SOAP is the Esperanto of the Web.

Justin Mason
Fri, 12 Oct 2001 13:14:18 +1000

Paul Prescod said:

> It is also worth noting that SOAP has a pretty elaborate infrastructure
> for explicit routing. I see nothing similar in HTTP. On the one hand,
> I've never needed such a thing for any application I've built. On the
> other hand, somebody obviously thought that that stuff was pretty
> important. I'd rather not dismiss it as useless until I understand what
> they meant to use it for.

I'd guess it's to allow easy(ish) proxying of SOAP, for firewall proxies;
e.g. the routing path could be

client -> [optional client-side filter] -> internet -> [server filter] -> server

where the filters are filtering SOAP proxies, with ACLs of permitted and
blocked objects and messages.  In which case it's a good thing.

It's either that or the worse possibility that it's for routing around the
"damage" of firewalls.

If that is the case, I can see the firewall folks blocking this just as
much as they block source-routed IP, and source-routed Sun RPC (the
portmapper used to be able to forward messages, until it was pointed out
what horrific security holes that opened up).