IONA Technologies announced that the W3C has acknowledged its submission of the latest version of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) specification. IONA was joined by Ariba, Commerce One, Compaq, DevelopMentor, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lotus Development Corp, Microsoft, SAP and UserLand Software (most of whom had their own similarly worded press release) in submitting the specification and proposing the formation of a working group in the area of XML-based protocols. SOAP is an XML-based interoperability protocol that links applications and services together via the Internet, regardless of operating system, object model or programming language. IONA’s iPortal Suite is a platform for integrating software applications and transforming them into B2B enterprise portals, which are unified points of access connecting an organization’s corporate business to the web. The iPortal Suite’s support for SOAP facilitates direct B2B interaction by enabling organizations to connect their enterprise portals to the e-business systems of their customers, suppliers and partners. IONA will continue to collaborate with the other submitters on the development and enhancement of SOAP to help it become the industry-standard mechanism that enables organizations to define enterprise portal services and transparently connect them with other enterprise portals. IONA is also developing SOAP mappings for CORBA.