SOAP Message Structure

SOAP Message Structure

A SOAP message is an ordinary XML document containing the following elements.

  • Envelope: ( Mandatory )
    Defines the start and the end of the message.
  • Header: ( Optional )
    Contains any optional attributes of the message used in processing the message, either at an intermediary point or at the ultimate end point.
  • Body: ( Mandatory )
    Contains the XML data comprising the message being sent.
  • Fault: ( Optional )
    An optional Fault element that provides information about errors that occurred while processing the message

All these elements are declared in the default namespace for the SOAP envelope:
and the default namespace for SOAP encoding and data types is:

NOTE: All these specifications are subject to change. So keep updating yourself with the latest specifications available W3 website.

Syntax Rules

Here are some important syntax rules:

  • A SOAP message MUST be encoded using XML
  • A SOAP message MUST use the SOAP Envelope namespace
  • A SOAP message MUST use the SOAP Encoding namespace
  • A SOAP message must NOT contain a DTD reference
  • A SOAP message must NOT contain XML Processing Instructions

A SOAP Message Structure-

<?xml version="1.0"?>





1. Wikipedia for SOAP


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