The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released the first public working draft of Simple Object Access Protocol (Soap) Version 1.2.
A key standard embraced by vendors pushing web services, Soap technology lets companies link their computing systems over the internet and conduct ecommerce. It is based on XML, a web standard for data exchange.
Soap Version 1.2 provides a specific framework for XML-based messaging systems, which includes specifying a message envelope format and a method for data serialisation.
It also operates under a refined processing model that includes recommendations for error messages for mandatory extensions which, according to the W3C, helps the developers build better applications and offer full support for the XML schema.
The new working draft has been widely adopted by many leading developers. Some 44 companies, including industry leaders Fujitsu Software, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Matsushita, Philips Research, SAP and Sun Microsystems, have backed the latest version.
"Its acceptance by our customers and in the general IT community is further fuelling the need for the development of a complete web services standards stack and architecture," said Robert Sutor, director of ebusiness standards strategy at IBM.
Janet Daly, a spokeswoman for the W3C said: "The news today is that this is now on the recommendation track."
The draft also includes compliance with the W3C Schema Recommendation, which is a shared vocabulary that allows machines to carry out rules made by people as well as standardisation with the W3C's naming format, known as uniform resource identifiers.
The W3C is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science in the US, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control in France and Keio University in Japan.
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