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Web Services Background

A Web Service is a method, or set of methods, that can be invoked over the Internet or other network. A Web Service and its clients exchange information using only standard non-proprietary protocols: SOAP and HTTP, for example. This means that Web Services are both platform and programming language neutral. A .NET or Java application can, for example, be a client of a Web Service coded in MVBasic. An MVBasic application can be a client of a Web Service coded using Java or .NET.

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

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 location of the Web service, the signatures of a Web Services' methods as well as other information about the data types involved in the Web Service. Clients use the WSDL to generate proxy classes for accessing the Web Service.
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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