World Wide Web Consortium Issues First Public Working Draft of SOAP Version 1.2

Open efforts amongst W3C Members and Developer Communities Produce XML-based solution for Data Transport

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Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
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Testimonials for the first public Working Draft of SOAP Version 1.2 from W3C members are also available.

http://www.w3.org/ -- 9 July 2001 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today releases the first public working drafts of SOAP Version 1.2 and the XML Protocol Abstract Model . By formally publishing these working drafts at an early stage of the design work, W3C is ensuring that the public can follow the development of SOAP Version 1.2 and the XML Protocol Abstract Model, and contribute to a final result that is widely accepted and adopted.

XML Protocol Technologies Are Necessary for Web Development

Data transport is as central to modern computing as is data storage and display in the networked, decentralized, and distributed environment that is the Web. As XML emerges as the preferred format for data processing, the challenge is for both the sender and the receiver to agree on a transfer protocol at the application level or layer - whether the transfer is to occur between software programs, machines, or organizations.

W3C'sXML Protocol Activity addresses this problem, and has been at work on both requirements for an XML Protocol specification and on the specification itself, using the W3C Note SOAP/1.1 as a model for evaluation. After producing the XML Protocol Requirements document and reviewing significant feedback from developer communities, the XML Protocol Working Group has published SOAP Version 1.2 and the XML Protocol Abstract Model.

SOAP Version 1.2 Provides Support for W3C Recommendations, Refined Processing Model

The XML Protocol Working Group has the goal of developing technologies which allow two or more peers to communicate in a distributed environment, using XML as its encapsulation language. These solutions allow a layered architecture on top of an extensible and simple messaging format, which provides robustness, simplicity, reusability and interoperability.

SOAP Version 1.2 provides a specific framework for XML-based messaging systems, which includes specifying a message envelope format and a method for data serialization, and fulfills requirements spelled out in the charter, including the integration of core XML Technologies. For example, SOAP Version 1.2 uses datatypes provided by XML Schema, a W3C recommendation for expressing XML vocabularies in an extensible manner, to serialize data such as object and directed labeled graphs. It also makes use of XML Namespaces as a flexible and lightweight mechanism for handling XML language mixing.

SOAP Version 1.2 brings a refined processing model, which reduces ambiguities created by various interpretations of the SOAP/1.1 Specification. SOAP Version 1.2 includes strong recommendations for explicit error messages for mandatory extensions, giving developers better information, and helping them to develop better applications. This provides a solid first step forward in ensuring better interoperability and extensibility in SOAP Version 1.2.

XML Protocol Abstract Model Describes Concepts and Relationships

As the XML Protocol Working Group labored on the XML Protocol Requirements document and the emerging specification, they also set out to describe how such a technology might ultimately be designed at an abstract level. The resulting Working Draft, the XML Protocol Abstract Model, also provides a shared vocabulary for both members of the Working Group, and other developers already at work on applications that make use of earlier versions of SOAP.

Public Process Ensures Growth, Stability and Early Adoption of SOAP Version 1.2

In a commitment to public openness and accountability, the W3C XML Protocol Working Group works in public. The XML Protocol Working Group Charter is a public document; technical discussions take place on the public xml-dist-app@w3.org mailing list; and interim drafts are made available for public review and comment. Developer communities outside of the W3C membership, as well as other organizations with interests in developing interoperable mechanisms for data transport, have provided valuable input to the creation of SOAP Version 1.2.

Members of the Working Group include industry and technology leaders such as: Active Data Exchange; Akamai Technologies; Allaire; AOL/Netscape; AT&T; BEA Systems, Bowstreet Software, Canon; Commerce One, Compaq Computer Corporation; Daimler-Chrysler Research and Technology; DataChannel; Data Research Associates; DevelopMentor; Engenia Software; Epicentric; Ericsson; Fujitsu Limited; Group 8760; Hewlett-Packard Corporation; IBM; IDOOX s.r.o.; Informix Software; Intel Corporation; Interwoven; IONA Technologies; Jamcracker; Library of Congress; Lotus Development Corporation; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.; Microsoft Corporation; MITRE Corporation; Oracle; Philips Research; Propel; Rogue Wave; SAP AG; Software AG; Sun Microsystems; TIBCO Software Inc., Unisys; Vitria Technology, Inc; webMethods; and Xerox.

Per the W3C process, the XML Protocol Working Group continues to receive and respond to feedback from the public, and will make revisions to SOAP Version 1.2 and to the XML Protocol Abstract Model as needed.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 520 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/