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Building Scalable and High-Performance Java™ Web Applications Using J2EE™ Technology by Greg Barish

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What Exactly Is a Web Service?

The definition I provided earlier for Web services essentially describes the technology swirl that surrounds them. However, I haven't really explained what a single Web service is or how it's implemented.

At its core, a single Web service is a remote component containing functionality that can be invoked using Internet protocols, most notably HTTP. The data communicated to and from it is contained in self-describing XML documents. The functionality of a given service can be implemented in any language (Java, C++, C+, Visual Basic) with any object deployment technology. The only requirement is that it be accessible via Internet protocols such as HTTP. The client doesn't have to worry about how the service is implemented. ...

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