SOAP::WSDL::Manual::Glossary(3) Those acronyms and stuff


web service

Web services are RPC (Remote Procedure Call) interfaces accessible via some internet protocol, typically via HTTP(S).


SOAP is (was - since 1.2 the name ``SOAP'' has no meaning any more) an acronym for Simple Object Access Protocol. SOAP is a W3C recommendation. The latest version of the SOAP specification may be found at <>.

SOAP defines a protocol for message exchange between applications. The most popular usage is to use SOAP for remote procedure calls (RPC).

While one of the constituting aspects of a web service is its reachability via some internet protocol, you might as well define SOAP services accessible via postcards.

Despite it's former name, SOAP has nothing more to do with objects than cars have with pets - SOAP messages may, but not necessarily do carry objects, very much like your car may, but does not need to carry your pet.


WSDL is an acronym for Web Services Description Language. WSDL is a W3C recommendation. The latest version of the WSDL specification may be found at <>.

WSDL defines a XML-based language for describing web service interfaces, including SOAP interfaces.


WS-I (Web Services Interoperability Organization) is an open industry organisation chartered to promote Web service interoperability across platforms, operating systems, and programming languages.

WS-I publishes profiles, which provide implementation guidelines for how related Web services specifications should be used together for best interoperability. To date, WS-I has finalized the Basic Profile, Attachments Profile and Simple SOAP Binding Profile.

SOAP::WSDL aims at complying to the WS-I Basic Profile (but does not implement full support yet).

SOAP message styles


Meant for transporting a RPC message. All contents of the SOAP body are put into a top-level node named equal to the SOAP operation.

WS-I Basic Profile allows the use of rpc message style.

SOAP::WSDL does not support rpc message style yet.

SOAP::Lite supports rpc message style only.


Meant for transporting arbitrary content. No additional nodes are inserted between the SOAP body and the actual content.

WS-I Basic Profile allows the use of document message style.

SOAP encoding styles




Copyright 2007 Martin Kutter.

This file is part of SOAP-WSDL. You may distribute/modify it under the same terms as perl itself.


Martin Kutter <martin.kutter>


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