web designers portland

AuraDev is a Portland based web design and web services firm. But web services is a very broad term. In general, a web service is an entity that allows a web transaction to occur. With that definition, even a URL is a web service, and when a client, or browser accesses it, the HTML that is served is the result of that web service transaction. But in general usage web services are all web transactions that are not restricted to a browser fetching HTML from a web server.

The term web services was coined by Microsoft when they helped standardize SOAP as a web transactions protocol. The name stuck, and today JSON, REST and other web services go by the same general name. Let’s talk about the different types of web services. There are SOAP based web services that comply with the SOAP protocol. Most Microsoft technology based web services follow this model. ASP.NET comes packaged with SOAP web services. The Visual Studio IDE (Integrated Development Environment) makes it fairly easy to convert any of your coded functions into externally available web services. Others are REST based web services, which require your data to have a certain hierarchical structure. Access to the data is associative, and based on the implied hierarchy.

Another way of implementing web services is by using XML over HTTP. The request is constructed as an XML document, and sent by the post protocol over HTTP to the server. The server processes the request, and creates an XML response document. In addition to data, the request usually has an action, indicating to the server what method to invoke. XML over HTTP provides a flexible, extensible and ready to use web service framework. It does not require any special syntax, and the XML is extensible to support any data, actions or other special fields. Most web services allow a subscribing client to access the service by means of a single URL. Based on the type of the web service, the response is sent back in the format of the web service in question. Web services help achieve a true “semantic web”, which is basically structured and easily accessible data on each server, and this data flowing smoothly between these servers based on the service being provided by that server.

Most successful web consumer products are exposing their services over a web service, or an API (Application Programming Interface). Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and even LinkedIn all provide an API, allowing developers to access their services. This allows third parties to create innovative user experiences that the providers do not have the bandwidth to create. Note that web services have a larger role in the B2B space than the consumer space. Billions of B2B transactions a day take place between businesses, and most of these are powered by web services in some shape or form. Web services have come a long way, and the next generation of web services will further extend their utility. This will allow third parties to create more compelling user experiences more easily. It will also allow businesses to exchange more services better and enable more use of software as a service rather than an installation.

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Published: February 13th, 2009 by Chris Chong | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: sem, Web Design
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