What are the advantages of Web services?
Web services can be described as applications that expose their functionality through the Internet. This functionality allows virtually any application to either expose or consume application services that can perform a variety of tasks.
For example, a Web service may perform the task of verifying a customer's address. An ASP.NET application could capture a customer’s order through a Web form and send it to
an address validation Web service. By passing the Web Service a customer's address, a response can be generated that indicates whether the address is valid and follows postal regulations.
Another type of web service can expose real-time real estate, job or product listings. An example of which is Google's Base data web service, which enables users to query for, insert, update, and delete items and listings in Google Base, making them available to millions of web sites.
There is no limit to the different types of Web services that can be developed for use today utilizing the .NET platform.
Web services are typically implemented as an application programming interfaces(API) via Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and executed on a remote system.
Web services tend to fall into one of two categories: Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Representational State Transfer (REST) based Web Services.
SOAP based Web Services use Extensible Markup Language (XML) messages that follow the SOAP standard and have been popular with traditional enterprises.
Web API is a development in web services, where the emphasis has been moving away from SOAP based services towards REST based communications. REST based Web services do not require XML, SOAP, or WSDL service API definitions.
The largest known implementation of a system conforming to the REST architecture is the World Wide Web.
REST based communication can be considered one of the most important features of the Web that made the Internet successful.
Twitter is another popular micro-blogging site that uses RESTful web services extensively.
The Atom Publishing Protocol used for publishing and the distribution of blog content is also considered a canonical RESTful protocol.
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