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   Re: [xml-dev] What does SOAP really add?

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"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> I think that in the end I'm asking whether SOAP has any real added
> value, apart from its most frequently disclaimed but still most popular
> use: RPC over HTTP.

Great minds think alike. I was writing another xml.com article on this
issue before I got distracted by the concrete issue of Google.

SOAP rhetoric today seems to me as a big shell game. If you say: "SOAP
doesn't work, it isn't interoperable and it doesn't do much", people
will point you at all of the great SOAP RPC services (okay both of them)
and say: "see, it is interoperable. It does everything that other RPC
protocols do." 

If you say: "SOAP sucks because it is RPC and RPC doesn't scale", people
say: "no, it isn't RPC. If you think SOAP is RPC then you don't
understand it."

So you can either have interoperability/actual usefulness or you can
have vague promises of scalability in a wonderful message-oriented
future -- with no demonstration of interoperability or actual
usefulness. The most craven examples include people who say SOAP will
replace HTTP because HTTP is synchronous and one-way, whereas SOAP isn't
"limited to that". No, it isn't. But you also can't do anything else

RPC is "SOAP as it is used". "Asynchronous messaging" is a kind of
"platonic SOAP" that doesn't exist in reality.

 Paul Prescod


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