Distributed Applications that can support heterogeneous
platforms for the purpose of data and information requires a common data format
for transmission of data. We have had protocols earlier like DCOM, RPC, IIOP,
etc, but these were restricted to a homogenous environment only. They have been
around for quite some time now, but they have their own limitations. Any two
systems communicating with each other using any of these protocols should have
support for the protocol that they are using. As an example, if a system "A"
communicates with a system "B" using IIOP, both these systems should
have support for IIOP to ensure that the communication takes place
successfully. For a heterogeneous environment this is not feasible. The
situation is more complex. Simple Object Oriented Protocol (SOAP) is an Open
Standard protocol and the solution to this complexity.