Chapter 9. SOAP Interoperability and WSDL

All of the examples to this point have used the same SOAP implementation for both client and server. Our Apache SOAP server examples were accessed using Apache SOAP client applications, and our GLUE server examples were accessed by GLUE client applications. In those rare occasions when you have control over the technology used at every node of a distributed system, it’s easiest to use the same technology throughout. However, that opportunity doesn’t present itself all that often, and it’s fundamentally at odds with the web services vision of the computing world. So it’s necessary to investigate how SOAP implementations interoperate with each other.

There are dozens of SOAP implementations available right now, and others will be showing up every day. Over time, you’ll probably find lots of existing enterprise systems making themselves accessible via a SOAP mechanism over a variety of transports. Some systems will undoubtedly use SOAP under the covers, so you won’t have to deal with it at all. And new distributed software frameworks based on SOAP will certainly sprout up. How well can we expect these systems to interoperate with one another? After all, software is still developed largely by companies and individuals that are competing in one way or another, which usually leads to problems with interoperability. Sometimes the problems arise because the specification has one or more sections that are open to interpretation, and developers ...

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