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   Re: XML over HTTP: SOAP and ...?

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: 07 Mar 2000 16:35:49 -0500

Tom Scola <Thomas.Scola@us.rbcds.com> writes:

> Pardon my na´vetÚ, but I'm having a problem understanding the need
> for so-called "lightweight" protocols such as XML-RPC and SOAP in
> the first place.  If I wanted to write a distributed XML application
> I can:
> 1. Open a socket to a remote system
> 2. Authenticate the connection
> 3. Send and receive XML-encoded data over the socket

Yes, and that's how a lot of people do it.  The potential advantage of
an RPC layer is that it gives a standard way to invoke specific
services on either side, so it's possible to write generic, reusable
higher-level libraries; for example, you could call

  x = y.getSomething();

and not know (or have to know) whether y.getSomething() was a method
on a local object or an HTTP transaction.  Basically, you're adding a
layer of abstraction that takes care of stuff like serializing and
deserializing parameters, looking up services, marshalling (??),
etc. etc.

Sound familiar?  We heard the same thing about CORBA, Java RMI, and
DCOM, among others.  Is it different this time?  Maybe.  Personally,
I'm also happy with simple socket connections for now, but I might
change my mind.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com

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