Using SOAP is not an really option with Axis (version 1 or 2) - it's the only kind of WS Axis supports (unless you're talking about REST-style WS, where the client is not sending SOAP).
The whole point of using WS is to decouple the client from the server. So if the basic interoperability rules are obeyed (as layed down in WS Basic Profile) then the client and the server can be implemented in completely different languages and technologies.
Concepts like SOAP, REST and WS interoperability are big subjects; they can't really be explained in a short message. I'd suggest to read a few introductory articles on WS, or a beginner's book, and then come back here with more specific questions.
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