The World Wide Web consortium (W3C) has given recommendation status to the latest version of the Simple Object Access Protocol (Soap) specification - a protocol used for exchanging structured information in a distributed web services environment.
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A W3C recommendation is the equivalent of a web standard, indicating that the W3C-developed specification is stable, contributes to web interoperability and has been reviewed by the W3C membership.
One of the largest complaints around using Soap and Web services standards, which are based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), is the massive performance hit that organisations take when they start moving over to XML.
"XML tags add a lot of extra weight to a file. You’re also adding in a lot more processing…and more computational power -- that takes a lot of time," said IDC analyst David Senf.
"What the 1.2 spec allows is to compress the data so it’s easier to transport over the wire and also provide for a better performance. This addresses some of the issues around the performance hit that organisations have been taking, who have actually wanted to leverage the interoperability of web services."
This enhanced interoperability capability permits organisations to define their own architecture around Soap, improving the ability to gain interoperability of their applications, and enhances their ability to exploit functionality from another company and allow their web services to be interoperable.
Better error handling and internationalisation, an upgraded processing model and alignment with the W3C Web architecture are other features of the revised specification.
IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Sun Microsystems have all shown support for the specification.
The W3C is on the Web at www.w3.org.
Allison Taylor writes for ITWorldCanada.com