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

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On Sun, 2002-04-21 at 15:06, Joshua Allen wrote:
> OK, I hope you are reading this wrong.  Bosworth is certainly making a
> point in *favor* of XML message-passing formats like SOAP vs. things
> like RMI, but is in no way making a case for REST.  The
> "loosely-coupled" in this comment comes from async and XML-based
> messages.  This is the Biztalk model.  I'm not saying that Bosworth
> isn't a believer in REST; just that the particular scenario described
> here is not one that REST advocates find terribly comforting.

No, but it was a far enough walk from SOAP-as-RPC to be interesting and
to raise some fundamental questions.

> Are you asking what benefit SOAP brings vs. everyone just rolling their
> own XML serialization/envelope formats?


> The basic answer is that it allows out-of-box interop (well, usually) so
> things like VS.NET can work with BEA, and BEA can work with Apache, and
> so on.  This doesn't negate the value of loose-coupling -- it is still
> beneficial to do loose-coupled async architectures even if the
> message/document format is not SOAP.  But the fact that 90% of clients
> and servers support automatic SOAP mappings mean that SOAP is a safe bet
> for an XML novice trying to whip up a loosely coupled architecture in a
> hurry.

Is the out-of-box interop just for RPC-style SOAP (which is my present
understanding) or for messaging as well?

I see zero (even negative) benefit in the SOAP format for messaging.  I
see lots of benefits in tools for people who want to stay away from the
markup, but not much more.
> Furthermore, messages that use SOAP format will presumably be able to
> work with future infrastructure that does WS-Routing, DIME, and so on.
> These other layers of the "protocol stack" have to be able to depend on
> some consistent features, and will naturally target something like SOAP
> rather than try to support every naked XML format that anyone cooks up.

So everybody's doing it?  That's really not a sufficient answer to
people who aren't afraid of working with markup.

If the answer is "the world's afraid of markup", I guess that's a good
marketing approach, but not much of a technical answer on xml-dev!

Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!


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