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SOAP - A Quick Intro to Webservices

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Theory - Basic SOAP Specs

I don't want to waste too much time here. There are a lot of sites that have a good introduction to SOAP, e.g. Learn SOAP at W3 Schools. So just the very basics here.

A SOAP message is an XML encoded document which consists of

  • an envelope <soap:envelope>
  • a header <soap:Header> (optional). If the header exists it has to be the first element in the envelope.
  • the body of the message <soap:Body>.

There are a couple of important details that have to be followed in order to make a fully qualified SOAP message. But within these rules a SOAP message can be pretty much anything - which is typically more problematic to handle for programmers than squeezing there data into a tightly regulated set of rules... or maybe not.

If you don't know too much about SOAP specifications right now don't be too concerned. Be assured that you will become an expert sooner than you will like it. If you don't like these prospects, please leave now and come back in a couple of years when things have settled down a bit :)

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