Web Service Applications

The Web Service applications are very similar to Web applications. They both host the data on the server and provide it to clients that need it. They differ in who the client is.

In Web applications, the client is a person with a web browser. In order for the web browser to display the page, it needs HTML data. Once the page is displayed, the user can navigate it using links.

In Web Service applications, the client is not a human being, it is just another application. The client application needs the data from the server to be structured somehow – just like HTML is a way of structuring web pages. To this end Web Service applications usually use SOAP - Simple Object Application Protocol. It is a simple XML that contains the data being sent between the server and the client.

In addition to structuring the data, the client application needs to know exactly what services the server provides and needs to know how to call them. A new “language”, Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), has been invented exactly for this purpose.

In the .NET world, SOAP and WSDL, as they have been described above, can be used in two technologies. The first technology, the ASMX Web Services is an older, now considered obsolete. It has been superseded with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) technology. WCF basically provides all the old functionality of ASMX Web Services and builds on top of that. In addition to supporting SOAP in a form of XML and HTTP transport, it can make use of basically any type of data serialization as well as any transport mechanisms.

Another, much newer technology, that can be used for application to application communication is ASP.NET Web API. Unlike WCF, it can only use HTTP communication and by default uses JSON for data serialization. The technology itself is very similar to what we have already seen in the ASP.NET MVC topic.

Select one of these topis to learn more:

Should you have any questions or found a mistake that needs correcting, feel free to send an email to: info [at] mycsharp [dot] net

Advertisements :