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The SOAP Protocol

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This chapter is from the book


We hope this chapter has demystified what SOAP is about and given you a good grounding in the essentials of the protocol and its behavior. You've seen how vertical (SOAP headers) and horizontal (intermediaries) extensibility, plus the binding framework, can be used to stretch the capabilities of the core in controlled ways. We'll return again and again to these extensibility concepts as we move through the examples in the rest of the book.

Of course, unless you plan to implement a SOAP engine on your own, you'll be using a toolkit to perform SOAP invocations. As such, we've also talked about Apache Axis, the open source SOAP engine that SkatesTown and SBC are using, and you've seen how the HTTP-based purchase order system can be converted into a SOAP Web service. You'll learn a lot more about Axis in Chapter 5, but before that we'll look at the other major pillar that makes up the foundation of Web services: the Web Service Description Language, or WSDL.

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