Web services are a hot topic these days. Everyone seems to be talking about Web services this and Web services that. It’s nearly impossible to pick up a trade magazine without having to read about Web services to some degree or other.
This chapter covers one aspect of Web services: the SOAP protocol. SOAP is our focus because it is fairly common and well documented at w3.org; also, some decent Perl modules are already available for it.
Before I explain my interpretation of SOAP, I want to make sure that you know where to get the complete documentation. You can find the SOAP protocol, and all of its definitions, explanations, and standards, by going to http://www.w3.org and clicking the SOAP link. The w3.org site is the place to go if you need detailed, technical documentation about the protocols governing the World Wide Web.