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   Re: XML over HTTP: SOAP and ...?

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  • From: Stefan Haustein <haustein@kimo.cs.uni-dortmund.de>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 11:38:49 +0100

David Megginson wrote:
> 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.  

At least, with SOAP you have the choice: 
You can use transparent RPC or do everything 
"by hand" like you would do using direct socket 
connections. Especially if you don't like 
transparent access to remote procedures and prefer 
direct socket connections, dealing with SOAP seems 
much simpler than decoding/encoding binary formats
like IIOP or similar "by hand". So the
offer is not just another RPC mechanism but 
the pontential to bring both worlds together.

For example, I wouldn't expect to get 
IIOP on my palm pilot, but a nice little 
XML (CXML) parser, why not? And why should 
I wait for SyncML or RDF extensions if
I can communicate with (e.g.) Outlook using 

In my opinion, one of the most interesting 
things SOAP offers is a standard way
to serialize higer level data structures
(much more pragmatically than RDF). W3 and
OMG failed in provide anything really useable
so far. However, I would still prefer 
XML-RPC + a nice object serilization
format over SOAP just because I do not want
to depend on MS (Just look at RTF)...

Best regards


Stefan Haustein
University of Dortmund
Computer Science VIII

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