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Developing Enterprise Web Services: An Architect's Guide by James Webber - Ph.D., Sandeep Chatterjee - Ph.D.

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SOAP Encoding

The encodingStyle attribute appears in both header blocks and the body element of a SOAP message. As its name suggests, the attribute conveys information about how the contents of a particular element are encoded. At first this might seem a little odd since the SOAP message is expressed in XML. However, the SOAP specification is distinctly hands-off in specifying how header and body elements (aside from the SOAP Fault element) are composed, and defines only the overall structure of the message. Furthermore, XML is expressive and does not constrain the form of document a great deal and, therefore, we could imagine a number of different and mutually uninteroperable ways of encoding the same data, for example:

 <account> <balance> ...

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