After resolving more than 400 issues and identifying seven interoperable implementations, the World Wide Web Consortiums (W3C) XML Protocol Working Group this week released the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 1.2 for final review as a standard.
The SOAP 1.2 proposed recommendation consists of the SOAP 1.2 Messaging Frameworks, SOAP 1.2 Adjuncts and a primer, W3C officials said.
David Fallside, the W3Cs XML Protocol working group chairman, said SOAP 1.2 “brings the [SOAP] 1.1 technology to the level needed for more general deployment to do more of the heavy lifting required” in the enterprise environment for Web services. SOAP 1.1 “was more of a one-off thing,” he said.
The W3C defines SOAP 1.2 as “a lightweight protocol intended for exchanging structured information in a decentralized, distributed environment” like the Web. The specification is now under final review until June 7.
W3C officials said SOAP 1.2 integrates core XML technologies and works with W3C XML schemas, and is the base for future efforts around the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) although SOAP 1.2 has no dependencies on WSDL, said Fallside in Grass Valley, Calif.
Fallside said SOAP 1.2s framework for XML-based messaging systems features the mandatory Message Framework in the optional Adjuncts. The message framework features a processing model, an extensibility framework, the message construct, and the protocol binding framework. SOAP 1.2 Adjuncts includes rules for representing remote procedure calls, for encoding SOAP messages, and for describing SOAP features and SOAP bindings, the W3C said.
“We recast SOAP 1.2 in terms of the infoset,” Fallside said. An infoset is an information description of an XML document, he said. “The infoset description does not care about a specific system but about a general model being conveyed in an XML document.”
“I think this is a good step for the industry,” said Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink LLC. “What the release of the proposed recommendation for SOAP shows is two major things: the final step in a long process towards industry consensus around Web Services specifications, and the fact that theyve resolved quite a few interoperability issues. While the WS-I [Web Services Interoperability Organization] was mainly slated with resolving interoperability issues between different Web services implementations, solving these issues in the specification definition process is the best route to go—the more ambiguities that are removed from the spec early on in the process, the better it will be for companies building products for the spec, and for enterprises implementing them.”
Members of the XML Protocol working group include AT&T Co., BEA Systems Inc., IBM Corp., IONA Technologies Inc., Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., SAP AG, Sun Microsystems Inc., Systinet Inc., TIBCO Software Inc. and Unisys Corp., among others.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Systinet said its WASP [Web Applications and Services Platform] for Java, 4.5 is a reference implementation for the standard, and was used to provide valuable evidence of interoperable implementations of SOAP 1.2.
Fallside said SOAP 1.3 will be coming down the road. “In general, working groups, once they have completed a recommendation, they spend some time on errata and other things,” he said. “To date no decision has been made on SOAP 1.3.”
In other XML-related news, the W3C this week released 10 working drafts for XQuery; XSLT, the Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations; and XPath.
Through collaboration between the W3Cs XML Query Working Group and XSL Working Group, the organization has issued a set of 10 working draft specifications for public review, W3C officals said.
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