Now that I've discussed the very basics of web services using both XML-RPC and SOAP, it's only fair that I mention some of the drawbacks to these technologies when compared with their more mature competitors (such as Java RMI, DCOM, and CORBA). While SOAP goes a bit further as a specification than does XML-RPC, it offers no support for typical distributed computing concepts such as garbage collection, pass-by-value, and security. While Microsoft is offering many of these capabilities through .NET and its Common Language Runtime environment, these capabilities are separate from SOAP and web services.
In Part 2, I'll demonstrate the development of a simple web service (using SOAP) in the Java programming language. I'll also discuss web service discovery and description using UDDI and WDSL, so stay tuned!