Stands for "Simple Object Access Protocol."

SOAP is a protocol used in web services to exchange structured information over the internet in a standardized format. It provides a way for applications to communicate with each other, regardless of their operating system or programming language.

SOAP is an XML-based protocol, which makes it highly versatile and widely supported. It uses XML to encode its messages, ensuring the message format is understandable on any platform that supports XML. SOAP typically transmits messages over HTTP, although they can also be transmitted over other protocols. The HTTP transport mechanism leverages the widespread availability and use of HTTP infrastructure, making SOAP messages capable of passing through firewalls and other network barriers without requiring special tunneling techniques.

A key feature of SOAP is support for WS-Security, an extension that adds security features to SOAP web services. It provides mechanisms for encrypting the message content and ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of the messages exchanged. Such security measures are crucial for applications that deal with sensitive information or require secure communications, making SOAP a preferred choice in enterprise environments and industries like banking and healthcare.


SOAP's flexibility has helped it become a cornerstone of web services and enterprise-level applications where security, reliability, and formal contracts are paramount. Its standardized use of XML ensures that SOAP-based services can operate across different environments and systems, facilitating seamless interoperability and communication.

Updated May 22, 2024 by Nils-Henrik G.
Reviewed by Per C.

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