Microsoft Publishes Key Specifications for Web Services

ORLANDO, Fla., July 11, 2000 — Today at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2000, Microsoft Corp. published preliminary versions of two core specifications for creating and using Web services, adding to the SOAP group of Extensible Markup Language (XML) interoperability technologies. The two specifications, published on the MSDN™
developer program Web site ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/ ), are the SOAP Contract Language (SCL), which describes the capabilities of Web services, and SOAP Discovery, which provides rules for locating Web services. Together, these additions strengthen the interoperability capabilities defined in the SOAP specification and provide the standards-based foundation underlying the entire Microsoft® .NET Platform.

“These two additions to the SOAP technologies enhance developers’ ability to build a Web services infrastructure,”
said Andrew Layman, Web services architect at Microsoft.
“By publishing these specifications openly, Microsoft is demonstrating a continuing commitment to working with the development community to make Web services ubiquitous.”

SOAP is an open standards-based interoperability protocol that uses XML to provide a common messaging format to link together applications and services anywhere on the Internet. Microsoft and industry partners submitted SOAP to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body earlier this year.

The new SCL specification builds on SOAP to provide a mechanism to help developers describe the features of a Web service using XML. Developers will be able to use SCL to provide other developers and development tools with a description of the messages a Web service is expecting to send and receive. For example, they will be able to describe, in a standard way, that a stock quote Web service understands how to process messages that contain stock ticker symbols and return messages that contain the current stock price.

The SOAP Discovery specification provides a set of rules for locating the SCL description of a Web service automatically; in other words, it enables the SCL description to be automatically discovered. For example, if a developer wanted to build the stock quote Web service into his application, a tool such as Visual Studio® .NET would follow the rules defined in the SOAP Discovery specification to do so automatically.

The SOAP specifications provide a common mechanism for integrating services on the Internet or intranet regardless of operating system, object model or programming language. Because they support Internet-standard XML and HTTP, the SOAP technologies enable new or existing applications to communicate with one another. By supporting the SOAP technologies, Web sites can become programmatically accessible Web services that don’t require human initiation or intermediation. Because the SOAP technologies share an integration fabric that enables 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 the SOAP technologies can be obtained by visiting the MSDN Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/ or sending e-mail to soapwish@microsoft.com.

About Microsoft .NET

The Microsoft .NET Platform is Microsoft’s initiative for creating the next generation of software, which melds computing and communications in a revolutionary way. This vision offers developers, businesses and consumers the ability to harness technology on their terms and the tools they need to create truly distributed Web Services making information available any time, any place and on any device.

About Microsoft

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 device.

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