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Cisco announces alternative to SOAP protocol

While the world doesn't need more protocols, at least this solves a legitimate problem. SOAP tends to be rather slow and cumbersome for many situations.

Cisco announced a new protocol called Etch, designed to take the place of SOAP in the Cisco Unified Application Environment (CUAE).

SOAP is a lightweight protocol for exchange of information in a decentralized, distributed environment. For many use cases, for example, very high-volume transaction flow, it's not always the right answer.

While SOAP relies on a very complicated WSDL file to define the interface between the client and server, Etch uses a file in Cisco's own interface definition language that shares many similarities to a Java interface file.

In addition to a simplified configuration, Etch also promises less overhead over the wire, compared to SOAP. In a testbed environment where SOAP was managing around 900 calls a second, Etch generated more than 50,000 messages in a one-way mode, and 15,000 transactions with a full round-trip, company officials stated.

Etch is slated to go into beta release this summer and will be released under an open source license TBD.

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