Service Oriented Design For Interfacing Web Services

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Introduction Web Services are an every growing and highly useful method of viewing and manipulating geographic products, however there are several different ways in which to go about interfacing Web Services. SOAP (Originally Simple Object Access Protocol) and Representational State Transfer (REST) are two of the most recent and commonly used methods for interfacing Web Services. This essay will expand on what SOAP and REST are, compare the differences between them, and where possible relate their uses in the production of geospatial Web Services in Defence. Aim This essay strives to give readers a decent understanding of what SOAP and REST are, what and how they are used, and in what circumstances would one out-perform the other. It will…show more content…
SOAP SOAP first came into being in 1998 after being developed by Microsoft, however, it was not until SOAP version 1.2 was released in June 2003 that SOAP became a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation. This is also where SOAP ceased to be known as Simple Object Access Protocol and remains to this day as SOAP. The main reason for its development was to supersede some of the older communication technologies that weren’t as effective when being used across the internet such as Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) and Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) SOAP is a communication protocol that utilises Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) to define the messaging framework and send messages from one application to another via other protocols such as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It can be used in conjunction with Web Services Description Language (WSDL). This language is for the descriptions of web services and how to go about locating and accessing them. As with SOAP, WSDL is also XML based. WSDL is also a W3C Recommendation. A SOAP message has four main elements. These elements are an; envelope, header, body, and a fault element. See Fig 1 for a visual breakdown of the SOAP message structure. Fig 1: The SOAP Message Structure (Foggon et al, 2003) Fig 1 shows that the Envelope element is the root of the whole message and everything else is contained within the envelope. The Envelope
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