What makes a SOAP document a message

Mark Baker
comments on Steve Maine‘s “Web Services Kernel” post and says:

“A SOAP envelope is not a SOAP message, and pretending otherwise turns a perfectly good document wrapper into a perfectly crappy application protocol.”

Hmmm… I think Mark makes a good point but I also believe that it is all relative. You see, in real life, an envelope is nothing but a folded piece of paper. It has no meaning on its own. However, it’s only when you fill this folded piece of paper with written pages, you put a recipient and a sender address, you attach a stamp on to it, and send/post it, it becomes a letter. Anyone seeing it on the way will say that this is a letter; they won’t say it’s a folded piece of paper.

The same with a SOAP documents. A SOAP document with some WS-Addressing information and some payload becomes a SOAP message. When you see one, you know that it’s a message and not just a document. It’s the transmission of such documents (the messages) that makes it possible for us to build WS applications.

Labels are relative me thinks :-)

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