The "application/soap+xml" media type
RFC 3902

Document Type RFC - Informational (September 2004; No errata)
Was draft-baker-soap-media-reg (individual in app area)
Last updated 2015-10-14
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Network Working Group                                           M. Baker
Request for Comments: 3902                                   Independent
Category: Informational                                    M. Nottingham
                                                             BEA Systems
                                                          September 2004

                 The "application/soap+xml" media type

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).


   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.  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.

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

Baker & Nottingham           Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3902         The "application/soap+xml" media type    September 2004

2.  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 message.

         The value of the action parameter is an absolute URI-reference
         as defined by RFC 2396 [RFC2396], which MUST be non-empty.
         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 time.

         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
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