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SOAP: Cross Platform Web Service Development Using XML

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SOAP: Cross Platform Web Service Development Using XML

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  • Copyright 2002
  • Edition: 1st
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  • ISBN-10: 0-13-090763-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-090763-9

Leverage the power of SOAP on any platform, with any leading programming language!

  • Integrate your enterprise applications across the Web!
  • The platform-independent guide to SOAP
  • SOAP programming with C++, Perl, C#, Visual Basic, and Java
  • Build an industrial-strength SOAP system from scratch
  • CD-ROM: SOAP for Windows, Linux and Unix, plus extensive source code library!
Technical Reviewers: Yves LaFon, Chair of the SOAP W3C Committee
John Montgomery, Lead SOAP Developer, Microsoft
Kent Sharkey, .NET Frameworks Technical Evangelist, Microsoft

SOAP is the universal "glue" that can integrate virtually any distributed system, helping enterprises streamline processes and communications across the Internet as never before. SOAP: Cross Platform Web Services Development Using XML is the practical, hands-on introduction to using SOAP on Windows, Linux, and UNIX platforms, using any of five leading programming languages. Discover how SOAP leverages key Internet standards such as XML and HTTP to solve distributed computing problems that DCOM and CORBA can't! Coverage includes:

  • All the XML you need to get started with SOAP
  • SOAP's basic syntax: HTTP headers, SOAP payloads, error handling, data types, encoding structures, and more
  • Extending SOAP to support heterogeneous and legacy environments
  • SOAP programming with C++, C#, Perl, Visual Basic, and Java
  • Comparing today's leading SOAP servers

The last six chapters of this book present a start-to-finish SOAP case study application-from requirements and design through coding.

Whether you're constructing Internet applications, integrating existing applications within or between enterprises, or simply evaluating SOAP, this book contains the insights-and practical examples-you're looking for.


The accompanying CD-ROM contains complete SOAP implementations for Windows, Linux, and UNIX, plus all source code from the book.

Sample Content

Table of Contents




1. How We Got to SOAP.

The Abacus. Early Calculators. Programmable Machines. Electronic Computers. Distributed Computing. Summary. Bibliography.

2. XML Overview.

Uniform Resource Indentifiers. XML Basics. XML Schemas. XML Namespaces. XML Attributes. Summary.

3. The Soap Specification.

Things to Know. Rules for Encoding Types in XML. The SOAP Message Exchange Model. Structure of a SOAP Message. Using SOAP in HTTP. Using SOAP for RPC. Summary.

4. Building a Basic SOAP Client and Server.

SOAP Library Design. In Search of One Good Socket Library. SimpleSOAP Library. SOAPNetwork Library. A Simple SOAP Server. A Simple SOAP Client. Summary. Fun Things to Try.


5. Web Services Description Language.

WSDL Overview. Defining a Web Service. SOAP Binding. HTTP GET and POST Binding. MIME Binding. Summary.

6. Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration.

UDDI Basics. Where Does UDDI Fit In? UDDI Information Types. The Programmer's API. Summary.

7. Available SOAP Implementations.

Apache. IdooXoap. Iona. Microsoft. pocketSOAP. RogueWave. SOAP::Lite. White Mesa. Zope. Summary.


8. Auction System and Requirements.

Background. Executive Summary. Bidder Enrollment and Management. Item Enrollment and Management. The Bidding System. Reporting. Summary.

9. Auction System Design.

Bidder Enrollment and Management. Item Enrollment and Management. The Bidding System. Summary.

10. Bidder Enrollment.

The Java Environment. Setting Up the Java Enviroment. Securing Access to the Web Service. The VB Environment. Summary.

11. Category and Item Management.

General Implementation Rules. Category Management. Item Management. Summary.

12. The Bidding System.

Bidding Pages. Bidding Web Service. Summary.

13. Case Study Summary.

Client Management. Category Management. Item Management. Auction. Summary.




As long as there have been two computers, there has been difficulty getting them to communicate. Dozens, possibly hundreds, of strategies have arisen, each with their own strong and weak points. However, the end result is that still, it is difficult to get two computers to agree on a strategy for communication. Everyone wants everyone else to change to meet their strategy's needs. Thus, we end up with the "Communication Wars," CORBA vs. DCOM, DCOM vs. RMI, messaging vs. RPC, and so on.

Into this tangled mass of communication comes SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). SOAP does not try to solve all problems; it only defines a simple, XML-based communication format. However, with this simple goal, and a powerful extensibility mechanism, SOAP bears the promise of being a true cross-everything communication protocol-cross-programming language, cross-operating system, cross-platform. As long as a computer, operating

system, or programming language can generate and process XML (that is, text), it can make use of SOAP. Since the initial release, almost every major software vendor has either produced, or announced, an implementation of SOAP. We've seen standalone SOAP, SOAP built into Web servers, application servers, communication tools and even messaging middleware using SOAP. In the future, SOAP will become even more prevalent, as companies and organizations like Microsoft, IBM, Apache, and Sun add even more SOAP support to their applications, operating systems and programming languages.

As the SOAP specification winds its way through the W3 standardization process, I'm certain that we will see changes. However, please don't let this stop you from experimenting and using SOAP in your applications. Yes, there will be changes, but these should be relatively minor, and each implementation should hide many of these details.

I first "met" Scott because of a mailing list--DevelopMentor's excellent list devoted to SOAP discussions (http://discuss.develop.com/soap.html if you're interested in joining). There he tirelessly helped others understand what he obviously thought as an important technology. Therefore, I was glad to hear that he was also working on this book. He has packed a great deal of practical development advice into these pages. I also love the fact that he shows a variety of the implementations available, and that they are all communicating nicely.

I hope that as you read this book, you see why Scott and I think SOAP is so important. So, whether you are a Java developer using the Apache implementation of SOAP, a VB developer using the Microsoft SOAP Toolkit, or a C# developer using .NET Web Services, or one of the many other implementations available, I hope that you join us in using SOAP in your applications. Perhaps together we can all learn to communicate.

— Kent Sharkey
.NET Frameworks Technical Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation


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