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.