World Wide Web Consortium Issues SOAP Version 1.2 as a W3C Recommendation

W3C XML Protocol Working Group Delivers Essential Component for Web Services

Contact America --
Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Europe --
Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94
Contact Asia --
Saeko Takeuchi <saeko@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170

(This press release is also available in French and Japanese)

http://www.w3.org/ -- 24 June 2003 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today releases the SOAP Version 1.2 Recommendation, consisting of the SOAP Version 1.2 Primer, the SOAP Version 1.2 Messaging Framework, SOAP Version 1.2 Adjuncts, and the SOAP Version 1.2 Specification Assertions and Test Collection. SOAP Version 1.2 is a lightweight protocol intended for exchanging structured information in a decentralized, distributed environment such as the Web. A W3C Recommendation is the equivalent of a Web standard, indicating that this W3C-developed specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its adoption by the industry.

"Web services make good on the promise of interoperable applications only when the technical foundations are shared, robust, and achieve expected performance," explained Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "Today, W3C Members have endorsed SOAP Version 1.2, the first version of SOAP to have undergone rigorous testing and implementation, and to support a full complement of Web standards. Web services customers and developers alike demand an XML-based Web services protocol that powers the full range of applications and Web technologies they can imagine using. Now that SOAP Version 1.2 is here, they have it."

Robust Web Services Rely on Standardized, Flexible Models for Message Exchange

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

Since its inception in September 2000, W3C's XML Protocol Working Group has worked on both XML Protocol Requirements and the SOAP Version 1.2 specification, using the W3C Note SOAP 1.1 as a starting point. Now that the Working Group produced multiple drafts, received significant feedback from developers, identified interoperable implementations, and received comprehensive review from the W3C Membership, SOAP Version 1.2 is ready for widespread deployment.

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

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

An introduction for users such as application designers, the Primer is an easily understandable tutorial that describes the features of SOAP Version 1.2 through examples and links to the specification. The SOAP Version 1.2 specification provides a framework for XML-based messaging systems in two parts, the Messaging Framework and Adjuncts:

SOAP Version 1.2 Messaging Framework provides a processing model (the rules for processing a SOAP message), an extensibility framework (enabling developers to use extensions inside and outside the SOAP envelope), the message construct (the rules for constructing SOAP messages), and the protocol binding framework (the rules for specifying the exchange of SOAP messages over underlying protocols such as HTTP).

SOAP Version 1.2 Adjuncts completes the specification. It includes rules for representing remote procedure calls (RPCs), for encoding SOAP messages, for describing SOAP features and SOAP bindings. It also provides a standard binding of SOAP to HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), allowing SOAP messages to be exchanged using the mechanisms of the World Wide Web.

Intended to help implementers write SOAP processors, the Specification Assertions and Test Collection provide a set of tests drawn from the assertions found in the Messaging Framework and Adjuncts. These tests show whether the assertions are implemented in a SOAP processor, and are designed to foster interoperability between different SOAP Version 1.2 implementations.

In addition to fulfilling requirements spelled out in the Working Group charter, SOAP Version 1.2 integrates core XML technologies. SOAP Version 1.2 is designed to work seamlessly with W3C XML schemas, maximizing SOAP's utility with a broad range of XML tools, and paving the way for future work on the Web Services Description Language (WSDL). It also makes use of Namespaces in XML as a flexible and lightweight mechanism for handling XML language mixing.

SOAP Version 1.2 describes a refined processing model, thus removing ambiguities found in SOAP 1.1. SOAP Version 1.2 includes improved error messages that will help developers to write better applications.

SOAP Version 1.2 Implementations Successful, Already in Product

After its Candidate Recommendation period, the W3C XML Protocol Working Group tracked seven SOAP Version 1.2 implementations from W3C Member organizations and independent developers to ensure the viability and interoperability of implementations based on the specification. The Working Group previously identified and resolved over 400 technical and editorial issues raised in public review of SOAP 1.1 and the resulting SOAP Version 1.2.

Current participants in the Working Group include industry and technology leaders: AT&T; BEA Systems; Canon; DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology; Ericsson; Fujitsu Limited; IBM; IONA Technologies; Macromedia; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.; Microsoft Corporation; Oracle Corporation; SAP AG; SeeBeyond; Software AG; Sun Microsystems; and Systinet.

Developer communities outside of the W3C Membership and other organizations with related interests have provided valuable input to the creation of SOAP Version 1.2. Many W3C Members have issued testimonials, with commitments to current or future implementations of SOAP Version 1.2.

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 European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered 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 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see http://www.w3.org/