Monday, September 7, 2009

Web Service,WSDL,SOAP overview


A Web Service (also Webservice) is defined by the W3C as "a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. It has an interface described in a machine-processable format (specifically WSDL). Other systems interact with the Web service in a manner prescribed by its description using SOAP-messages, typically conveyed using HTTP with an XML serialization in conjunction with other Web-related standards."Web services are frequently just Internet Application Programming Interfaces (API) that can be accessed over a network, such as the Internet, and executed on a remote system hosting the requested services. Other approaches with nearly the same functionality as web services are Object Management Group's (OMG) Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) or Sun Microsystems's Java/Remote Method Invocation (RMI).

In common usage the term refers to clients and servers that communicate over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) protocol used on the Web

The Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is an XML-based language that provides a model for describing Web services

WSDL is often used in combination with SOAP and an XML Schema to provide web services over the Internet. A client program connecting to a web service can read the WSDL to determine what operations are available on the server. Any special data types used are embedded in the WSDL file in the form of XML Schema. The client can then use SOAP to actually call one of the operations listed in the WSDL.


SOAP, originally defined as Simple Object Access Protocol, is a protocol specification for exchanging structured information in the implementation of Web Services in computer networks. It relies on Extensible Markup Language (XML) as its message format, and usually relies on other Application Layer protocols (most notably Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and HTTP) for message negotiation and transmission. SOAP can form the foundation layer of a web services protocol stack, providing a basic messaging framework upon which web services can be built.

As a layman's example of how SOAP procedures can be used, a SOAP message could be sent to a web service enabled web site (for example, a house price database) with the parameters needed for a search. The site would then return an XML-formatted document with the resulting data (prices, location, features, etc). Because the data is returned in a standardized machine-parseable format, it could then be integrated directly into a third-party site.

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