SOAP Update Spurs Integration of Web Services; Industry Participation Grows With Version 1.1

Apr 26, 2000, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:   MSFT)
 today announced the availability of the latest version of the Simple Object
 Access Protocol (SOAP) specification on the MSDN(TM) developer program Web
 site ( ). SOAP is an open standards-based
 interoperability protocol that uses the Extensible Markup Language (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 last fall by DevelopMentor
 Inc., Microsoft and UserLand Software Inc.; IBM Corp. and Lotus Development
 Corp. join as authors with version 1.1.
     "SOAP provides an open integration fabric for Web services in which any
 application or device can interact with any other over the Internet," said
 Paul Maritz, group vice president of the Platform Group at Microsoft. "The
 latest version of SOAP reflects both the fruits of an open and collaborative
 design process as well as considerable developer input since the publication
 of the initial specification last fall."
     According to David Smith of Gartner Group, SOAP is the right technological
 approach to a more loosely coupled communication model for the Internet and
 its move toward e-services.*
     The latest version of the SOAP specification has garnered broad 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 Internet-
 standard 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.
     More information about SOAP can be obtained by visiting the MSDN Web site
 at or sending e-mail to
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business
 computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed
 to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any
     *Source:  Gartner Group Inc., "What SOAP Is and Isn't and the Impending
 SOAP Opera," January 2000. Reprinted with permission.
     NOTE:  Microsoft and MSDN are either registered trademarks or trademarks
 of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
 The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.