SOAP services

SOAP (the network access protocol) is something that I’ve heard a lot about, but never really investigated very much. Today I was searching for standalone software to predict subcellular localisation of proteins. I didn’t find much, so I began to wonder if there were any decent APIs or tools to access a network service. That’s what led me to SubLoc: a server/client suite for protein subcellular location based on SOAP. It works pretty well and the developers provide sample clients in Perl, Python, Java, Ruby and C, plus binary executables for Linux and if you must, Windows, all at this page. The Linux version worked fine for me.
One thing that’s put me off this type of service in the past is the requirement for the server to be up and for the process to occur in seconds, rather than hours. I was impressed with this though and inspired to investigate further. I gather that SOAP is not the fastest game in town, but if you’d like to comment on your favourite SOAP service(s) or SOAP alternatives, go for it.