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[FW: Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)]

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 13:34:07 -0400
Message-ID: <39199D8F.2696E5D@clark.net>
To: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

IBM and Lotus Combine Efforts with Microsoft to Create Standard
By Rita-Lyn Sanders, 05/03/2000

                        IBM and Lotus have jumped into the bathtub with
Microsoft  they want to
                        help scrub the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)
specification into a
                        squeaky clean standard.

                        The latest version of SOAP ---- 1.1 ---- includes
IBM and Lotus as co--authors.
                        The specification defines a standard method for
sending and receiving data in
                        XML using HTTP as a transport. SOAP lets software
programs talk to each
                        other over the Internet, no matter which programming
tool created them.

                        It's an important standard for programming language
writers and developers
                        alike. It means companies won't have to pick one
development tool over
                        another because of its popularity and therefore its
usability -- they'll be able to
                        choose the one that fits best with their business

                        IBM took cautious steps forward when Microsoft
initially announced last fall
                        that it helped write a standard specification for
                        communication. Early versions of SOAP had a number
of technical
                        characteristics tied to Microsoft's own
architecture, forcing IBM to look
                        critically at the possibility of SOAP becoming a
standard. "We want this to
                        play out in an open way," says Noah Mendelsohn, a
Lotus distinguished
                        engineer and a co--author of SOAP. IBM wanted
assurance of the direction of
                        the specification before encouraging it as a

                        IBM and Lotus worked through these issues with
Microsoft, Mendelsohn says,
                        before agreeing six months ago to help write the
specification along with
                        DevelopMentor, Inc., and UserLand Software, Inc. The
rewards of a standard
                        for software communication will be great.
"E--business is going to take off --
                        literally explode on the Web," Mendelsohn says.
"When enough protocols are
                        universally deployed so that everybody can talk to
everybody, that's the key."

                        IBM will gain the same thing that essentially
everyone will get if SOAP is
                        successful -- the ability to build e--Business
applications that can talk to any
                        other application. That kind of an e--business
environment could be a healthy
                        one for Lotus Domino. SOAP enables people to access
Domino databases
                        with other programs, not just with browsers. Already
there is extensive XML
                        support in Domino, which means the building blocks
for writing SOAP
                        applications are already in place. An IBM--SOAP
implementation available on
                        IBM's alphaWorks Web site should work with Domino,
Mendelsohn says.

                        "With things like soap it becomes trivial to write
the code that will go into the
                        Domino server," Mendelsohn says. "[You can] access
data using the power of
                        Domino and get that back, not in the form of a
browser page, but in the form of
                        XML structures that are really the data."

                        IBM--SOAP is IBM's own reference implementation of
the Simple Object
                        Access Protocol proposal. It incorporates encoding
mechanisms to serialize
                        application data in XML format and defines a
framework to represent remote
                        procedure calls (RPCs).

                        The Java reference implementation of the SOAP v1.1
specification is available
                        at: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/soap4j. Check
out a technical article
                        on SOAP in Microsoft's MSDN Magazine at:

Domino Pro Magazine
Received on Wednesday, 10 May 2000 13:34:01 UTC

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