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IT-Director: SOAP, or just a load of suds?

May 12, 2000, 13:38 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Walrus)

"Developers of eCommerce applications have polarised into two religions. First there are Bill's disciples for whom Microsoft DNA and the DCOM model represent the only path to happiness. Then there are the worshippers of the bean - those that believe true enlightenment comes in the form of CORBA and Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs). Both groups have achieved a significant following of vendors and end users making it clear that neither is going away in the foreseeable future. It is therefore very encouraging to see some of the big names from each camp coming together with a proposal for an interoperability standard. Microsoft, SAP, Compaq and HP are among the backers of the Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP, which will be considered by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) along with 11 other submissions."

"SOAP could form the basis for an exchange publishing a set of generic services to the outside world. A simple example could be a catalogue search which would enable one exchange to call another in order to broaden the coverage for a query. Two of the other players backing SOAP are Commerce One and Ariba, both very active in the electronic exchange and eProcurement game. It will be interesting to see how they make use of the possibilities."

"On the surface, this looks like a genuine effort for the parties concerned to come to some kind of consensus. It would be nice if SOAP really did become a way of cleaning up this interoperability issue. Let's hope its not just a pile of marketing suds that fade away to nothing."

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