This week's book giveaway is in the Java in General forum. We're giving away four copies of Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist and have Allen B. Downey & Chris Mayfield on-line! See this thread for details.
SOAP Web Services were never mandatory under J2EE 1.3 - they where optionally supplied through non-compliant vendor extensions. SOAP web services became a mandatory part of J2EE with 1.4 using JAX-RPC. JAX-RPC is deprecated under Java EE 5 and replaced with JAX-WS 2.x.