We are delighted that you have found out about the SOEP data, and would like to briefly describe our services to you.
The SOEP microdata set is not available on the internet due to German data protection regulations.
The SOEP data are distributed through our "Research Data Center of the SOEP".
As a special service, the Research Data Center of the SOEP advises scholars who want to use SOEP as reference data or a control sample for their own studies.
The RDC-SOEP complies with the criteria of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) for providing access to microdata within a research data infrastructure. Since July 2016 you can file complaints regarding problems with the data distribution according to this criterias at the RatSWD (more information in German).
At the beginning of a project, we urge you to use our information system paneldata.org. The "item correspondence list" is integrated into the search function there, so you can trace the information you need ("items") over the years. Furthermore, after registrating on the portal you can use a file generator, writing a command syntax for the selected variables in the statistic programs SPSS, R and Stata.