What are Web Services?
Web Services are basically a set of tools and protocols, which enable software applications to communicate, pass data and issue commands to each other over the Internet or any other network. Web Services are a kind of plumbing that connects different programs together using a network and can be used both inside the organization and to integrate with other organizations.
Unlike websites, which are pages designed to be viewed in a browser by a person, is designed to be accessed directly by another service or software application.
There’s a pretty good chance your business is dependant on its IT systems and the data steams those systems produce. Web services are likely to become the standard for connecting and integrating these systems and the conduit for converging all these data streams in one place.
One of the core ideas behind that it reduces the complexity of business integration and offers companies the ability to use a core set of standards and best-of-breed technologies. This means you can leverage the many investments in Internet technologies and training you may have made over the last few years and allows IT managers to spend more time on the underlying infrastructure that makes your business more efficient and less time on the actual “plumbing.”
its simplest, an XML transfer over HTTP protocol. This is the message and the transport mechanism. As we get deeper in the specification we encounter the concept on an “envelope” or SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), which basically adds levels of protection and accountability to the transaction. We also see directory services and listing protocols so companies can, in theory, automatically search directories for services provided by other companies and automatically negotiate for and use these services. Protocols like eBXML (electronic business XML) essentially round out the picture by creating a secure, robust and “corporate” standard for organizations to connect to each other via Web Services.
Remember Web services are not the be all and end all. Web services can be viewed as the middle men. Without robust, relevant and functional applications behind them they become quite irrelevant. Companies should view web services as a complement to what they already have; a way to get more out of the stuff you’ve already invested in, NOT as a replacement!