What is XML-RPC and how is it different from SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)?

Ron Kurr

In XML-RPC you send an XML document over HTTP that describes a method on an object to call. The response from the method is also an XML document. Why do this? XML and HTTP are language independent. This allows a server written in Java running on a Unix box to service requests from a Visual Basic program running under Windows 95. All languages deal with strings (XML) and a lot of them have libraries for dealing with HTTP, which makes for nice interoperability. The tradeoff, of course, is speed. A binary data stream is probably faster but it is harder to get the platform independence that XML-RPC gives. You can learn more from the XML-RPC website.

SOAP does essentially the same thing.

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