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24. Web Services > 24.1. Web Services Overview

Web Services Overview

Web services provide a new way to build loosely coupled applications from components. At a basic level, a call to a web service is similar to a remote procedure call. A client makes a request of a remote object, the object performs some action, and a response is sent back to the client. At a higher level, applications built from web services may be assembled from components local to the organization or geographically distributed across the Internet. Web services provide a framework for standardizing both the interface and transport layer for these applications. Figure 24-1 shows a basic web services architecture.

Web services architecture
Figure 24-1. Web services architecture

Web services are really an aggregation of several technologies layered on top of common Internet protocols such as HTTP. To better understand just what web services are, as well as how they work, let’s break the architecture down into its major parts. There are four main components that make up a web service:


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