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    Benefits and Weaknesses of SOAP

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    Write a 5 page paper which discusses the benefits and weaknesses of SOAP as the message protocol for web services and what you see is the future for SOAP.

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    SOAP
    Write a 5 page paper which discusses the benefits and weaknesses of SOAP as the message protocol for web services and what you see is the future for SOAP.
    SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a proposed standard for linking Internet applications running on different platforms, using XML messages. SOAP is a lightweight protocol for interchange of information in a decentralized and distributed environment. It is an XML based protocol that consists of three parts: an envelope that defines a framework for describing what is in a message and how to process it, a set of encoding rules for expressing instances of application-defined datatypes, and a convention for representing remote procedure calls and responses (Advogato.org, 2000).
    The Simple Object Access Protocol or as it is more commonly known SOAP is a W3C standard for the serializing of information needed to invoke services located on remote systems so the information can be sent over a network to the remote system, in a format the remote system can understand, regardless of what platform the remote system runs on (W3.org, 2002).

    Existing applications perform remote procedure calls (RPC) between distributed computing nodes by making use of DCOM (Distributed COM - which is an expanded version of Microsoft's original Component Object Model) and CORBA (OMG's Common Object Request Broker Architecture). Although these two models dominated the communications method of distributed computing for years both have several problems mainly:

    • CORBA and DCOM are both single vendor solutions and they don't share a common Object Request Broker.

    • Both have very different proprietary characteristics (CORBA's CDR / DCOM NDR)

    • IIOP and DCOM are binary protocols which makes them impossible to read and hard to pass through firewalls.

    • Both models are tightly coupled i.e. any changes to the exposed methods of an object requires changes to the objects communicating with it.

    The SOAP model has mainly been designed to meet such problems and thus the above mentioned problems are non-existing.

    • SOAP is built with open technologies and is an open standard, ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution explores in brief the importance of SOAP in implementing web services. It also deals in detail with the advantages and disadvantages of Simple Object Access Protocol.

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