In 1998, Microsoft submitted a draft specification of what would later be named the SOAP protocol. XML 1.0 had only just become a full recommendation. Given that the contributors worked on the COM and MTS teams, it was no wonder that Microsoft initially wanted this new protocol to support its Windows DNA 2000 solution. It would be only a matter of time, however, before this protocol, mated with a mature XML schema language, would form the headwaters of XMLWeb services.
Industry embraced HTTP and XML. Today, these two protocols are as ubiquitous as Kevin Bacon. They are used everywhere, on all operating systems. Pick a platform, and you’ll not only have access to an HTTPWeb server and XML parser, but you’ll have choices. Every platform from the IBM big-iron systems down to handhelds can serve up Web and XML documents.
Sure, there were “Web services” before 1998. Companies have long been able to serve up a URL or IP socket to their business partners that, when called, would execute a CGI or ISAPI application, call a service, or run a waiting script. These services could then return something meaningful to the calling party, in text, binary, or one of several MIME types. The net effect (sorry, bad pun!) was delivery of presentation-quality data. The idea of remote code over the Internet is not new.