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Web Services Background

A Web Service is a set of related methods that can be invoked over the Internet or other network. A Web Service and its clients exchange information using only simple and non-proprietary protocols. This means that they can communicate with each other regardless of location, platform, or programming language. Essentially, the Web Services protocols provide a platform independent way to do Remote Procedure Calls (RPC).

The following table lists the principal Web Service protocols along with their purposes and provides a brief description of each protocol:

  Purpose Description
HTTP Transport HyperText Transfer Protocol. Basic networking protocol used by the Internet.
SOAP Packaging Simple Object Access Protocol. An XML-based protocol for encoding messages sent between a Web Service method and a client. Encodes the arguments passed to a Web Service method as well as any values returned by the method to the client.
WSDL Description Web Service Description Language. An XML-based protocol for describing a Web Service. A WSDL document provides the signatures of a Web Service’s methods as well as other information about the data types involved in the Web Service. By referencing the WSDL, client code can use the Web Service’s types and methods.
UDDI Discovery Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration. An XML-based protocol for creating Web Service registries that applications can use to locate Web Service descriptions.
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