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From "Mark Young" <>
Subject Re: Clients using GET and POST
Date Tue, 21 May 2002 19:34:07 GMT
Hi Andrew and Sudhir:

Reading through this thread, I think there's a bit of confusion (it could be
mine of course).

I don't believe that it is true that all web service requests and responses
must be sent in SOAP.  When the WSDL 1.1 spec talks about HTTP GET/POST
bindings, I don't think it is talking about SOAP at all.  I've read at least
one article lately that talks about how SOAP is a big waste of bandwidth,
and that argues that web service requests should be sent as URLs (with
arguments inline) and responses as SOAP-free XML documents in an HTTP
response.  I think it was over on the O'Reilly XML website (

If you use MS.Net to produce a simple web service that just returns a hello
world string, you'll see that the HTTP GET/POST response message is not a
SOAP message at all -- it is simply an xml document with an element
containing the string (there is no SOAP envelope).

So using HTTP GET, with your web service request data in the URL header, or
POST with them in the message body, and getting back the response as a
SOAP-free HTTP message is probably not just MS showing off, and I doubt the
intention was just for easy testing.

I believe it is orthogonal to SOAP.


Mark Young
Omniopera: XML Schema and WSDL Authoring Software

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Vardeman" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, May 17, 2002 5:47 PM
Subject: Re: Clients using GET and POST

> Hi Sudhir.
> >My question though was, AXIS provides the api's to write clients for
> >document and the rpc based services. There are certain WSDL's with the
> >binding which reads like
> >
> ><binding name="AddressLookupHttpPost" type="s0:AddressLookupHttpPost">
> ><http:binding verb="POST" />
> ><operation name="CheckAddress">
> ><http:operation location="/CheckAddress" />
> >.................
> >verb could be GET as well.
> Umm... I'll stick with my answer.  Someone can correct me on this, but I
> believe the GET option applies to the MS trick I mentioned in the last
> email.  With the MS trick, you're not submitting a SOAP Envelope at all;
> you are encoding your input parameters in the URL, like this:
> which is all that HTTP GET allows.  As Steve said (rather acutely), you
> can't submit an XML body in a GET request because a HTTP GET request is
> headers and a URL and that's all.  Here's an example GET request from
> GET / HTTP/1.1
> Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg,
> application/, application/,
> application/msword, application/pdf, */*
> Accept-Language: en-us
> Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
> User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; T312461;
> .NET CLR 1.0.3705)
> Host: localhost:8000
> Connection: Keep-Alive
> The top line is the GET command ("get the resource at / using HTTP 1.1")
> and the rest is headers.
> >Axis provides API's to write clients for document/rpc based services.
> >it provide API's to write the client for POST/GET based services? I
> >no. How else can I invoke it then.
> document/rpc refers to how the endpoints treat the SOAP envelope (as
> serialized objects or as an XML document), not the transport over which
> envelope is carried.  If you have the Axis servlet running and are sending
> requests with a typical client to a deployed service, you *are* using HTTP
> >Moreover, if "You submit the form (also via HTTP GET) to the
> > > webservice, and it responds with a SOAP envelope.  This is a trick
> > > really has nothing to do with SOAP; the .NET client is acting as a
> > > miniature web server, and when you submit the form, the parameters are
> > > passed to the webservice in the URL as though the service were an
> > > CGI program or server page.  " is the way to attck the problem, then
> >concept of web services (applications talking to each other without need
> >user intervention) is jeopardised. Am I correct or I missed somthing
> yup.  MS does this for testing and showing off.  Note that if you enter
> your Axis webservice's address in a browser's URL bar, you get a message
> that someday there may be a form there, indicating that the Axis
> see the usefulness of such an auto-generated form for testing (and perhaps
> showing off ;).  But like I said, that really has nothing to do with
> SOAP (other than that the results come back as a SOAP envelope).  It's a
> convenience thing.
> Andrew

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