Preface – This post is part of “Salesforce Integration with SOAP API” series.

Introduction to SOAP

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a network application messaging protocol used to exchange structured information between systems. It uses XML as message format and relies on application layer protocol, mainly HTTP, SMTP. It allows programs to run on separate machines and communicate using HTTP and it’s XML. To know more about SOAP, please visit below links:
Introduction to SOAP API
SOAP API is a mechanism that allows external system to connect to Salesforce so that they can do CRUD operation, perform search operation, as well as perform administrative tasks.

This SOAP API will expose the below details to external system –
  • Standard Salesforce objects including all custom fields.
  • All Custom Salesforce objects and all fields.
  • Object Metadata.
Using SOAP API, user can do below things –
  • Perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on data.
  • Query Salesforce data.
  • Work with approval process.
  • Create and update sharing records. 

As a best practice, developer should use the API options for creating Share records only during migration. Otherwise developer should always keep business rules out of Integration layer.