Industry essay: What are Web Services?

Industry essay: What are Web Services?

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Industry essay: What are Web Services?

Web services have been hyped over the past year to be the most
innovative improvement that has come to the Internet. It has been
adopted by many companies, and has reached the forefront of
applications development. So what is all the hype about?

Web services can be described as an application that can be deployed
or called over the Internet that allows applications to communicate
with each other- regardless of the language in which they are written
or which systems platform and operating system is being used. Each
service is a discrete unit of code, and performs a small set of given

Typically, web services make use of standard web protocols to perform
its tasks- it usually follows an order: 1) find the web service
requested, 2) determine how the web service is called once it is
found, and 3) call the program or service requested. For the search
portion, UDDI (Universal Discovery, Description, and Integration) is
mainly used. It is a service that essentially is a directory of web
services, and UDDI helps the user find the web service or program for
which he is looking. WSDL (Web Service Definition Language) is most
often used to describe how the web service or program should be
called, and XML to communicate this. Finally, Simple Object Access
Protocol (SOAP) encodes the XML data sent and received, and shares the
data in messages over http.

The potential power of web services can be displayed in a number of
different ways. Web services are being used to integrate all sorts of
data- from local programs interfacing with each other across a local
area network, to large enterprise-level applications communicating
across the Internet. A few examples of how web services can be
utilized are listed below:

* A utility pole is damaged in a remote area of Massachusetts, and a
utility company has to come in and replace it. However, in order
to do this, the cable, telephone, and electric utility companies
have to act in a certain order in order for the damaged pole to be
removed. Web services can be used to determine the status of the
actions taken by the individual companies, since the order of the
actions is based on which utility owns the pole.

* A company wants to measure how much a particular product it has
sold, which customers bought how much of the product, when the

... middle of paper ..." In other words, web services
allow the bounds on software integration to be greatly expanded. It is
now a great selling point for companies, particularly those that
develop software. And at first, those companies that develop web
services will benefit, but the success will eventually give way to
those businesses that leverage web services in the most useful manner.


Brown, Bob, in an interview with Zimon, Gene (CIO and senior
vice-president of Nstar energy company), Utility IT Exec To Explore
Power of Web Services, Network World, December 2, 2002

McAllister, Neil, Service Economy: Will Web Services Be the Savior of
the Industry? New Artchitect, April 18, 2002

Microsoft Corporation, What Are Web Services?, May 15, 2003

Saxby, Barbara Angius, Web Services: A Floor Wax or Dessert Topping?,
March 7, 2002

Sholler, Daniel, METAReport: What Are Web Services, Anyway?,
Datamation, January 16, 2002

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