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Web Services communicate through XML-encoded messages and suffer from substantial overhead due to verbose encoding of transferred messages and extensive (de)serialization at the end-points. We demonstrate that response caching is an effective approach to reduce Internet latency and server load. Our Tantivy middleware layer reduces the volume of data transmitted without semantic interpretation of service requests or responses and thus improves the service response time. Tantivy achieves this reduction through the combined use of caching of recent responses and data compression techniques to decrease the data representation size. These benefits do not compromise the strict consistency semantics. Tantivy also decreases the overhead of message parsing via storage of application-level data objects rather than XML-representations. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the use of aspect-oriented programming techniques provides modularity and transparency in the implementation. Experimental evaluations based on the WSTest benchmark suite demonstrate that our Tantivy system gives significant performance improvements compared to non-caching techniques.