Web Services

Web services are being adopted in the marketplace as a mechanism for efficient process integration in the enterprise. In creating Web services for your corporate network, you may see the need to to grow the scope of these services beyond the limit of your firewall. You can offer your services to your business partners, customers, and even subscribers, and allow them to become integral parts of your business processes. There are certainly many business issues to be solved before you offer others access to services from your network, but let’s focus on the technical issues behind this.

As you start externalizing your Web services beyond the boundaries of your enterprise network, you will be faced with a number of issues that you need to address. These issues include security, reliability, quality of service, communications compatibility, and more. On the issue of communications compatibility the scope of this article you can run into a myriad of technical issues that network software using different protocols, operating system platforms, or even written in different programming languages need to satisfy to even talk to one another.

What You Should Already Know

Before you continue, you should have a basic understanding of the following:
•    HTML
•    XML

What are Web Services?
•    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
•    XML is the basis for Web services

How Does it Work?
The basic Web services platform is XML + HTTP.
XML provides a language which can be used between different platforms and programming languages and still express complex messages and functions.

The HTTP protocol is the most used Internet protocol.

Web services platform elements:
•    SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
•    UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration)
•    WSDL (Web Services Description Language)

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