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RE: What is a SOAP Message

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 17:26:58 -0500
To: "Jeffrey Schlimmer" <jeffsch@windows.microsoft.com>
Cc: xml-dist-app@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF2989177F.C9662262-ON85256CC4.007B0D3E@lotus.com>

Jeffrey Schlimmer asks:

>> What is the processing model for this definition of "message"?

I don't have time to dig up all the references, but I think the SOAP 
recommendation is reasonably clear.  A node receiving the message must 
reconstruct the Envelope infoset and do the processing described in Part 1 
chapter 2, >> as augmented by any features <<.

I suspect that the crux of your question is: what about all that other 
stuff like attachments?  Should it be relayed by intermediaries, signed, 
etc?  As far as the SOAP spec is concerned, all that stuff is extension 
features.  In the case of attachments, there should be features describing 
their processing, and relating it if necessary to the SOAP processing 
model.  The whole point is that SOAP includes very little in the core, so 
if you define extensions that go beyond what the SOAP processing model 
covers, you should expect to have to write a specification that says what 
to do.

This is not new, IMO.  Consider the WebMethod feature.  It indicates that 
there is information (I.e. GET/POST indication) that is carried outside of 
the envelope.  Where do we specify what to do with that?  The feature 
indicates, at least informally, that these verbs describe the operation to 
be performed by a receiving node.  Like many features, it relies on a 
protocol binding to give a concrete implementation of those semantics.  In 
the case of WebMethod, the HTTP binding does this by specifying the 
on-the-wire representation (as the HTTP method) and the processing 

As far as I can tell SOAP works fine, and is staying quite true to its 
model of providing a relatively minimal but extensible framework in the 

Noah Mendelsohn                              Voice: 1-617-693-4036
IBM Corporation                                Fax: 1-617-693-8676
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Wednesday, 5 February 2003 17:29:44 UTC

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