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SOAP Services With MTOM

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As you probably know, SOAP is an XML based protocol which means that all data inside a SOAP message must be text based. If you want to include binary data in a SOAP message, it too must be text based. To achieve this you can convert binary data to a base64 encoded string and simply embed that string inside the SOAP message. The diagram below shows a sample SOAP message with binary data embedded as a base64 string.


While this is the simplest approach to dealing with binary data over SOAP, there are a few things to consider. When binary data is base64 encoded it increases in size by approximately 30%. For small amounts of binary data this probably won't be an issue, but for larger volumes of data the increased message size can significantly impact performance.
Another point to consider is the processing overhead for the XML parsers that process the SOAP messages. A large amount of binary data will result in a huge base64 encoded string, and more CPU intensive parsing for the consume…