“In this chapter, I explain what SOAP is, and why it is such an important part of where the web development paradigm is moving. That will help you get the fundamentals down, and prepare you for actually working with a SOAP toolkit. From there, I briefly run over the SOAP projects currently available, and then delve into the Apache implementation. This chapter is not meant to be the complete picture on SOAP; the next chapter, Chapter 13, fills in lots of gaps. Take this as the first part of a miniseries; many of your questions at the end of this chapter will be answered in the next.