The true meaning of SOAP

Summary:A few years back, I was involved with an organization called the"Society of Office Automation Professionals," or SOAP. The organizationhas gone down the drain (pun intended), but SOAP lives on as an important acronym in theindustry.

A few years back, I was involved with an organization called the"Society of Office Automation Professionals," or SOAP. The organizationhas gone down the drain (pun intended), but SOAP lives on as an important acronym in theindustry.

SOAPformally started out, and still technically stands for, "Simple ObjectAccess Protocol." This jumble of words isn't going to impress anyone atparties, is it?

We have SOA now, so doesn't just make sense to tie SOAP to SOA? For some time, some folks in the Microsoft camphave, in fact, preferred to call it "Service-Oriented ArchitectureProtocol," which makes infinitely more sense. Sure it's only semantics,but it provides more cohesion to the Web services-to-SOA concept.

Mike Champion of Software AG, in a post on the W3C site, valiantly attempts to attach meaning to both acronyms. In the Simple Object Access Protocol, a SOAP message invokes a remote object from a local host. In the Service Oriented Architecture Protocol, a SOAP message represents the information needed to invoke a service.

Soundsgood. But many in the industry have simply dispensed with this wholeformality and have taken to just calling SOAP "SOAP," and not mentionthat it stands for something. What really matters, of course, is ifSOAP does its job and improves our business and systems transactions.And washes the grime out.


Topics: Enterprise Software

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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