If you are a technocrat always looking for new trends in web development, you must have already heard of web services. Here, in this article we discuss about the standards in web services and the possibilities of web services to become the future of web development. Feel free to contact the author by mail to [email protected]
One interesting thing happening in the corporate world after the dot-com fall is, the change in the fundamental ways in which they operate and interact. There were many changes and one revolutionary change is based on a new model called Web Services. Web services help companies of any type to create, use and sell applications between them by adopting certain standards and so, the cost of B2B integration. Of course, Web services will not do any magic by eliminating the integration challenges, But it can open the possibility of new business opportunities, as the companies can, just not only create Web services, but also can sell.
The big Industry players like Microsoft, IBM, Sun, etc., are already extending their support to web services and coming up with new platforms to develop and deploy web services.
What are web services?
According to IBM, “Web services are self contained, self describing, modular applications that can be published, located, and invoked across the web. Web services perform functions, which can be anything from simple requests to complicated business processes”.
We can say Web services are another form of web applications, with self describing nature. When users request for a web application, it can serve them and can also connect with the other related web applications, and so, the users get all the services they need without knowing that they are served by different applications from different locations.
From web sites to web services
Before starting, let me talk a few words about the journey to web services from web sites. In the early days of web, we had only non-interactive web sites, later interactive, and back end driven web sites. Businesses started using web sites to get a global presence. Back end driven web sites gave the concept of web based applications. Then businesses realized web applications with which they built extranets, for private usage and customer support. And when ecommerce came, the web sites became the marketing places for B2C and B2B for selling products and services. In this stage many of the web applications can be utilized by companies without buying it, when the concept of ASPs(Application Service Providers) established. Now the ASP concept is emerging as Web services. Developers community expects that the ASP integration headaches can be minimized if web services standardize certain operations and make them easy to use.
Now you can raise a question ” Ain ‘t we do these with the existing technologies already?”. The answer is yes. The component models are already in use to achieve functions similar to web services. Presently exiting technologies like COM+, DCOM, RMI, CORBA are used to develop reusable components that can be hosted remotely and used in the web applications. But these components are giving tough time to the developers on during integrating them, and the cost of development is also high so far. Hence the world of web services established.
The Standards are Everything
Web services are nothing but applications with programmatic interface using certain standards and Internet – friendly protocols. Web services are developed by people not for the use of other people but for other Web services. Since human intervention is minimized in Web services development, standards are the base and everything, to make them work. We will discuss the standards XML, SOAP, UDDI, WSDL and others in the following text.
In the following pages we will discuss the standards involved in web services development and the web services development in a netshell.