Network Working Group                                           M. Baker
Internet-Draft                                               Independent
Expires: November 15, 2004                                 M. Nottingham
                                                             BEA Systems
                                                            May 17, 2004

                 The "application/soap+xml" media type
Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004). All Rights Reserved.


   This document defines the "application/soap+xml" media type which can
   be used to describe SOAP 1.2 messages serialized as XML 1.0.

1. Notational Conventions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

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2. Introduction

   SOAP version 1.2 (SOAP) is a lightweight protocol intended for
   exchange of structured information between peers in a decentralized,
   distributed environment. It defines an extensible messaging framework
   that contains a message construct based on XML technologies that can
   be exchanged over a variety of underlying protocols.

   This specification defines the media type "application/soap+xml"
   which can be used to identify SOAP 1.2 message envelopes that have
   been serialized with XML 1.0. Such serializations are useful as the
   basis of "wire formats" for SOAP 1.2 Protocol Binding Specifications
   [W3C.REC-soap12-part1-20030624], or in other situations where an XML
   serialization of a SOAP envelope is required.

   The "application/soap+xml" media type explicitly identifies SOAP 1.2
   message envelopes that have been serialised with XML 1.0; message
   envelopes with a different SOAP namespace version or using another
   XML serialisation MUST NOT use it.

3. Registration

   MIME media type name: application
   MIME subtype name: soap+xml
   Required parameters: none
   Optional parameters:
      "charset": This parameter has identical semantics to the charset
         parameter of the "application/xml" media type as specified in
         RFC 3023 [RFC3023].
      "action": This optional parameter can be used to specify the URI
         that identifies the intent of the message. In SOAP 1.2, it
         serves a similar purpose as the SOAPAction HTTP header field
         did in SOAP 1.1. Namely, its value identifies the intent of the
         The value of the action parameter is an absolute URI-reference
         as defined by RFC 2396 [RFC2396]. SOAP places no restrictions
         on the specificity of the URI or that it is resolvable.
         Although the purpose of the action parameter is to indicate the
         intent of the SOAP message there is no mechanism for
         automatically computing the value based on the SOAP envelope.
         In other words, the value has to be determined out of band.
         It is recommended that the same value be used to identify sets
         of message types that are logically connected in some manner,
         for example part of the same "service". It is strongly
         RECOMMENDED that the URI be globally unique and stable over

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         The presence and content of the action parameter MAY be used by
         servers such as firewalls to appropriately filter SOAP messages
         and it may be used by servers to facilitate dispatching of SOAP
         messages to internal message handlers etc. It SHOULD NOT be
         used as an insecure form of access authorization.
         Use of the action parameter is OPTIONAL. SOAP Receivers MAY use
         it as a hint to optimize processing, but SHOULD NOT require its
         presence in order to operate.
   Encoding considerations: Identical to those of "application/xml" as
      described in RFC 3023 [RFC3023], section 3.2, as applied to the
      SOAP envelope infoset.
   Security considerations: Because SOAP can carry application defined
      data whose semantics is independent from that of any MIME wrapper
      (or context within which the MIME wrapper is used), one should not
      expect to be able to understand the semantics of the SOAP message
      based on the semantics of the MIME wrapper alone. Therefore,
      whenever using the "application/soap+xml" media type, it is
      strongly RECOMMENDED that the security implications of the context
      within which the SOAP message is used is fully understood. The
      security implications are likely to involve both the specific SOAP
      binding to an underlying protocol as well as the
      application-defined semantics of the data carried in the SOAP
      message (though one must be careful when doing this, as discussed
      in SOAP 1.2 Part 1 [W3C.REC-soap12-part1-20030624], section
      Binding to Application-Specific Protocols.
      Also, see SOAP 1.2 Part 1 [W3C.REC-soap12-part1-20030624], the
      entire section Security Considerations.
      In addition, as this media type uses the "+xml" convention, it
      shares the same security considerations as described in RFC 3023
      [RFC3023], section 10.
   Interoperability considerations: There are no known interoperability
   Published specification: SOAP 1.2 Part 1
      [W3C.REC-soap12-part1-20030624] and SOAP 1.2 Part 2
   Applications which use this media type: No known applications
      currently use this media type.

   Additional information:
   File extension: SOAP messages are not required or expected to be
      stored as files.
   Fragment identifiers: Identical to that of "application/xml" as
      described in RFC 3023 [RFC3023], section 5.
   Base URI: As specified in RFC 3023 [RFC3023], section 6. Also see
      SOAP 1.2 Part 1 [W3C.REC-soap12-part1-20030624], section Use of
      URIs in SOAP.

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   Macintosh File Type code: TEXT
   Person and email address to contact for further information: Mark
      Nottingham <>
   Intended usage: COMMON
   Author/Change controller: The SOAP 1.2 specification set is a work
      product of the World Wide Web Consortium's XML Protocol Working
      Group. The W3C has change control over these specifications.

4. Security Considerations

   See the "Security Considerations" section of the registration
   template found in Section 3.

Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2396]  Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R. and L. Masinter, "Uniform
              Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", RFC 2396,
              August 1998.

   [RFC3023]  Murata, M., St. Laurent, S. and D. Kohn, "XML Media
              Types", RFC 3023, January 2001.

              Hadley, M., Mendelsohn, N., Moreau, J., Nielsen, H. and M.
              Gudgin, "SOAP Version 1.2 Part 1: Messaging Framework",
              W3C REC REC-soap12-part1-20030624, June 2003.

              Moreau, J., Nielsen, H., Gudgin, M., Hadley, M. and N.
              Mendelsohn, "SOAP Version 1.2 Part 2: Adjuncts", W3C REC
              REC-soap12-part2-20030624, June 2003.

Authors' Addresses

   Mark A. Baker
   37 Charles St.
   Ottawa, Ontario  K1M 1R3


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   Mark Nottingham
   BEA Systems
   235 Montgomery St., Level 15
   San Francisco, CA  94010


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   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
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