Axis is framework or engine which process the xml or xml over http request against a proper descriptor. Where as SOAP is nothing but type of request. (xml over http is soap request).
For webservices we have to follow the soap request.
Others.. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Joined: Oct 04, 2006
Think of SOAP as an envelope in which you can send "letters" in XML format.
XML over HTTP does not necessarily mean that you have to use SOAP - you can do RESTful web services which return raw XML data which is not wrapped in a SOAP envelope.
As before, Axis is a web service stack, that is a lot of code, that help you implement your own web services by taking care of things like creating and parsing SOAP messages, creating Java code for a web service client/server from a WSDL document, web service security etc. etc.