated several years ago as an informational document within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), another standards group, as a way of executing so-called remote procedure calls. Microsoft then jump-started work on the protocol as a way of letting business software applications communicate over the Web, regardless of what programming language they're written in.

With the release of the Soap recommendation, both commercial software developers and information technology workers within businesses can now use the standard without fear of incompatibilities - as long as they adhere to the W3C's definition of Soap.
The W3C stressed that, despite its numbering, Soap 1.2 was in a sense the first of its kind.

The W3C also took the opportunity to emphasise its role as an arbiter of Web-services standards that will govern the infrastructure required to let commercial applications communicate and interact over the Web.

Contributors to Soap, based on the W3C's Extensible Markup Language (XML) recommendation, include AT&T, Canon, DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology, Ericsson, IBM, Macromedia, Matsushita, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Sun Microsystems.

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