Chapter 1: Getting Acquainted with Web Services
In This Chapter
Exploring the basic principles of service-oriented apps
Creating service-oriented apps
Making XML Web services available
A web service is just the provision of functionality over the Internet using an open interface. A web page provides functionality that you can see; a web service provides the underlying data, in a format that you can use in another application. Web services are a data source — in a way, much like files and databases — but on the web.
Web services are straightforward — at least until the software manufacturers start messing with them. Web services are standards driven, just as HTML is, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) owns its documentation. Web services have been a hot topic for the past decade, but only in the past five years or so (in step with the ubiquitous nature of the Internet) have they become a viable option for the delivery of hard-to-find software functionality.
A few different web services formats exist in the .NET world, and they solve two basic problems:
Making part of your application ...