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Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a protocol specification for exchanging structured information in the implementation of Web Services.

The SOAP specification defines the messaging framework which consists of:

  • The SOAP processing model defining the rules for processing a SOAP message
  • The SOAP extensibility model defining the concepts of SOAP features and SOAP modules
  • The SOAP underlying protocol binding framework describing the rules for defining a binding to an underlying protocol that can be used for exchanging SOAP messages between SOAP nodes
  • The SOAP message construct defining the structure of a SOAP message

XML was chosen as the standard message format because of its widespread use by major corporations and open source development efforts.

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