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SOAP (protocol) facts for kids

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This article is about the computing protocol. For the substance used for cleaning, see soap

SOAP, or the Simple Object Access Protocol is a protocol used in computing. Web services use this protocol to communicate. SOAP uses XML to encode a message. It uses other application-layer protocols, for transport, and content negotiation, for example HTTP and Remote procedure call. The most common combination is to use SOAP with HTTP and TCP. There are different versions, 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2. Since version 1.2 the protocol is simply called SOAP. This is because the protocol is not simple, and that it can be used for other purposes than accessing objects.


SOAP is a lightweight protocol intended for exchanging structured information in a decentralized, distributed environment. SOAP uses XML technologies to define an extensible messaging framework, which provides a message construct that can be exchanged over a variety of underlying protocols. The framework has been designed to be independent of any particular programming model and other implementation specific semantics.

SOAP Versions

SOAP 1.1
Namespace Name
Spec Location
SOAP 1.2
Namespace Name
Spec Location (Primer)

Messaging Framework

The core section of the SOAP specification is the messaging framework. The SOAP messaging framework defines a suite of XML elements for "packaging" arbitrary XML messages for transport between systems.

The framework consists of the following core XML elements: Envelope, Header, Body, and Fault, all of which are from the namespace in SOAP 1.1. I've provided the full XML Schema definition for SOAP 1.1 in the following code for your reference as you read through the remainder of this section. Personally, I find it helpful to inspect the schema whenever familiarizing myself with XML constructs.SOAP UI is a tool use to test whether SOAP is sending and receiving the messages properly as part of Unit testing in IT projects.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Simple Object Access Protocol para niños

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