Introduction to Web Services
A few years ago Web services were not fast enough to be interesting.
What You Should Already Know
Before you study web services you should have a basic understanding of XML and XML Namespaces.
If you want to study these subjects first, please read our XML Tutorial.
- Web services are application components
- Web services communicate using open protocols
- Web services are self-contained and self-describing
- Web services can be discovered using UDDI
- Web services can be used by other applications
- HTTP and XML is the basis for Web services
Interoperability has Highest Priority
When all major platforms could access the Web using Web browsers, different platforms couldn't interact. For these platforms to work together, Web-applications were developed.
Web-applications are simply applications that run on the web. These are built around the Web browser standards and can be used by any browser on any platform.
Web Services take Web-applications to the Next Level
By using Web services, your application can publish its function or message to the rest of the world.
Web services use XML to code and to decode data, and SOAP to transport it (using open protocols).
With Web services, your accounting department's Win 2k server's billing system can connect with your IT supplier's UNIX server.
Web Services have Two Types of Uses
There are things applications need very often. So why make these over and over again?
Web services can offer application-components like: currency conversion, weather reports, or even language translation as services.
Connect existing software.
Web services can help to solve the interoperability problem by giving different applications a way to link their data.
With Web services you can exchange data between different applications and different platforms.