If I implement a Web Service using ASP.NET, will my service's clients be tied to the Microsoft platform?
No. You can use any platform and language combination that supports TCP/IP. This makes your choice of client implementation almost unlimited. Client operating systems can include Windows 3.11 through Windows XP, all flavors of Unix and Linux, VAX, mobile device operating systems, and many others. Your choice of language to use for the client program could include Java, C, C++, Visual Basic, or any language that includes TCP/IP support.
How much about the SOAP protocol do I need to know to create Web Services?
If you use .NET to create Web Services and their clients, you don't need to know much more than what you've seen in this chapter. ASP.NET and the .NET framework provide all the SOAP protocol plumbing for you. This situation is similar to the HTTP protocol and Web site programming, in that you can create most Web pages without detailed knowledge of HTTP requests and responses. To learn more about the SOAP protocol, visit http://www.w3c.org.