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The Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) simplifies information exchange across a variety of platforms because it is not tied to any specific object model. SOAP offers interoperability across a wide variety of platforms. It enables interoperability by providing a generalized specification for invoking methods on objects and components using standard hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) calls and Extensible Markup Language (XML) data formats. SOAP is not tied to a specific object model, so a client written in Microsoft Visual Basic, for example, could use SOAP to access a method in a Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) object running on a Unix platform.