The term web service is either
- A (generic) a service offered by an electronic device to another electronic device, communicating with each other via the World Wide Web, or
- (specific) a web service implemented in the particular technology or brand, W3C Web Services.
In a web service, the Web technology such as HTTP—originally designed for human-to-machine communication—is utilized for machine-to-machine communication, more specifically for transferring machine-readable file formats such as XML and JSON.
In practice, a web service commonly provides an object-oriented web-based interface to a database server, utilized for example by another web server, or by a mobile app, that provides a user interface to the end user. Many organizations that provide data in formatted HTML pages will also provide that data on their server as XML or JSON, often through a web service to allow syndication, for example Wikipedia’s Export. Another application offered to the end user may be a mashup, where a web server consumes several web services at different machines, and compiles the content into one user interface.
Why use Webservices in stead of other remote protocols?
Webservices use the HTTP protocol and are therefore less limited by your existing infrastructure. RMI for example use different ports for different implementations, which will give issues with routers and switches in your organization.
There are generally 2 types of Webservices:
- REST – A type where you query the service by URL parameters.
- AXIS – This standard was developed by Apache and is Open Soutce. AXIS services use SOAP, programmed a piece of functionality like a JavaBean you can instantly turn it into a Webservice just by right clicking it in Eclipse and select: ‘Create WebService’ at the same time a WSDL is created, which can be used to (automatically) create a client. This allows a form of distributed computing called SOA or Service Oriented Architecture.
I’m a specialist in SOA since 2007 when I attended the IBM SOA Event in Orlando (Florida).
Since that time I programmed everything as Services (And clients). Even for functions in the same Application, but also other programmes used my services.
Having a large collection of services is a nice feature because they can be reused from different places and software applications, although a large collection comes with its own problems; You need to be able to find the correct one once you need it!
This is where the UDDI comes in handy, it can be seen as a Database of web services. It offers a process of finding suitable web services for a given task.
Note: For more information about REST type Webservices see the article about API’s.
What can I do for you?
- I can help you to transform your Organization into a Service Oriented Organization.
- I can help you to create your Organization’s Webservices.
- If your organization already has an overcompleted and complicated software infrastructure, we can try to simplify it by applying the principals of SOA (and for example) introduce an Enterprise Service Bus.
- When companies decide to become Service Oriented, lots of things will change (such as the way your staff communicates). I can be involved in this process and increase your chances of success!