Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of the latest version of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) specification on the MSDN developer program Web site. SOAP is an open standards-based interoperability protocol that uses XML to provide a common messaging format to link together any applications and services anywhere on the Internet. This new version extends SOAP’s asynchronous messaging capabilities and enables support for the Internet protocols SMTP, FTP and TCP/IP in addition to existing support for HTTP. These new capabilities further bolster SOAP’s ability to integrate heterogeneous applications within the enterprise or diverse trading partners across the Internet. The specification was initially developed by DevelopMentor Inc., Microsoft and UserLand Software Inc. IBM Corp. and Lotus Development Corp. join as authors with version 1.1. The latest version has industry support from companies such as ActiveState Tool Corp., Ariba Inc., BORN Information Services Inc., Commerce One Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., DevelopMentor Inc., Extensibility Inc., IBM, IONA Technologies PLC, Intel Corp., Lotus Development Corp., ObjectSpace Inc., Rogue Wave Software Inc., Scriptics Corp., Secret Labs AB, UserLand Software and Zveno Pty. Ltd. The SOAP specification provides a common mechanism for integrating services on the Internet and/or intranet regardless of operating system, object model or programming language. Through its reliance on XML and HTTP, SOAP enables any new or existing applications to communicate with one another. By supporting SOAP, Web sites can become Web services that are accessible programmatically without requiring human initiation or intermediation. With a common integration fabric for direct interaction between software connected to the Internet, new opportunities abound in aggregation, federation and integration of services and devices located anywhere on the Internet. http://msdn.microsoft.com

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