Which Protocol is used by Web service and Web service consumer to communicate with each other ?

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  • Mar 31st, 2008

SOAP is the protocol that a web service uses for transporting objects independent of operating system.

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  • Feb 9th, 2009

Generally the communication protocol is - HTTP and services themselves follow SOAP protocol as a defined standard so that they can understand each other. Requests and responses are communicated in XML format on HTTP.

SOAP is a XML based 'message' that a web service client can send to an actual web service (& vice versa). The reason why this message is termed as a 'protocol' is because the XML semantics inside this message is based on a well know standard understood by both the actual web service & all its clients.

Having said this, note that this XML based 'message' does not have any capability on its own whatsoever to physically travel from the so-called web service client (which may be on your desktop PC) to the actual web service (which may be on the server). Because after all, this messages is nothing but a set of XML tags sitting conceptually in a virtual world.

And this is where an underlying 'network technology' is required to physically take this XML based 'message' from the web service client to the actual web service. This underlying network technology can be anything eg: HTTP, raw TCP sockets, SMTP, JMS etc. Note that this network technology is also referred to as a 'protocol'.

So dont get confused between the 'message' which is a 'Communication Protocol' between a web service & its clients, & the actual network technology used to physically move it across the network which is actually referred to as a 'Transport Protocol'.

Shortest possible & technically correct answer to the question
A web service & its clients communicate with each other using SOAP protocol as the 'Communication Protocol' whereas the underlying 'Transport Protocol' can be anything depending on its implementation; right from HTTP, TCP, Raw Sockets, JMS, SMTP etc.


  • Oct 27th, 2010

Resutful does not use SOUP and it can be used for webService communication. So the "commnication protocol" does not have to be SOUP.  

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