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RE: So what do SOAP and XML-RPC buy you? (was Re: Massive Cross-Post:The State of XML-RPC, April 2001)

Hi Simon,

Simon said:
Actually, Microsoft's done an excellent job with the XMLHTTP and
ServerXMLHTTP classes as far as making it easy to do XML+HTTP work.

They just, um, don't push that hard as an alternative to SOAP.

Didier replies:

 I think that one of the main reasons SOAP could become popular is simply
because the big guys are pushig it as a marshaling format. If you take, for
instance, the visual studio implementation, it is obvious that a VB
programmer does not have to know anything about XML nor SOAP, the task is
simply handled transparently by the proxy (i.e. the marshaller) and the stub
(i.e. the unmarshaller - if I can say say it with such expression). So, the
advantage of SOAP is that it could be made totally invisible. The developers
can only be aware of the procedural code interface not the underlying XML
based marshalling format used for RPC. Thus, on one side you get procedural
code and at the other side procedural code. They simply replaced the CORBA
or DCOM communication link with an HTTP based transport and an XML based
marshalling format.

One thing for sure, you can count on IBM (with Java tools) and Microsoft
(with VB or c#) to provide tools based on this new marshalling schema. The
others will follow. We have here two different strategy:
a) create a SOAP interface from a java class (or bean) - IBM strategy
b) create a SOAP interface from a COM object - Microsoft strategy.

So, on the one hand, RMI or IIOP is replaced by SAOP and on the other hand,
DCOM is replaced by SOAP. The good point now is that finally both camps is
using the same marshalling format. So, after all, this is not a bad thing
since at least XML, taking the appearance of SOAP, becomes a lingua franca
for procedural code marshalling. Yes not so bad after all if these guys
finally speak together...

Didier PH Martin
mailto: martind@netfolder.com
Book: XML Professional (Wrox)
Articles: xml.com
Conference: Wireless One (Las Vegas)