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What is Soap? What are its Advantages?

Author: DevASP

In this article you will learn that what is SOAP and what are its advantages in Development.

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)


SOAP is a standard for exchanging XML-based messages over a computer network, normally using HTTP.

Purpose of using SOAP:

For many Web services, you need only a combination of XML, HTTP, and an application-specific message protocol. To be sure, SOAP has its uses. But, in my opinion, SOAP’s role is overstated in the early stages of a Web service’s development. Using SOAP for the wrong tasks can easily hijack a Web service development project, because SOAP introduces a large set of problems that are orthogonal to the challenges of building a Web service. SOAP-related issues tend to consume the majority of the development effort.


The most common purpose of Web services today is to exchange XML data. For instance, more than 200 Web services listed on XMethods share that purpose. The classic examples of a stock quote service, weather service, or postal code lookup service are all about sending an XML query message, and receiving an XML reply. That pattern dominates more complex Web services as well: the UDDI registry service or the Liberty Alliance single sign-on and identity federation Web services are all defined in terms of XML-based query-response message exchanges.


At best, SOAP introduces a level of indirection to such XML message exchanges by embedding an XML message in a SOAP envelope. Since the SOAP envelope can carry metadata about the original XML message, such as processing instructions, the envelope can aid a Web service in processing that message. At worst, SOAP makes it difficult, if not impossible, to verify the validity of an XML message traversing between two Web services.


Here is an example of how a client might format a SOAP message requesting product information from a fictional warehouse web service. The client needs to know which product corresponds with the ID DEVASP123:


<soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="">


     <getProductDetails xmlns="">

       <productID> DEVASP123</productID>





Here is how the warehouse web service might format its reply message with the requested product information:


<soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="">


     <getProductDetailsResponse xmlns="">


         <productName>Toptimate 3-Piece Set</productName>

         <productID> DEVASP123</productID>

         <description>3-Piece luggage set. Black Polyester.</description>








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Posted on 11/27/2007 2:57:16 PM by Soap_Fan

This is very nice. But one more Question what is difference between HTTP and SOAP?
pls send reply to me

Posted on 12/6/2007 2:14:26 AM by varathan

the disadvatages are not clear here

Posted on 1/5/2008 1:20:33 AM by sharan

ts a good article, but can you explain the advantages of using SOAP? What are the differences between SOAP and HTTP?

Posted on 2/20/2008 7:52:33 PM by Sijee

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Posted on 8/4/2009 7:03:24 AM by jay ho

please send me some information on advantages and disadvantages of soaps

Posted on 11/11/2009 3:52:36 AM by arti

Hi Arti,

You can find Material regarding Soap on following link!

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- Kris

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