Let me challenge myself to integrate my old thoughts and recreate the basics of SOAP for you all - The Starters.
In a decentralized and distributed environments, SOAP is a simple and lightweight medium thorugh which the information (maybe structured and typed) is exchanged between peers using XML....aah thats nice definition.
Ok enough of a hiatus. Lets continue...
SOAP in itself doesnot specify any kinda application semantics, rather defines the mechanism for same by providing a modular packaging model and encoding mechanisms for encoding the data within the modules.
Probably because of this SOAP can be used for varied systems - from Messaging to RPC.
It consits of three parts primarliy:
1. SOAP envelope construct
This defines an overall framework for expressing what is in a message, who should deal with it and whether it is optional or mandatory
2. SOAP encoding rules
This defines a serialization mechanism that can be used to exchange instances of application-defined datatypes.
3. SOAP RPC representation
This defines a convention that can be used to represent remote procedure calls and responses.
All these are togather yet they are functionally orthogonal in nature.
The design goal for SOAP has been simplicity and extensibility. Features which DOESNOT form the part of core SOAP include
• Distributed GC (garbage collection)
• Batching of messages
huff huff...hope that the above list includes all it should ...