Developers using Microsoft tools who want to design distributed Web applications should download the companys SOAP Toolkit 2.0 Beta 1 at msdn.microsoft.com/xml/general/soap1and2.asp.
The tool kit provides a set of tools and sample code (the samples are written in Visual Basic right now, not C or C++) for using Simple Object Access Protocol in Web applications. SOAP is an XML-based RPC mechanism that replaces Microsofts DCOM. The SOAP standards proposal is primarily backed by Microsoft and IBM and is under consideration by the World Wide Web Consortium as a Web standard.
The 2.0 release of the tool kit is SOAP 1.1-compliant, uses the W3C candidate recommendation standard for XML data typing and XML Schema instead of Microsofts proprietary XML-Data Reduced format, and supports Unicode. Microsoft announced it will fully support the production release of the tool kit later this year.
The Apache Group also provides a mostly SOAP 1.1-compliant tool kit, written in Java, at xml.apache.org/soap that will be a better choice for Java developers.