Tech - Internet
By: - at May 25, 2013

Introduction to Web Services - Tutorial

Service RegistryIncreasingly, with the growth of the Internet, development is focused around growing Web technologies. It is difficult to distinguish between software that is increasingly integrated into the Web. Web Services enters in the optical to well precisely differentiate the different layers of an application (presentation, business and data). Web services are modular web-based applications that perform specific tasks and follow a specific format. They allow your applications to use features (described by the web services) at distance (either on the same network or on the Internet), thereby simplifying data exchange. Web services allow applications to communicate across the network, regardless of their execution platform and their implementation language. They are a continuation of initiatives such as CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture, OMG's aka, Object Management Group), in providing a simple answer, based on known standards technologies and now accepted by all . Existing protocols: DCOM, RMI, CORBA, DIIOP and RPC are being phased out in favor of Web Services. The definition of Web Services would not be complete if we did not refer to its main standards: SOAP, WSDL and UDDI, protocols developed by Microsoft, IBM, Sun, ... Web services are used primarily for the development of distributed applications and can be accessed from any type of client (WAP, Web, Applicative, ...).

What is a Web Service?
xml, web serviceA Web Service is a component implemented in any language deployed on any platform and wrapped in a layer of standards derived from XML. It must be sought and dynamically invoked by other services. Most often the Web Services are basic features of the enterprise server that is available. This technology, initiated by IBM and Microsoft, then standardized partially by the W3C, is now accepted by all actors in the IT industry without exception. It is especially this that makes Web services a revolutionary technology and what makes them so popular.

The Concept of Web Services
Purely technological aspects have nothing that are inherently innovative. Instead, the architecture of Web Services has imposed itself (like XML) due to its simplicity, its clarity and its standardization.

XML-based Transformation
XML-based Transformation
By Splatg via Wikimedia Commons

The XML (extended Markup Language) is the basis of all the protocols described below. The fact that Web Services use XML provides them the advantage of being non-proprietary, and truly cross-platform. It is recommended to have a minimum of knowledge (XML, DTDs, schemas, XSL) in order to implement Web Services. The concept of Web Services is currently organized around three acronyms:

  • SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is an inter-exchange applications protocol independent of all platform based on XML. A SOAP service call is an ASCII stream framed in XML tags and transported to the HTTP protocol.
  • WSDL (Web Services Description Language) provides a description in XML format of Web Services by specifying the methods that can be invoked, their signatures and the access point (URL, port, etc. ..). This is somehow equivalent to the IDL language for CORBA distributed programming.
  • UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) normalizes a distributed directory of Web services solutions, enabling both the publication and exploration (search) of Web Services. UDDI behaves itself as a Web service whose methods are called through SOAP.

A significant advantage of Web services, relative to other distributed architecture solutions, is its support for firewalls : Using the HTTP protocol on port 80, normally open, allowing them to move smoothly the barriers of the company. This facility produces other security concerns, the default use of these features is too permissive and requires taking into account the security at the level of protocols. The management is still achievable through a set of Java libraries in order to ensure secure transmission of transactional data.

For what?
Business to BusinessWeb services have many advantages: Used remotely through any type of platform, they can be used to develop distributed applications and can be accessed from any type of client. Web Services belong to applications that work together seamlessly to the user. To which applications are destined technologies of Web Services? Why use them? How to set it up?

The Web Services technologies can be applied to all kinds of applications for which they provide significant advantages compared to the old proprietary APIs, to specific implementations platform and some other traditional restrictions that may be encountered (multi-platform, multi-language, available on the internet with updated information available in real time, ...). The applications of Web Services are multiple, as in the areas of B2C, B2B and for areas of inventory management, etc...

B2C (Business to Consumer) Refers to an application, a website for the general public. B2B (Business to Business) Refers to an application, a website for the professional business to professional. Web services can be useful in most application scenarios where the communication can be established on a bidirectional model (request / response). Nevertheless, it is far from being limited, many other models can use Web Services, without you realizing it. Companies who provide their Web Services allow interested developers to reuse them without having to recode them. The principle of Web Services allows the sharing of functionality and greatly facilitates development.





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